Joseph A. DiGregorio, 90, of Middletown, Delaware, formerly of New Jersey passed away peacefully on New Year’s morning at the Brookdale Nursing Home in Hockessin, DE.
Joe D, as he was known, was born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, the son of the late Lucy and Joseph DiGregorio. At the age of 17, Joe joined Local 98 as an electrical apprentice and retained his membership throughout his life. He worked numerous roles until he was selected as the Chief Electrician at the Spectrum Arena in Philadelphia prior to the buildings’ opening in 1967. Joe worked at the Spectrum until his retirement in 1992 and during his tenure there, was asked to begin playing one of his personal recordings prior to Philadelphia Flyers games. This song, Kate Smith’s “God Bless America,” began one of the most important traditions in Philadelphia sports history.
Joe was a member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 6364 in Mantua, NJ, and a former member of St. Margaret’s Church in Woodbury, NJ. He was an avid fan of all Philadelphia sports teams, especially the Phillies. An avid record collector, Joe enjoyed listening to timeless classics by Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra. In addition to his parents, Joe was predeceased by his sister, Grace Tana; and his beloved wife of 59 years, Norma; and son, Joseph Anthony DiGregorio, both in 2013.
Joe is survived by his daughters and their husbands, Debbie and Don Schaefer of Middletown, DE; Sharon and Dominic Cupo of Westampton, NJ; and Marcella and Frank Gallagher of West Deptford, NJ; his daughter-in-law, Patricia DiGregorio of Robbinsville, NJ; his 13 grandchildren, Joseph, Jr., Jason, Michael, Nikki, Kristen, Daniel, Nicholas, Katie, Frances, Raymond, Ryan, Luke and Lindsay; and his 5 great-grandchildren, Lily, Joseph, III, Luca, Noah and Grace.
Funeral services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 371 West North Street, Dover, DE 19904.