Joe “Pizza” Paternostro
Giuseppe Vito Paternostro was born on June 6, 1960 in Vallata, Italy. He came to America at the age of 12 with his parents, twin brother, and younger sister. He lived in Elizabeth, NJ most of his life and at the age of 20 opened Tommy’s Pizzeria and Restaurant with his brother.
Joe loved soccer. He played soccer throughout his life and was an avid soccer fan. He loved the Italian national team and whatever team his family was on. Throughout his children’s, nephews and nieces high school career he attended every game and was awarded the “Best Fan” award by the Jonathan Dayton Boys Soccer Team who ended up winning the state championship the following year.
Joe was a positive presence on the sidelines and in the hearts of many. He was quick to forge personal relationships with people in his community or lend a helping hand to someone in need. Whether he was offering assistance to his church-run community functions or helping with youth soccer programs, Joe insisted on being in the middle of the action. A true connector, there was no limit to Joe’s circle of intimate friends.
On the morning of October 10, 2008, Joe was working at the restaurant serving customers. During lunch he began feeling sick and called his doctor. He left the pizzeria and drove to his doctor, however, he never made it. Joe had a massive heart attack and died tragically in his truck. He left behind a wife, and three children.
We created the Joe Paternostro Memorial Fund to raise money for soccer scholarships, Joe’s family, other families who have incurred the same tragedy and the American Heart Association. Our goal is to create awareness for others to take better care of their health.