Joseph A. "King Joe" Amendolaro, 94, of Elmhurst Twp., died Friday morning at Hospice of the Sacred Heart. He and his wife, the former Annette "Toots" Scartelli, were married for 61 years.
Born in Dunmore, he was the son of the late Sylvester and Mamie Telesco Amendolaro and was a member of St. Eulalia Church in Elmhurst Twp.
Joe left high school at age 16 to help his father deliver baked goods in the Scranton area for 10 years. After the Gold Medal Bakery closed in 1954, he served two years in the United States Army stationed in Alaska. Upon his return home, he eventually took over a store once owned by his uncle, Tony "King" Telesco on East Drinker Street in Dunmore. He and his wife owned and operated the store for 40 years.
King Joe was an Olympic weightlifter having represented the United States at the World Championships and won a world championship while lifting in Mattersburg, Austria. He has three U.S. records in weightlifting and one U.S. record in powerlifting. He became very good friends with Bob Hoffman, the father of weightlifting, as he coached Joe during competitions.
Joe also represented the U.S. in a 52-mile cross country ski race in Sweden, where he finished in under nine hours. It is there he found the magical health benefits of blueberries as he was served hot "blueberry soup" made with honey and spring water. That led him to planting a blueberry patch which many and friends enjoy to this very day.
He was a weightlifting coach for the Dunmore Bucks Football Team for more than 25 years while working alongside Coach Henzes, his dedication to the strength and health of Dunmore's youth was incredible.
A special thank you to the Rev. Jeff Tudgay, Mary Jo Amendolaro, Bruce Amendolaro, Jill Mathewson, and all his nieces and nephews for their support, care and compassion.
Also surviving are two sons, Joseph A., Easton; and Anthony "Tony," Elmhurst Twp.; two grandsons, Dino and Pasquale; a brother, Vito, Dunmore; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by two sisters, Catherine "Kay" Woehrle and Grace Bartos; and two brothers, Patsy and James.
The funeral will be Tuesday from the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home Inc., 318 E. Drinker St. in Dunmore, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. in St. Eulalia's Church, Elmhurst. Burial to follow in Cathedral Cemetery.
Joe's family requests any Dunmore football players that attend the funeral to wear their jersey.
Friends may call Monday at the funeral home from 4 to 7 p.m. Memorial contributions may be made to the Parents Loving Children Through Autism Foundation, 1243 Wyoming Ave., Scranton, PA 18509.
PLCTA--Parents Loving Children Through Autism
1243 Wyoming Avenue, Scranton PA 18509