|Birth: ||Jan. 26, 1914|
|Death: ||Jan. 26, 2004|
Daily Record (Morristown, NJ) - January 28, 2004
Deceased Name: HACKETTSTOWN -- Joseph Risko died Jan. 26, 2004. He was 90.
ACKETTSTOWN -- Joseph Risko died Jan. 26, 2004. He was 90. He was born Joseph Hriczko on Jan. 26, 1914, in the Landing section of Roxbury, the son of Elizabeth Shestak and John Hriczko. His father was killed in an explosion at Atlas Powder and his mother remarried Stephen Regula. Born to an impoverished immigrant family, he set out to achieve the American dream. He worked hard and studied at school and was granted a scholarship to Trenton State University, where he was an athlete and a scholar. He taught at a high school in Pleasantville until World War II began.
Mr. Risko enlisted in the U.S. Navy and soon became a part of the history lessons that he would later teach. During his six years in the Navy, he studied languages and was a Russian translator. He served on the U.S.S. McCall in the Pacific, the U.S.S. Tillman in the Atlantic and translated at the Yalta Conference. His military career began as a Seaman Recruit and he received an honorable discharge as a Lieutenant Commander. During his time in the military, he was sent to continue his education at Northwestern University for radio school, Colorado State University at Boulder for Russian language school and post-graduate school at Annapolis for intelligence. After his discharge from the military, he continued his education, earning a master's degree from New York University and studying post-graduate at Columbia University.
Shortly before his discharge from the Navy, he met a young woman named Cora Gensheimer. He fell madly in love with this woman and decided that he wanted to create a life and family with her. They married in 1948, and started a family with their two sons, John Charles and Joseph Francis. They lived in Hackettstown, where Mr. Risko was a teacher, coach and eventually principal of Hackettstown High School. They moved back to Port Morris when he became principal of Roxbury High School.
The family lived in Port Morris for many years and Mr. Risko was made superintendent of schools for Roxbury, where he spent the remainder of his career until he retired in 1973. He was an active member of the Roxbury Rotary Club, having served as a past president, an active member of the Hackettstown Kiwanis Club having served as past vice-president, a lifelong member of the Stanhope American Legion, a lifelong member of the Kenvil VFW, a member of the Independence Masonic Lodge, a member of the NEA, NJEA and Retired Teaching Administrators Association, a member of the Port Morris United Methodist Church, a Charity Member of the Roxbury Library, a member of the Roxbury Historical Society and the Roxbury Senior Citizens.
He changed the spelling of his surname from Hriczko to Risko in an effort to make it easier for students and parents to pronounce. He was an educator and loved learning and teaching. He was a patriot and loved his country and all that its freedoms stood for and allowed to become possible. He wasn't the wealthiest person, but he always found room for charity and loved giving back to educational institutions and worthwhile causes. Of all of his achievements, Joseph Risko, his family has said, "should be remembered as a loving husband, a supportive brother, a kind father, and the greatest grandfather put on earth. He will be deeply missed by his surviving wife, two sons, and six grandchildren as well as his brother, Emil Regula, and his two sisters, Mary Seargent and Helen Derling. His spirit lives on through all that he left behind."
Funeral services will be held at Morgan Funeral Home, 31-33 Main St., Netcong. The viewing will be 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29. The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Friday. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made to: Carol Tycko/administrative director, Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain, 630 West 168th St., P&S Box 16, New York, N.Y. 10032 (212) 305-1818. The family wishes it known that Mr. Risko suffered from Alzheimer's disease and that his brain was donated for research "in hope that better treatments and a cure can be found for this tragic disease."
John Hriczko (1885 - 1916)
Elizabeth Sestak Hriczko Regula (1888 - 1974)
Cora Mae Gensheimer Risko (1922 - 2007)*
Joseph Risko (1914 - 2004)
Mary E Hriczko Sargent (1916 - 2006)*
Stephen Frank Regula (1921 - 1989)**
Stanhope Union Cemetery
New Jersey, USA
Maintained by: GunnaFindThem
Originally Created by: Patricia McConnell
Record added: Sep 22, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 59066015