Joseph A. Ristuccia, a long time resident of Southold and devoted husband to Ann (Deister) passed away peacefully May 8, 2016. He was 84 years old.
Joe was born in Brooklyn, May 31, 1931. The son of Lorenzina (Beninati) and Vincent Ristuccia, he was raised in Baldwin and graduated from Baldwin High School in 1949. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. He graduated from Hofstra University earning both a Bachelor of Science in 1953 and a Masters of Business Administration 1964. He played football for the Flying Dutchman as an undergraduate. He also attended Cornell University Graduate School for Industrial and Labor Relations.
Joe spent his entire 30+ year career with The New York Telephone Company/NYNEX, now known as Verizon. He held many management positions throughout New York City and on Long Island. He ended his career as the district operations manager installation/repair for Eastern Long Island. If you lived east of Patchogue in the 1980s, Joe was responsible for ensuring your phone worked. A highlight of his telephone career was upgrading telecommunications on the East End to support the 1986 US Open Golf tournament at Shinnecock Hills.
Joe and his wife Ann lived for many years in Wantagh until they moved to Southold in 1986.
After retirement in 1989, Joe became involved in anything that would benefit the Southold community and his fellow retirees. Literally, within days of retiring, Joe was active in the 1989 Southold Library expansion. His volunteerism was wide and varied and his commitment to any cause he championed was unwavering.
Joe, always interested in ensuring organizations ran responsibly, became Southold Town TaxPac president alongside Ed Siegmann as vice president. His involvement with TaxPac led to Joe becoming a Southold school board member for nine years. During his tenure he was involved with the renovation of Southold High School and construction of Southold Elementary School.
Always interested in retiree issues, Joe became a founder of the Association of BellTel Retirees and worked as vice president of government Relations. Joe was also a founder of National Retirees Legislative Network (NRLN). His work for these groups included many trips to Washington D.C. to the Pension Rights Center and Capitol Hill to meet with congressmen and senators. He worked tirelessly to get a bill, authored by Congressman John Tierney of Massachusetts, through Congress. The bill’s purpose was to ensure that retirees who were receiving healthcare from their former employers would not lose the promised benefit.
Closer to home, Joe became a member of the North Fork Planning Conference.
He was also a member of The Southold Stewardship Task Force for which he and his fellow members received the Suffolk Times Civic leader of the Year Award. In August 1996, Supervisor Jean Cochran, concerned about the vandalism and graffiti at the Goose Creek Bridge and beach, reached out to the community and Joe became a member of the Anti-Vandalism Task Force. He also served as an adjunct professor of telecommunications at New York Institute of Technology.
Joe spent many happy hours aboard Kona, his beloved Ericson 39ft sailboat. A lifelong sailor Joe was a member of the Eastern Long Island Sailing Association and Off Soundings Club. An avid traveler, Joe made many trips to visit family in Italy, Australia and San Diego. A doting grandfather he loved spending time with his two grandsons, Matthew and John. Joe was a member of St. Patrick R.C. Church in Southold. He was also a member of the Amici Club.
Surviving are his wife Ann; his son James and two grandsons Matthew and John of Encinitas, Calif.
The family will receive visitors Wednesday, May 11, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue. A funeral Mass is scheduled for 10 a.m. Thursday, May 12 , 2016 at St. Patrick R.C. Church in Southold.
Memorial donations may be made to the Southold Fire Department Rescue, North Fork Parish Outreach, Hofstra University or any organization of your choice.
This is a paid notice.