US Marine Corps

Joseph Criscione

January 22, 1931 ~ November 19, 2021 (age 90)


Joseph Criscione, 90 years, of Pearl River, New York, and formerly of Brooklyn, died on November 19, 2021. As a true Bensonhurst boy, he enjoyed playing stickball, punchball, handball and cheering for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The proud son of Sicilian immigrants, Mariano and Anna, he was a first generation American.

In January of 1952, he answered the call from President Truman and honorably served our country in the United States Marine Corps until 1960 where he received the National Defense Service Medal. After his military service, Joe worked for 33 years as a Signal Engineer for the New York City Transit Authority. During his tenure Joe received multiple commendations and special recognition awards.

For Joe, it was always family first (“mi famiglia”), and he enjoyed sharing stories from the past. He loved holidays and made sure that each family member felt special. One of Joe’s most cherished moments was the annual family vacation to Vermont. He loved the mountains, and spent hours in quiet contemplation breathing in the beauty of nature. 

In 1989, Joe purchased his first Honda vehicle and proceeded to drive it for over 400,000 miles. Joe’s family has since purchased seventeen Hondas and driven over 1,000,000 miles collectively.  Joe would spontaneously visit with gifts in tow which might include Rockland Bakery Bread, Mallomars, or Entenmann’s crumb cake. He would always announce his arrival with his distinguished knock on the door. Joey, Honey, Daddy, PopPop, was our beloved patriarch and hero who instilled values of family, traditions, loyalty, and honesty. Joe’s moral compass was always set to True North.

He and his beloved wife, Debbie, enjoyed a beautiful life together for over 47 years.  Joseph is survived by his devoted wife Deborah (Murphy) Criscione, loving daughters Kelley McDonald, Leigh and her husband Jason Porod, five beautiful grandchildren Joseph, Erin, and Megan McDonald and Addison and Jason (JJ) Porod. Also survived by his sister Christina (Criscione) Leippert and his brother Andrew Criscione.  Joseph is predeceased by his parents, Mariano and Anna (Marrone) Criscione, and his sister Marian (Criscione) Peroni.

The family will be receiving visitors on Tuesday, November 23, 2021, from 4:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. at the Vander Plaat Funeral Home, 257 Godwin Avenue, Wyckoff, NJ 07481.Funeral mass in celebration of Joseph’s life will take place on Wednesday, November 24, 2021 at 12:30 P.M. at Church of the Presentation, 271 W Saddle River Road, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458.  Internment to follow at Maryrest Cemetery, 770 Darlington Avenue, Mahwah NJ, 07430.

In lieu of flowers donations to Semper Fi & America's Fund and or would be appreciated.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph Criscione, please visit our floral store.


November 23, 2021

4:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Vander Plaat Funeral Home
257 Godwin Ave.
Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Funeral Mass
November 24, 2021

12:30 PM
Church of the Presentation
271 W. Saddle River Road
Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

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