William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNewsnet
As I have gotten older it seems that a day doesn’t go by that someone we know
passes away from one illness or another. I guess when you hit 72 you have to expect that; after all, we don’t live forever, do we. As someone said to me once it is the “Baby Boomers’ turn to take over the obituary column.” Just recently two long-time friends passed away within 24 hours of each other. Harry Blymer Jr., died Saturday, July 8 from a sudden heart attack, and Joe DiGiacomo died the following day after a three-month battle with esophagus cancer.
Both Harry and Joe were Army veterans. Harry served in Germany and Joe in the NJ National Guard. Harry retired from Elevator Union Local 5 in Philadelphia. Harry was a longtime member of the Gloucester City American Legion Post 135 and Townsend C. Young VFW Post 72. Joe and Harry were original members the 2006 Breakfast Club and The Ray Ford Oldtimers. Joe grew up on Cumberland Street and Harry lived near by on Burlington Street. (see Blymer obituary)
I don’t remember a nickname for Harry but for Joe, those who knew him from the good old days called him “Jukebox”.
I asked his wife, Cathy where the nickname came from, she said, “Pizzeria Vince (Franceschini) gave him that name. Back in the day Joe would stop at the Pizzeria play a song or two on the Jukebox and leave. All these years later some people still call him that.’
Kathy said her husband was sick for the last three months of his life. “Every day for two months we would travel to Fox Chase where he would receive a dose of radiation and a dose of chemo. At the beginning of July, the doctors told us cancer had spread to his liver. Joe and I and our children decided no more treatment. We came home and a hospital bed was put up in the living room. Early Sunday morning he died in his sleep. “
Joe grew up in Gloucester City. He attended Gloucester City schools. He got his GED later in life. For a while, he worked as a welder. Later he got a job with Camden County Health Care Services in Lakeland where he stayed until he retired.
Jukebox loved to dance and was a regular at Dancette, and other venues in the area. One of his favorite spots was The Crown Point Inn, West Deptford. The Temptations Band played there each weekend. Kathy and Joe met at the Crown Point, got married and were inseparable for the past 49 years.
“Where ever you saw Joe you saw me, “ said Kathy. “We were never apart. I miss him so much. A part of my heart has died. I am so glad he is not suffering any longer. I couldn’t have gotten through these past three months if it wasn’t for our family. “
For 15 years the couple delivered the Gloucester City News every Wednesday morning to the stores in Gloucester City, Brooklawn, and Bellmawr. Joe took the papers in the store while Kathy remained in the car counting the papers for the delivery at the next stop. Joe was a regular member of the Proprietors Park Geezers.
Besides his wife Catherine M. (nee Davidson), he is survived by children Tricia DiGiacomo (Kevin) of Westville, Susan DiGiacomo of Deptford and Joseph DiGiacomo, Jr. (Laura) of Blue Bell, PA. Brother of Edward DiGiacomo of Gloucester City and the late Frank DiGiacomo. Grandfather of Elise, James, Samuel, and Caroline.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a viewing Wednesday, July 12, 2017, from 7 pm to 9 pm and Thursday, July 13, 2017, from 9 am to 10 am in The Chapel at BOUCHER FUNERAL HOME, 1757 Delsea Dr., Deptford, NJ 08096. Funeral Service 10 am Thursday in The Chapel at the funeral home. Entombment St. Joseph's Cemetery Mausoleum, Chews Landing. For directions, condolences and to view Joe's Video Tribute visit www.boucherfuneralhome.com.
Related: CNB Obituaries