Nov. 10, 1934 – Dec. 18, 2014
Joseph Bocchiaro Jr., a chemical engineer and former general foreman of the coke ovens at the Bethlehem Steel plant in Lackawanna, died Thursday in his Hamburg home. He was 80.
Born in Brooklyn, he grew up in Brooklyn and Queens and earned a degree in chemical engineering from City College of New York, where he was a member of Alpha Phi Delta fraternity and was voted “most fraternal brother.”
He served in the Marine Corps and the Marine Corps Reserve, earning medals for marksmanship.
On graduating from college, he took a job as foreman at Bethlehem Steel and advanced to become general foreman in the coke oven byproducts division. He was instrumental in setting up pollution control measures, including the elimination of sulfur from smokestack emissions.
Mr. Bocchiaro earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Buffalo and retired from Bethlehem Steel after 31 years. He continued with the company as a technical consultant, writing instruction manuals and training operators.
He later earned an associate degree in ophthalmic dispensing from Erie Community College and worked as an optician at Buffalo Optical.
He was active in SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, serving several years as treasurer. As fundraising chairman, he coordinated the first and second parish picnics.
An avid bowler, he participated in three leagues and bowled in the Coke Oven Bowling League for 56 years. He also enjoyed traveling.
Survivors include his wife of 57 years, the former Christine Simone; a son, Dr. Joseph III; a daughter, Kathleen Bocchiaro Wojtowicz; and six grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday in SS. Peter and Paul Church, 66 E. Main St., Hamburg.