Joseph H. Strazza, 55, of Spring Lake Heights, passed away on Sunday, March 17, 2019, at his home surrounded by family and friends. Joseph positively touched so many lives and would want you all to remember John 15:13 Greater Love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
Joseph was an incredibly intelligent, generous, and gracious man who knew how to live life to the fullest. He was a loving husband and friend to his life-long sweetheart "143", Lauren Plosica. Joe cared deeply for his 3 stepdaughters, whom he thought of as if they were his own.
Joseph was born in Montclair, raised in Bloomfield and spent his summers in Lavallette, NJ. He spent most of his career living in Manhattan but settled in Spring Lake Heights, NJ to retire. His many successes are a direct product of his parent's influence. Joseph had the distinction of becoming the youngest Eagle Scout in New Jersey, at which time he received a letter from President Jimmy Carter acknowledging his accomplishment. He was a graduate of Brookdale Elementary School and Bloomfield High School, and attended Boston University, before earning his Bachelor’s Degree at Penn State University, where he was a personal friend of legendary Nittany Lion's Coach Joe Paterno. He served as a photographer for the Nittany Lions Football team and made many generous donations to Penn State through the years in support of higher education. Joseph started a scholarship in honor of Martha Laucius and helped fund the Paterno Library renovation under the direction of Sue Paterno. After graduating, Joseph worked for ADP, and for Advanced Retail Systems, his father’s company, before starting his own company with his brother Matthew, at the age of 31, WinMill Software, Inc., in New York City. At one point, fulfilling one of his life long ambitions, Joe was a featured CEO in the Wall Street Journal, based on his work at WinMill. He served as CEO and President of Winmill for 22 years. During his tenure at WinMill Joseph helped to develop signficant partnerships with the City of New York in the government sector and privately with firms such as Sabre, Logic Works, Sybase, and Mercury Interactive at a point at which these firms were all making their mark on the technology industry. He also made a signifigant donation to remodel the kitchen at Hope Lodge, which is a part of Johns Hopkins University, and the center where his father Harold received a life saving bone marrow transplant. Joseph ran the NYC marathon; he loved the beach; and he adored reading - which is a trait he inherited from his mother who is a voracious reader. Joe loved to write and cook. He even put together a cookbook of his own creations under the trademark Joe Flavor. Last but not least, he loved his dogs Tabor and Finley, Snoopy and was a die hard Yankees Fan.
Joseph was predeceased by his father, Harold J. Strazza. He is survived by his beloved wife, Lauren Ann Strazza and his stepdaughters, Taylor, Nicole and Emily Fancera. He is also survived by his mother, Sarah Strazza, and his siblings, Deborah Stone, Donna Strazza, and Matthew Strazza and his wife Rana. Also surviving are his nephews and nieces, David Stone and his wife Brianna, Jennifer Stone, Peter Elsby, his wife Ilana and children Maddie, PJ and Braiden, Sarah Strazella and her husband Bryan, goddaughter Catherine Alltop, her husband Stephen and children Aurora, Bailey and Grant, Nixie and Fina Strazza, as well as his goddaughter Sophia Kuzmkowski, mother-in-law Alice Bass, brother-in-law Michael Plosica, his wife Kathryn and children Morgan and Riley, and many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Memorial visitation will take place at O’Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy. 35, Wall, on Friday, March 22, 2019, from 9-11:15 AM, with a service to follow at 11:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Joseph may be made to the Raise Penn State, Collegiate Recovery Community (studentaffairs.psu.edu/recovery).
Please make checks payable to Penn State Collegiate Recovery Community.
Donors will receive tax receipts from the University and the funds will be transferred to the CRC's unrestricted account. Please be sure to list a return address and the following codes :
Collegiate Recovery Comm (CRC)
Allocation Code XXTRY
Budget 0108956 UP
Please mail the contribution to:
Donor and Member Services
2583 Gateway Drive, Suite 130
State College, PA