September 3, 1927 - April 4, 2019
A Good and Honorable Man: A Life Well-Lived Statements in Honor of William Joseph Fuzzi: From his daughter, Patricia: I am deeply saddened by a great loss that mere words can not convey. My father, on April 4, 2019, after a courageous fight and remarkable recovery that stunned everyone slipped quietly away. He simply, peacefully closed his eyes and left as if not to disturb any of us. ‘Persevere’ was his motto in life and he lived it to the very end. I can only try to live up to his legacy. My father was devoted to his family. He was a loyal son, a devoted brother, a dedicated husband, an exemplary father and a stellar grandfather. My dad was extremely proud to be an American. He was the first in his family born in the United States. He did well in school as a child and teen. He always helped his family....his parents and brothers. He was the third of four brothers. He helped to raise his younger brother, referring to him as his ‘first baby.’ I find solace in knowing that he is now reunited with all those that he loved that passed before him. My dad went from high school to the United States Army. He served honorably in the United States Army in World War II. He was in the Military Police and his specialty was helping the ‘displaced persons’....primarily families and children....helping to free them from the horrible camps of World War II and helping them to find their loved ones and make their way home. I am moved and proud to think that my dad’s face and strong, yet gentle demeanor was the first act of kindness those survivors encountered. Upon his re-entry into the United States, my dad didn’t skip a beat. He went straight to college. Studying at the University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana. He had a stellar college experience with his studies. He played college football. He was devoted to the ‘Fighting Illini.’ He remained an active alumni member. He took great pride in his Alma Mater. He had an incredible career as a professional civil engineer. He did design work and project management for important national and international projects. He designed bridges, highways, roadways, airports and subways, among other structures. He was a strong engineering influence in the United States and abroad. His work is imprinted all over the United States and reaches out as far as the Middle East. He was also a professor in his field and mentor to many. He set the bar of his profession very high and guided those he taught well. I know because he was my first and best teacher in life. Bill proudly attended Thomas Edison Elementary School in Union City,New Jersey. Bill graduated successfully from Emerson High School in Union City New Jersey. Bill graduated with high honors from The University of Illinois at Champagne-Urbana and was a proud “Fighting Illini!!” My father made charitable contributions as an active alumni to his Alma Mater his entire life!! He also made charitable contributions to the Veterans of Foreign War and St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital (among others). Bill’s primary professional affiliations were with: *DeLeuw and Cather *UrbiTran *Blauvelt Engineering Bill taught at: *Penn State University *New York Institute of Technology *Brooklyn PolyTech He was an exemplar as a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, friend, soldier, student, teacher, professional and human being. Prayers for him are well-deserved prayers. My dad and all of us have truly appreciated the positive energy and the prayers sent to him in his final chapter. God will bless each and every person for having sent love and good wishes to a good, honest, respectable and always kind man. We moved to Old Bridge from Forest Hills, NY. We settled into Foxborough Village....in fact, we were among the first families to move in!! We got to watch the community grow and thrive. My entire family has volunteered with all community activities (following in my mom’s lead) in Foxborough Village for 33 years!! Many generations of kids will remember my dad...always making sure each and every child was served equally. Each child got their hot dog, cup cake or goody bag!! And, more importantly, that each child was laughing and smiling! My dad was a very strong man in his life and his strength will only increase now. He will be with us always and forever. He will protect us and guide us, as he did in life. We will feel his presence always. He will live on in our memories and our hearts. My family and I have been blessed to have such a good man as a husband, father and grandfather. To his last breath on this earth, his thoughts and concerns were for all of us and not himself. He even passed quietly and proudly. God was kind to my dad for a life well-lived. It suddenly dawned upon me that I was the last person in the family to see him alive. I heard his last words. ‘It’s ok. It’s all good.’ These words shall remain in my heart. He gave me a great gift in this way. Italians do not say ‘good-bye’....we say ‘arrivederci’...until we see each other, again....so, dad, this is not good-bye, it is arrivederci!! We will see each other again!! Dad, you are forever my ‘popsy-doodle.’ You have always been not only a great dad to me (and a strong father figure to my friends), but you were also my guide, my mentor and my best friend. I love you so much and you live in my heart forever. I have asked you to come to greet me when it will be my time. I know that you will because there is no one truer to their word than you, my dear dad. There is only one way that I can survive losing you here on earth and that is if I follow your lead....I shall persevere, my dear daddy....in your honor, I shall persevere. On April 4, 2019, my daughter, Francesca, wrote a touching tribute to her grandpa, whom she cherished: Today my grandpa, William Joseph Fuzzi, has passed away. Anyone who knows me knows he was my father and my best friend. There is nobody on this planet who I have loved and adored and looked up to like this beautiful man. He did everything for me and if I am anything at all to this day, it is because of him and no one else. I thanked him today for all the walks collecting leaves in the fall and singing to me in the kitchen when we sat together every day of my childhood.. and getting me to and from school everyday...and showing me how to draw and be an engineer. And always calling to me, ‘booboo, look!’ when he saw a rabbit or a bird. I asked him to come to me and visit and give me signs he’s here. And, please, please, to come get me when it’s my turn. But, to always stay with me because I need him every day. I love you, grandpa. I know heaven needed you. You are far too kind and too good for this world. It never deserved you, but we were so so lucky to have you here. There is no one you didn’t reach. I love you grandpa so, so much... thank you for every little thing and every big thing...🖤rest in peace my beautiful grandpa. On April 5, 2019, Francesca wrote: Thank you everyone for your kindness... grandpa loved everyone so much. He was the most kind and simple man. All he ever wanted to do was sit at his seat at the kitchen table and read the paper and have a snack or some coffee. And I would sit across from him and color and draw or play or just talk to him. And when I got a little bit older, by the time I was maybe 8, I would love to make him something to eat myself and he was always so proud of me, a little girl chopping onions or vegetables and making him an omelette or even a big pot of chili. Even though I was always by his side, I learned how to be independent because of him. He is why I love to clean, why I love to grocery shop, why I love to make things, and why I love to cook something and watch someone eat it. I learned how to do everything perfectly because I was never afraid to fail. He would show me how to do anything or make anything, spell anything, write anything. I owe everything to him. I would give anything to sit at that table one more time and look out the window for birds or to take a walk and pick up leaves with him or to go to Foodtown or Shoprite and push my little shopping cart next to his or have a can of Hawaiian Punch at the table. There isn’t enough time in the world to say all the amazing things he did for me or all the little memories that I will never forget. Every day with him was the best day ever. From my son, Alessandro, as told to me with such love and fond remembrance: For Alessandro, his grandpa will always be the fun and playful grandpa who always took care of him. He’s not the man whose knees gave out due to arthritis. He’s not the man who needed a boost of oxygen in his last days. For Alessandro, his grandpa lives on in his happy memories.....in his favorite memory of all....everyday, they watched Sponge Bob. Grandpa always danced around and sang along to the Sponge Bob theme song and at the end of the song, he played his nose like a flute just like Sponge Bob and it made Alessandro laugh everyday. We all know that’s why Grandpa did it....to make Alessandro happy and laugh everyday. We all bet you, Grandpa is playing his flute nose right now (toot-too-toot-too-toot) to make us all happy and laugh! Message from my mother, Anna, to my father and her husband, Bill (Billuccio): I will never forget when we met at a birthday party in New York City and it was love at first sight. We have been married for 55 years!! You have been a wonderful husband, a great father to our daughter, Patricia, whom you loved so much. You were an amazing grandfather to our grandchildren: Stefano (Tepo), Francesca (Checca) and Alessandro (Bean). They meant the world to you and you took such incredible care of them and gave them so much love and attention. Even, now, as you faced so many physical challenges, you were concerned about them!! You spoke out: ‘Stefano, are you ok? Did you eat?’; ‘Francesca, Booboo, when are you coming home?’; ‘Alessandro, how was your day at school?’ You were the best son to your parents (Ciro and Amelia), the best brother to Maximilian (March, Maxie), Napoleon (Nappy, Paul) and George (Georgie). You loved your niece, Madeleine (only child of your oldest brother, March). You always wish she lived closer to our family. You loved your nephew, Paul, your niece, Doreen (Paul’s children), and your grand-niece, Christina (only child of Paul Jr.), as well. You loved to sing and dance. You were quick on your feet!! All you did was fast-paced and precise. You even walked fast!! You were an outstanding professional civil engineer and an exceptional professor. You achieved so much in your life because that’s who you were: an ‘achiever!!’ I love you and will love you forever!! I am lost without you!! Your wife, Anna A special heartfelt thanks goes out to Dr. Edward Von Der Schmidt III, an exceptional neurosurgeon and outstanding person. My dad had a head injury many, many years ago. Dr. Von Der Schmidt saved my father’s life and in so doing gave my dad and our family the gift of life!! My dad was able to enjoy nearly 20 more years of life. He was able to enjoy his grandchildren watching his grandchildren grow into young adults!! We all greatly benefited from so many more years with Grandpa Bill!! Thank you to Michael Maiello for the extraordinary nursing care that he gave to Grandpa Billuccio at the hospital! Mikey spoke to him about hot dogs and Halloween parties instead of medicine and IV’s....and that was the best medicine of all! My dad watched Mikey grow up and it was a privilege and honor to have him care for Grandpa Bill! God bless you, Mikey! I want to take a moment to thank the amazing team at the Kindred LTAC. Cheryl, I could breathe when I knew you were there watching over my dad. Preston, you sang and danced