Joseph ("Joe") Anthony Musorafite, a longtime resident of Green Brook, died peacefully at his home on April 14, 2012. A
charismatic individual who was respected in the community, Joe was involved in many pursuits, particularly sports and fitness, art and history. He was particularly known for his passion for weightlifting, and attended the YMCA in Somerville, where he had been honored with a lifetime membership. Joe maintained a wide array of interests and touched the lives of many.
Joe was born in New York City on Aug. 28, 1930, the youngest of seven children. His parents, Anthony and Maria Musorafite, were immigrants from Calabria, Italy. He attended Haaren High School, (now DeWitt Clinton High), an all-boys public school in the Bronx, where he became known for his skills in art, oratory, and electronics. Although he had never had the
opportunity to attend college, it was this latter interest that would
develop into his full-time career. Drafted into the Army during the Korean
War in 1951, Joe rose to the rank of sergeant, and his innate mathematical abilities made him a valuable Radar Technician.
After the war he was hired by RCA as a Communications Specialist, attaining the position of Technical Operations Manager. Most notably, his unit was responsible for establishing and maintaining communications for Skylab, the United States first experimental space station. After a distinguished career spanning over 30 years, he retired in 1992.
A lifelong fitness enthusiast, Joe mentored many gym members over the
years, including those who had undergone serious medical procedures.
Admired by many who marveled at his ability to maintain a rigorous exercise regimen well into his seventies, Joe attributed his robust health to discipline and a positive attitude. It was definitely these characteristics
that helped him win the New York State Weightlifting Championship title in
the mid-1950s. He was also an accomplished amateur painter, having had
several exhibitions of his works in the Warren Township Public Library.
Joe married Diana Gavdur on Feb. 7, 1959, and together they had two
daughters. They remained married until Diana's death in 1992. He was lucky enough to find love again, and on Oct. 26, 1998, he married his second wife, the former Caron Anderson. He is survived by his widow Caron, daughter Nina Sweeney (Brian), daughter Nancy Lutz (Erich), stepson Ryan Natusch, and grandchildren Anthony Lutz and Nicole Sweeney. Joe was beloved by his family and countless friends and will be sorely missed.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, April 19, 2012 at 9:30 am at the Higgins Home for Funerals, 752 Mountain Blvd., Watchung, followed by a 10:30 am Mass of Resurrection at Our Lady of the Mount Chapel in Warren and interment at Somerset Hills Memorial Park Cemetery in Basking Ridge. Visitation Wednesday from 2-4 & 7-9 pm.