Colonel Joseph Salvatore Pizzuto, USAF Retired, age 78, passed away on Saturday, October 20, 2012, at Mt. Saint Mary's Hospital in Lewiston, after a brief illness. Elder son of Sicilian immigrants, the late Pasquale and Maria (Puleo) Pizzuto, Joseph was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 22, 1933, and was raised with his younger brother, Salvatore (Sam).
He attended Illinois Institute of Technology under an ROTC scholarship, receiving his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and was commissioned into the United States Air Force. He achieved a master's degree in nuclear physiology from University of Rochester in 1958. Joseph served his country for 24 years, working for the Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tennessee (1958) and the Space Program (NASA) at Bergstom Air Force Base (1959-61). He received a Bronze Star for special services in Greenland. Joseph was a veteran of Vietnam (1968-69) and later was stationed in England, Germany, Virginia and Florida. Upon retiring from military service, he continued his work as a Civil Engineer in the private sector for Battel Memorial Institute (1980-85) in Columbus, Ohio. In 1986, he moved to Lewiston, NY, working there until his retirement from Chemical Waste Management, Inc., Model City, NY. A devoted husband and father, the "Colonel", was also affectionately known as "Primo" and "Grumpy". He found peace on his own terms, in the same manner in which he lived his life.
At his passing, he was surrounded by his wife of 56 years, Leone Mel (Duggan); his five sons, William, Joseph, Johntimothy, David, James and his grandchild, Daniel. He is survived by them, his brother, Sam; his three nieces, Theresa, Maria Pizzuto-Wubs and Rebecca; and his cousin, Tina Serio.
Visitation will be at HARDISON FUNERAL HOME, North Fourth and Ridge Streets, Lewiston, on Friday, November 2nd, from 3-6 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial, followed by military honors, will be celebrated on Saturday, November 3rd, at 11:00 AM in St. Peter's RC Church, 600 Center Street, Lewiston, with the Rev. Michael Zuffoletto officiating. (Please assemble at church.) In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Peters RC Church. Please visit www.hardisonfuneralhomes.com for online registry.