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Zarro Funeral Home

145 Harrison Street, Bloomfield, NJ

OBITUARY

Joseph Nicholas Meola Sr.

March 19, 1946June 11, 2020

Joseph Nicholas Meola Sr., more affectionately known as Joe, was born on St. Joseph’s day on March 19, 1946 to the late Agnes and Nicholas Meola. He was born in St. Michael’s Hospital in Newark, New Jersey. In his early childhood, Joe completed CCD classes, was an altar boy, and participated in his confirmation at the St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church. He learned to play the piano and played often with his loving sister Julie. Joe enjoyed school but longed for his annual family retreats to the beach house in Long Branch, NJ from the 4th of July to Labor Day, where he and his sister would often sing, “ See ya in September!” by The Happenings. He attended St. Francis Xavier grammar school, started his high school career at Seton Hall Preparatory and graduated from Barringer High School in 1964. From there he went to Jersey City State College. Joe majored in Special Education and graduated in 1967. That September, he accepted a teaching position with the Newark Board of Education and began teaching at Montgomery Street School, which was then an all boys school. Little did he know, he would spend his entire 43 year career at the same school - the place where he would foster friendships that turned into family members and the place he would meet the forever love of his life. During his career, Joe has taught a variety of subjects. He began as a teacher of academics, then moved on to teach Business Education, Computer Applications, Computer Repair and lastly, C-Tech. He taught the first student in Newark to become C-Tech certified. He also taught English as a Second Language to adults at College Hospital and East Side High School in Newark for 15 years. Among his many accomplishments, Joe was Union Representative for the Newark Public Schools for several years, he received the Governor's Award for Teacher of the Year and also received the Benedetto Croce Presidential Award. In 1970 and 1971 he participated in the Newark Teachers Union historic strikes and was injured in the 1971 strike. He moved to Beachwood, NJ for a number of years but returned to his hometown of Newark in 1981. During this time he met his wonderful future wife Linda, and they were eventually married on November 8, 1986. One of the most beautiful gifts their union produced was three children, Nykita, Courtney, and Joseph Jr. After his retirement in 2010, he rewarded himself with his favorite car - the Corvette. Joe had an affinity for all classic cars. He enjoyed going to the YMCA daily to swim and participate in other activities with fellow YMCA members, exploring different diners throughout the state of NJ, dog sitting his GrandPups: Pepper and Ghost, going on long walks, driving down to Atlantic City and traveling domestically and internationally with his family, going on cruises, a great meal cooked by his wife and visiting his choice of restaurants. Joe appreciated the simple things in life - going to the beach, eating breakfast with his family at the Parkwood Diner on Sunday mornings after church, taking spontaneous drives with his wife and family, watching movies, Facetiming, watching Netflix series, telling jokes and parables, instilling morals and values in his children and thinking of different ways to put a smile on his wife’s Linda’s face. Joseph was truly an angel on earth. He was selfless, benevolent, outgoing, humble and an absolute family man. He was always able to find the silver lining in any gray cloud and taught his family and friends how valuable life is - it should always be lived and cherished with your loved ones and lived with a smile on your face. Joe was always joking - sometimes even at the most inappropriate times! Joseph leaves to cherish in his memory his wife, soulmate and best friend of 38 years, Linda; three children: Nykita T. Dixon (Michael), Courtney Crawford (Andrew), Joseph N. Meola Jr. (Kelly); grandson: Michael Logan Dixon; dear sister: Julia Nardone; niece: Marielena Glassman (Lenny); nephew: John Andalora; best friend: Lawrence “Larry” Carpenter; godsons: Marcal Parker (Zully) and Brian Coppola; Montgomery Street School family; and a host of other family and friends.

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, June 19, 2020

Memories

Joseph Nicholas Meola Sr.

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Wylene McDowell

June 20, 2020

I will always remember the Meola's embracing me when I joined Montgomery. Mr. Meola was always a warm, caring, and knowledgeable person. He had a good sense of humor, gave good advice and told the best stories that would have everyone cracking up. He and Mrs. Meola were the epitome of #relationship goals. Thank you Mrs. Meola and family for generously sharing your husband and father with us all.

