Joseph Anthony LaPorte

Joseph A. LaPorte born: February 5, 1921, was the husband of Catherine Branz LaPorte, granddaughter of Damiano and Oliva (Zambotti) Genetti.

(Feb. 5, 1921 – Jan. 13, 2018)

Published in the Hazleton Standard Speaker, Jan. 15, 2018

Joseph A. LaPorte, 96, of Freeland, passed away Saturday [January 13, 2018] morning at St. Luke Manor, Hazleton [PA].

Born in Freeland, he was the son of the late Salvatore and Julia DiMaria LaPorte.

He was a graduate of the Freeland High School, Class of 1940, where he was a star basketball player and a member of the 1939 championship team.

He served during World War II in the United States Army Air Corps as an airplane and engine mechanic from 1942 until 1946. He attained the rank of sergeant while serving in China, Burma and India, and received a Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, American Theater Service Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Service Medal with one bronze star and a World War II Victory Medal.

He was employed by several Freeland manufacturing companies and also worked as a bartender at the Roman and Pennsylvania rooms of Genetti’s.

Joseph was a member of the Immaculate Conception Parish at St. Ann’s Church, Freeland, and a former member of St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, Freeland. He was a life member of Freeland American Legion Post 473, Freeland Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5010, Six County Fire Association, and a long time member of the Freeland Breakfast Club.

He was instrumental in the formation of Freeland Little League and Northside Softball League, past president of Freeland Council, served 25 years as a secretary and treasurer of the Hazleton Chapter of the PIAA and was a member of the ASA for many years.

Preceding him in death, in addition to his parents, were his wife of 69 years, Catherine O. Branz LaPorte, in 2015, brothers, Vincente LaPorte, Anthony Dominic and Philip Dominic.

Surviving are a daughter, Judith Tomari and husband, Joseph, Freeland; a son, Joseph LaPorte and wife, Mary, Macungie; brothers, Carmen LaPorte, Reading; Genero LaPorte and wife, Jane, Doylestown; and a sister, Angeline Herring, Freeland. Also surviving are grandchildren, Michael Reese, Macungie; Gioia Tomari Castiglione and husband, Charles, Freeland; Lea Tomari Iorio and husband, Joseph, Bethlehem; Anthony LaPorte and wife, Jamie, Slatedale; Andrew LaPort and wife, Emily, Cincinnati, Ohio; great-grandchildren, Abrielle and Lissandra Castiglione, Dominic Iorio, Leena LaPorte; and many nieces and nephews.

The Rev. Michael Kloton will celebrate a Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Wednesday in the Immaculate Conception Parish at St. Ann’s Church, Freeland, followed by burial in Calvary Cemetery, Drums.

Family and friends may call from 10 to 11 a.m. in the church Wednesday.

Donations may be made to Immaculate Conception Parish, 898 Centre St., Freeland, PA 18224, or to the Freeland YMCA, 600 Front St., Freeland, PA 18224.

McHugh-Wilczek Funeral Home, 249 Centre St., Freeland, is in charge of arrangements.

(Note from Webmaster: if the family would like to contribute photographs to Joseph’s Tribute page, please email them to:

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