Joseph DeMarco, age 83, took his last breath at 1:15 a.m. on Jan. 21, at his home in Carefree, AZ, following a five-year struggle with the effects of Parkinson’s disease.
Joe born Aug. 15, 1933 to Andrew and Katherine DeMarco in Little Neck, NY. The family moved to Port Washington where Joe, his brother Jerry, and sister Rosemarie attended Port Washington schools. Joe joined the Air Force in 1950 and, four years later, enrolled at the University of Connecticut in the Civil Engineering program. He married Virginia Harvey in 1956, earned his BSCE, and began a 30-year civil service career as a highway engineer with the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads (later the Federal Highway Administration).
Because of work opportunities and an adventurous spirit (Joe called himself a gypsy and his mother often said, “Joe never let the grass grow under his feet”), Joe and his family were fortunate to experience life in Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Kuwait and seven states in the U.S. In 1974, the couple chose Arizona as a permanent home base from which to continue an active schedule of work and travel. Joe generously helped family, friends and volunteer organizations with painting and other projects. He was a well-read WWII history buff, music lover, casual collector, DIYer and golfer who also loved camping, hiking, biking, fishing and extensive road trips, often exploring alternate, less-traveled routes.
Joe is survived by his wife, Ginny (60th anniversary 2016); two sons Darrell (Ilana Flyer) of Mesa and Gerald of Phoenix, AZ; brother Jerry of Great Falls, MT; sister Rosemarie Garofalo of Port Washington, as well as four nephews and two nieces and their growing families in New York and Montana. A memorial service will take place at a future date at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, Lincoln Drive, Paradise Valley.