with us and brought joy with your stellar Sinatra renditions. Lance and Mitch, you brought laughter to us all with your compassionate sense of humor. Chris, Maria, Kristen, Ashley ...just to name a few...all great nurses...I’m sorry I can’t name each and everyone of you...you all provided exceptional care for my dad and had so much patience with all of us!! Al you were true to your word. Margaret you were our guide!! Kindred...you will always have our gratitude! We will remain eternally grateful to the amazing staff at the Highlands Care One!! You set the bar to a whole new standard of care!! Your facility should be the protocol for other rehabilitation centers to follow!! Bob, you run an incredible facility and under your guidance, your staff excels and goes above and beyond the call of duty!! Alexandra, your empathy and professionalism allow you to lead a wonderful team of nurses!! Juanita, you took such impeccable care of my father and always with respect and dignity. You always kept us informed and involved!! Rachel, Jennifer, Suzy, Dion...I always felt relieved when my dad was under your care. You always answered my questions and welcomed my participation. Lucia, Cassandra, and all the aides....kudos to you all for the hard work that you do with such care and grace! Margaret...always ready to answer my questions and you usually answered before I even asked!! You just knew!! Olinda, you made all my requests happen!! Ann in the dining room....you had smiles for us all everyday!! Stephanie....what can I say??? You made magic for us. You were the first person that we met there and every word you said to us came true!! You are the heart and soul of the Highlands! You made us feel like we were home! You even let me dance with the residents and included mom in events!! I know I haven’t named everyone, but you were all unforgettable!! The way the entire staff lead dad out with his favorite song (Frank Sinatra’s 'Strangers in the Night') with colors, candles and positive energy is remarkable!! You can not imagine the comfort and support we felt! Many of you cried with us and embraced us!! These moments are forever etched in our minds and hearts. God bless all those who helped my father and all of us. Mom and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of my dad, Bill. My dad lived 91 years, 7 months and 1 day!! He was literally the last man standing from his peer group!! He outlived his brothers, friends and colleagues. I know they are all reunited now. I also know that my dad is now our guardian angel taking care of us all, as he always did!! I love you and always will, Daddy!! Oh, Dad...when it’s my time and you come to greet me, don’t forget our secret doorbell code (toot-too-toot-toot-too-too)!! Arrivederci....till we see each other again!! A tribute to my dad, William Joseph Fuzzi, my real-life superhero: Dad.... I keep thinking of so many special and wonderful things that you did for me and all of us...big things....small things....even the small things were big things....and you know what, dad??? It would take the rest of my days and then some to even try to capture all that you did for all of us. To try to depict the essence of who you were with mere words is simply not possible!!! The great thing....the beautiful thing is that you knew who you were....so did we....you were William Joseph Fuzzi, WJF, Willy, Bill, Billuccio, Dad, Daddy, “Popsy-Doodle,” Faaaather, Grandpa, Grandpa Bill....you were YOU!!! You were, are and always will be my superhero. You are the one and only person that I could 100% rely on....we all could!!! You were so honest, so dependable....you never did much for yourself....until your very last day....even in the hard days....your only thoughts were for all of us....you weren’t asking about yourself....your thoughts were on us....most especially, you just wanted to make sure the kids were ok....your STEFANO (Tepo), your FRANCESCA (Checca, Booboo) and your ALESSANDRO (Bean)....they were all your “babies” and ever since each one was born, they were your main focus....your joy in life...it was all about them!! You were the greatest ally and friend that any of us will ever have and we were and are blessed! You adored your wife and there has never been a truer husband!! You gave me a life of dedication, love, affection and attention. We did all the holiday decorations together.... our “Pumpy, Bumpy, Lumpy, Jumpy” family of Halloween pumpkins, Christmas decorations galore, personalized Easter eggs, flags for patriotic holidays (and, actually, you always had a flag because you were patriotic everyday)... I will continue the traditions that you started and so will the kids. We drew and painted together, studied together, read the same books and discussed them (Sherlock Holmes and Agatha Christie books were our favorites and, of course, Hercule Poirot was our favorite detective), watched TV and movies together! You took me and my friends everywhere!! You hung out with me at Rutgers. You drove me and the kids everywhere!!! You were a man of your word. You always spoke the truth. You were fearless in that way!! And you lived and loved with your actions and not just your words. You did everything for everyone everyday of your life! You loved Al Jolson’s lyrics....”I’d walk a million miles for one of your smiles.” That song referred to the singer’s “mammy”....Dad, you walked way more than a million miles for our smiles” every single day!! Dad, even your last words to me were a gift and an expression of your selfless love....I asked you how you were...you said, “It’s all ok....it’s all good...it’s all ok....it’s all fine.” I know that you are fine....you have already sent me so many signs....please, keep them coming....I need you by my side always....and I’ll see you when it’s my time....I’ll keep hearing you sing Sinatra songs in my heart till you sing them to me again....I