Joseph Rao

Obituary of Joseph Rao

It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Joseph Rao, age 80 of Fair Lawn NJ. Joseph left us on June 26, 2024. Joseph was born on April 22, 1944, in Rosarno, Italy. Joseph Lived in Italy up until he was 13 years old. He resided in South Hackensack for 15 years. He then Met the woman of his dreams, Gloria Rathbun and got married had a son Dominick Rao and moved to Fair Lawn NJ and had a daughter Christine Rao five years later. Joseph and Gloria were happily married for 52 years. He worked for the Hackensack Water Company for 27 years. He was a hard-working loyal man who everyone loved and kept in touch with over the years. After retiring from the Hackensack Water Company as every knows he was not able to just retire and not do anything. He then worked part time at the Bourgh of Fair Lawn as a Bus driver for 12 years. He absolutely loved driving the kids around and making them laugh. He had many hobbies throughout his life including Soccer and gardening. He Coached soccer for many years after having a daughter who followed in his footsteps for the love of the game. Everyone loved him and still remembers him as one of the best coaches around. If you came over to visit you would find him relaxing in the living room watching a soccer game, which he enjoyed doing often. If he was not watching a good game of soccer, you would find him outside taking care of his garden. He literally had Italy in his back yard. From fig trees to Pomegranate trees to chestnut trees to pear trees and lemon trees. He prided himself on all the gardening and trees that he maintained throughout the years. Joe had a heart of gold and made everyone feel at home. He treated everyone as though they were family. He was a great man and will sorely be missed by all. Forever in our hearts, rest in peace dear Joe. Your legacy of love, laughter and passion will continue to inspire us. He is predeceased by his parents, Anthony Rao, his son Dominick Rao, and many brothers and sisters. He is survived by his Wife Gloria Rao, daughter Christine Rao, Sister-in Law Theresa Galvin, nieces Lina Dodson and Antonietta Anderson. Great nephew Nickolas Polischeck, great niece Brianna Wagner, great niece Melissa Anderson and Nicole Andeson, great great niece Lillanna, Godson Joey Ruta, brother-in law Daniel Rathbun and sister-in law Elisa Rathbun, Nephew and godson Timothy Rathbun, Niece Jessicca Goense, and much more family and friends. The Funeral will begin on Tuesday July 9, at 8:15 AM at the G. Thomas Gentile Funeral Home, 397 Union Street , Hackensack, NJ. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held 9:30 AM at St. Anne's R.C. Church, 15-05 St. Anne Street, Fairlawn, immediately followed by burial at George Washington Memorial Park Cemetery in Paramus, NJ. The family will receive friends on Monday July 8th from 4:00 – 8:00 PM for visitation at the funeral home. The family request that in lieu of flowers please make a donation in Joseph's memory to: St Jude's children's hospital. 262 Danny Thomas Pl, Memphis TN 38105. To send condolences, directions, or for further information visit
A Memorial Tree was planted for Joseph
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at G Thomas Gentile Funeral Home
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