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American Legion Post 68 Commander Nicholas J. DiGrosso Succumbs


Nicholas J. DiGrosso, Sr,. 79, a thirty-nine year employee of the Rosary Merchantville-Pennsauken Water Commission. Nick, the only son of Michael and Helen DiGrosso and big brother to his three sisters; died Monday with his loving family by his side. Nick first came to the commission in 1958 after serving in the Army in Korea. Having lived most of his life in Pennsauken and Merchantville, Nick attended Camden Catholic High School and Camden County Vocational School. The water commission was not a stranger to Nick's family in light of the fact that his father, Michael, worked there thirty years as a plant operator.

Nick first served as a meter reader, the service department, and then twenty-five years in construction. He spent the last ten years as principal plant operator. He saw the MPWC come full circle in modernization and treatment. When he started, there were only 80 miles of water mains, when he left there were 200 miles of mains to service customers. Nick's knowledge of the mains and valves locations was called upon even after his retirement.

Nick, a Korean War Veteran, was the current commander of American Legion Post # 68, Merchantville and had served as Camden County commander. He was tireless in his pursuit of justice for all veterans. He was active in helping place veterans and getting them their benefits. He visited hospitals, also collecting and aiding disabled veterans. He was a familiar sight at parades, flag raising and all veteran's affairs and functions as well as veteran's cemeteries. Above all he was a proud American.

Nick was a well-known athlete, who was scouted by the Phillies in high school after he hit a home run at Connie Mack Stadium where few were able to accomplish that feat. His Phillies dreams were put on hold when he was called to duty in the U.S. Army. He married Shirley before shipping out. He never lost the love of the game and played on local leagues well into his late 40's. He was also an avid bowler in two leagues at Ivy Lanes and Baker Lanes. He loved his "home-mades" and gravy and ate them three times a week. He loved making his own gravy was great at barbecuing. His fourth of July parties were the talk of the town! A lifelong member of St. Peters Parish, Nick was active in the church and its ministries. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus assembly 6735 and 1748 and was proud to be a member of its color guard. He was also a 40/8 member of Camden County Voiture. He was active promoting Camden County at Jersey Boys' State.

Nick was a famous "fixer" if he could not! do it himself; he had a friend that could! Never one to shy away from hard work, he would pitch in and always got the job done. He really loved his work, and he thought if you were healthy you should be working. Thousands of phone calls over the years to his family would be - "hey how you doing, everyone ok, working much?" It became the long standing family line. Nick was a devoted son, brother, husband, father and grandfather who set the gold standard for his family to learn from and follow.

Nick was predeceased by his beloved wife of 40 years Shirley (nee Hoxworth), his daughter Kathy Sohanchak, and sister Rosann Wagner. Nick is survived by his sisters Rita (James Gregory), and Annette (Warren Edwards), his son Nicholas Jr. (Marlene), four grandchildren Michael (Dot), Joey, John Paul (Denise) and Nicholas III, and four great-grandchildren Anthony and Sophia, Angela and Alyssa. Dorothy Wahl, longtime companion and the light of his life these last fourteen years. Nick considered Dot's children part of his life and family. They are Dot's daughter, June (Wahl-Fitzgerald), her grandchildren Kerri, Brian and Kristi and her great-grandchildren Scott, Karli, Zachary and Caden. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Relatives and friends of the family are kindly invited to attend his Visitation Friday 6-9:00 PM & Saturday 8:30-9:30 AM at the FUNERAL HOME OF INGLESBY & SONS, 2426 Cove Road. Pennsauken NJ 08109. Mass of Christian Burial Saturday 10 AM St. Peter Church. Interment Locustwood Memorial Park In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to American Legion Post #68 or St. Peter Church, Merchantville. Info and guestbook @www.inglesbyfuneralhome.com

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