Friday, April 16, 2010

Joe Azzolina: RIP

Joe Azzolina passed away yesterday evening at St. Vincents Hospital in New York. He was 84.

Azzolina was a great family man, entrepreneur, philanthropist and civic leader.

He built his family business, founded by his parents as a small corner grocery store in Highlands, into the SuperFoodtown chain with stores throughout Monmouth and Ocean counties. The company remains a family business today, lead by his nephews and sons.

Azzolina enlisted in the Navy upon graduating from high school in 1943 during World War II, and was called back to action in 1950 to serve in the Korean War.

He represented much of Monmouth County in the state legislature in the Assembly from 1965 to 1972, the Senate in 1973 and 1974, the Assembly from 1986-1988, and finally from 1992 through 2006.

He was the owner of The Courier, the bayshore weekly newspaper, buying the paper from the estate of its founder in 1982.

I will always remember Azzolina as an honest man from the moment I met him in 1997. I was at the statehouse in Trenton to lobby against a bill that was on the calender that day. Coming upon Azzolina in the corridor, I introduced myself as his constituent and asked him to vote against the bill. Without hesitation he gruffly told me I was wasting my time and to go home. He said the leadership and the governor had already determined the bill was going to pass. Every other legislator I talked to that day placated me. The bill passed.

Senator Joe Kyrillos said this morning that Azzolina as a "businessman, military officer, legislator, father and leading citizen lived a remarkable life and led by deed and example."

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Azzolina and Scaduto families.


Anonymous said...

He was a great man. A leader, public servant, entrepanaur, patriot...incredible! A great loss. My thoughts and prayers are with him.

Anonymous said...

Loved Joe Azz. because you always knew where he stood. He didn't kiss ass b/c he didn't have to--he was a self-made man. The GOP screwed him too in the end esp. Amy Handlin. He was a fighter until the end but now he can RIP Joe AZZ--you'll be missed. You were one great guy.

He was one of the best said...

I never knew that man to refuse to help any of our groups,civic OR political, or any family, or person who needed it.. a sad loss for the county, district, and state.. the jealous ones who helped to destroy his wonderful town square concept, and hurt him at the end of his sterling legislative service career, should be ashamed of themselves..there are so few patriots and "real," decent, selfless public sevants left, it is scary.. who will now step up to remember it takes regular folks to make this system work?.. who will pick up the gauntlet and save the Battleship NJ once again, now that the Corzine cuts have left that ship, wasting away down in Camden, where it should never have gone,in sad disrepair!..I do hope the silence isn't deafening!.. from so many of us, thank you, Captain Joe, we will always remember you fondly!