Aurora Collins

June 19, 2020

My sincerest condolences to Linda and their children, Nykita, Courtney, and Joe Jr. When I started working at Montgomery St. School Joe was one of the first teachers I met and he instantly made me feel like part of the family. He always had a warm smile and a great sense of humor. Joe was a devoted and loving husband and father. May he rest in the Lord's peace.

Benjamin Szamreta

June 19, 2020

Rest in Peace, Joe. I enjoyed working with you and Linda and remember your sense of humor. It matched my own and made for fun conversations. You will be missed and remain in my thoughts and prayers.

Hilda and Matthew Pravetz

June 19, 2020

We feel blessed to have had Joe as a dear friend and brother. Matthew has known Joe for 50+ years. They both taught at Montgomery St. School. Hilda had the pleasure of meeting Joe and Linda when she began teaching there in 1982. As our friendship grew we spent countless vacations together along with many other family celebrations and events. Joe was smart, had a wealth of information, especially about cars, and always had an anecdote or two. We also shared our love for the Yankees. He was "Uncle Joe" to our children, Ethan and Alyssa. He was a most special part of our lives and will be terribly missed. His smile will always stay in our hearts. His laughter, ("I was rolling!"), will always make us smile. We love you Joe!!

Hilda and Matthew Pravetz

June 19, 2020

One of the many wonderful memories of fun times with Joe: We were at Wildwood Crest, on one of our numerous summer family vacations together. As we walked on the boardwalk, the sky was overcast and cloudy. The kids were getting upset because it looked like rain was going to ruin our plans for the pier. But Joe, in typical fashion, kept pointing up at the clouds saying, "Look, I see a bright spot behind the clouds; look, the sun is coming out; watch, it's going to be a sunny day." No matter if it rained or not, Joe's endless optimism and positivity made our times sunny and bright. This is how Joe lived his life, always seeing the sunshine. Your light will always be with us. Rest in peace, Joe.

Kareem Greene

June 18, 2020

My sincere condolences to the family. "Joe" was a very inviting and kind hearted individual. I will always remember the times I would go to his house, workout and lift weights in his garage as a kid. Great memories for me growing up. He will be missed!!

Mary Moye

June 18, 2020

Joe was one of the most kindest, sweet , and respectful people that God allowed to come across my path. We would always laugh at the stories he would tell of how he had to read the SAME bedtime stories over and over so much until he memorized the whole of the books. He was usually quiet , with a God given Smile on his face that made you know that he truly cared about you. I was privileged to teach with him at Montgomery for 38 years and also worked with him in the Summer , with the Montgomery Victoria Project. We would take the Children on various trips. Joe was one that you could ALWAYS depend on to ALWAYS be on the job , to watch out for the Children's well being. I enjoyed seeing how he , Linda and the Childrenctook trips and enjoyed each other even after they were grown. Thank you dear God for allowing my BROTHER and FRIEND to Bless my life. I remember Courtney holding his hand , looking up at him as a Knight in Shining Armor , Kita being the big reserved older sister , and Joey swinging around his mother's legs smiling ! There is a Commercial that comes on TV that ALWAYS remind me of Courtney and Joe, even now.

Diane Maroukian

June 18, 2020

My sincere condolences to Joe's wife, Linda and their children Nykita, Courtney and Joe Jr.
I know that Joe Sr. will be looking down from Heaven with loving care always.

Sharon DeBruhl

June 17, 2020

I will never forget the big smile and joyful laugh of my Bro. Joe. My children and had have joyful memories spent around the Meola family. Our family. Joseph Meola was like a father to us all. He had wisdom and ready to share life learned experiences. I always admired his and the family’s closeness. Strong love for them all. I will miss him and pray for him on this next journey to his Lord. He is at peace and will be rewarded for all his good deeds. May the family find comfort with the prayers and kind words offered by family and friends.

Jacqueline Jeffrey

June 16, 2020

To Linda, Nykita, Courtney, and Joey,

May God bless you family, with his love, peace, and understanding, as you mourn the passing of your husband, and father, Joseph Meola.
I first met the Meola Family, through my co-worker, and friend, Nykita Dixon, and I must say what a beautiful family. Their Love, happiness, and devotion, for one another, and those around them could not be missed.
God, truly shined upon Joseph, to be remembered, and admired well. Thank you, for sharing such a superb person with us all.

Love, and prayers for a brighter day,
Jacqueline Jeffrey,
Hawthorne Avenue School

FROM THE FAMILY