love you always and forever.... oh, and you win....you always called me “Patreeeesha” and I used to say it’s “Patrihsha” and you said that you named me, so it’s “Patreeesha”....I concede (haha)....it’s “Patreeeesha” and, oh, what I would give to hear you say it, again...but, I will....when it’s my time....arrivederci....till I see you again, my dear Daddy..... We want to extend our sincerest thanks to our family and friends for their compassion and support at this time of great loss. We thank you for honoring my father by paying your respects and speaking of him so highly. My dad lived a good and honest life. He deserves the honor and praise. My father lived a full and blessed life. He had outlived his peer group. His parents, brothers, friends and colleagues had all passed before him. It is of comfort to know that he is now reunited with all those that he lost that he had loved so much. As such, it has been heart-warming to see all the honor and tributes....the happy recollections.....from the younger generations. He was a remarkable father figure to my age group. Back in the day, many of my peers, thanked my dad....I heard many say, “hey, thanks Mr.Fuzzi....if not for you, we really wouldn’t go anywhere or do anything.” This reflects that he was a man ahead of his times. He was an engaged and actively participating dad way before it became “in vogue” to do so!! My dad stood apart...he followed his heart....he did it “his way!” It also brought joy to see my children’s friends pay homage to Grandpa Bill. He was a familiar presence for all of them. To many, he was the only grandpa in their lives. Grandpa’s house was open to all and always full of everyone’s favorite snacks and beverages. And everyone knew that at Grandpa Bill’s house, they could get anything they wanted from the kitchen because they felt “at home.” Yet, they usually didn’t have to go to the kitchen cabinets because Grandpa Bill, who was always one step ahead, had the placemats perfectly set out on the kitchen table with napkins perfectly folded and snacks and drinks laid out for the kids!! My dad loved kids....loved their pure honesty and their absolute delight at the simple things....that’s how he was himself at every age. He managed to live his motto....to “persevere” and he did so by keeping himself “young at heart!” It is also amazing to see, in this fast-paced world in which we live, that so many people....the bank tellers, the supermarket cashiers, the kids’ teachers, the restaurant wait staff....all touched by him....all felt a loss. Right up to his last chapter, he always lifted his fedora hat and said, “how do you do?” And then, he waited to hear their reply! It has been amazing to see that even those who cared for him recently came to honor and respect him. The real Bill still managed to come out and many of his care givers called him “pappa.” My father touched the lives of everyone he met. He lives on in our hearts and memories. He will continue to keep his caring and watchful eye upon us. I thought of something funny....my dad expressed his love and care for others in his gestures and actions. His words were often short and to the point. I just saw him in my mind’s eye....I believe that he would tip his hat, as he always did, and say, “so long...see you around!” With new things that I learned at his services my dad is far, far greater of a hero and exemplar than I already knew him to be...I also found many awards and achievements of his among his things that he never even mentioned....a true unsung hero and that’s the way he wanted it....he was humble and that’s what a true hero is all about....a true hero sacrifices to do what is right - not for the recognition, but simply because it is the right thing to do!! My dad is a true hero!! God bless his soul. A special thank you to Reynald, my dad’s physical therapist from Kindred. You motivated my dad and worked with him so closely! You were the first to get him back into sitting in a chair after his long hospital stay! You said he was very strong and you were certain he would be able to do more at the rehab facility and you worked with dad so closely that, in fact, he did do more! He even got to stand up again!! He played catch, he lifted weights and had fun in the gym!! Everyone was amazed by his strength! Thank you....you inspired him and you gave us hope, as well. My family and I would like to thank the Hegarty and Scalia Funeral Home and the entire staff for guiding us graciously through this most difficult period of time when we are suffering a great loss. Jeremiah and his team went above and beyond the call of duty. My father was treated with great honor, dignity and respect. We were extended every courtesy and given much compassion and care. We were able to get through this heart-breaking process thanks to their professionalism and humanity. Thank you. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Thursday at St. Thomas the Apostle located at 1 St Thomas Plaza Old Bridge, New Jersey 08857. Interment will be in Holy Cross Burial Park Cemetery, East Brunswick, NJ. The family will receive friends from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Michael Hegarty & John Vincent Scalia Home For Funerals and Cremation Service, 3377 US Highway 9, Old Bridge, New Jersey. Online condolences may be made to the family at www.HegartyScaliaFuneralHome.com Once the headstone is ready at the cemetery, there will be a military ceremony playing taps in William's honor and the date will be announced for those who would like to be in attendance.
A Good and Honorable Man: A Life Well-Lived Statements in Honor of William Joseph Fuzzi: From his daughter, Patricia: I am deeply saddened by a great loss that mere words can not convey. My father, on April 4, 2019, after a courageous fight... View Obituary & Service Information
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