Joseph James Pasanella, of Cherry, Ariz. and formerly of Payson, died July 23, 2007.
He was born Sept. 16, 1935 in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y. The son of Laura and Joseph Pasanella, he was extremely proud of his Italian heritage and upbringing.
Mr. Pasanella graduated from New York University, Brockport, with a degree in education and later obtained a master's degree in special education from Columbia University.
Among his professional accomplishments, Mr. Pasanella was director of special education for the State of Arizona, special education supervisor for Santa Barbara School District in Santa Barbara, Calif., developer and implementer of the "High Expectation Philosophy" currently used in most nationwide special education programs, "Master Plan for Special Education" coordinator for Stanislaus County Department of Education, education consultant, president of the Classroom Teachers Association, in Hempstead, N.Y., grant writer, published author, special education teacher, public school teacher and athletic coach.
He was also Senior Olympic Power Lifting Champion at 65 years of age and served as a Navy medic in the Korean War.
Mr. Pasanella is survived by his loving wife and best friend, Gloria Melluzzo-Pasanella; his son, Doug Pasanella, of Phoenix; his daughter, Laurie and her husband, Ed Charbonneau, of Oregon; his stepdaughter, Suzanne, and her husband, John Martin, of California; and 10 grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings: Lillian Paterra, Jim Pasanella, Virginia Mondesando, Amelia Merola, Cele Bonadies and their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
His son, David Pasanella, and stepson, Robby Cios preceded Mr. Pasanella in death.
Visitation for family and friends will be held at the Sunrise Funeral Home, 8167 E. Highway 69, Prescott Valley, Ariz. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, July 27. A funeral Mass in his honor will be held at St. Germaine Catholic Church, 7997 E. Dana Drive, Prescott Valley at 10 a.m., Saturday, July 28. A gathering for family and friends will be held following the Mass at the church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, PO Box 26228, Prescott Valley, AZ 86312.