Advertisement

SGT Stephen H. Acocella

Advertisement

SGT Stephen H. Acocella

Birth
Montclair, Essex County, New Jersey, USA
Death
27 May 2015 (aged 93)
Vineland, Cumberland County, New Jersey, USA
Burial
Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey, USA
Memorial ID
152485912 View Source

Obituary of Stephen Acocella

Stephen H. Acocella, 93, while at home, went peacefully to be with the Lord on May 27, 2015. Stephen was born on December 23, 1921 in Montclair, N J to his parents, Antonio and Margaret Sadie Acocella and was the 8th in his family of 12 brothers and sisters. He attended Montclair schools and enlisted in the USMC right out of high school in July 1940 so that he could send money back home to help his family. At that time, he received $21.00 a month and sent his Dad $15.00 of it every month. He received his boot camp training in Paris Island, S C, served nine months in Cuba then was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he served in the defense of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His battery of 60 men was in a sugar cane field at Salt Lake Camp near the Harbor at Hickman Air Field when the attack occurred. They had no weapons or ammunition when the bombing and strafing took place and out of frustration threw rocks and potatoes at the enemy planes. He witnessed the sinking of the USS Arizona and participated in action against the enemy at Vella Lavella, 15Aug43-11May44. He did his first tour of duty overseas without a furlough home for 4 years. His two tours totaling 5 years, 5 months were in the Pacific. Stephen was in Okinawa when the war ended and was discharged in December 1945 with the rank of Sergeant. Stephen's story and interview has been recorded in the Library of Congress. Stephen married his wife JoAnn in 1948 and resided in Lodi, NJ for many years. Stephen was employed for many years at Tuscany Fabrics in Passaic, N J, and moved with the company to Anderson S C when it was sold and renamed Stauffer Chemicals where Stephen became manager of shipping and receiving. Upon retiring in 1981, Stephen and JoAnn moved to Vineland, N J. Stephen was an avid golfer all his life and worked many years as a caddie at Upper Montclair Country Club. He had the opportunity and enjoyed caddying for many of the great golf professionals such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper and Julius Bogart. After he moved to Vineland, for a time, he enjoyed playing at the Centerton, Cohansey, Buena Vista and Holly Hill golf clubs and remained a member of the Centerton Golf Club for many years. Stephen was proud to have had two holes in one in his golfing career. Stephen was also a good bowler for many years. He and JoAnn enjoyed bowling together in leagues and won many trophies for high game achievements. Stephen and JoAnn enjoyed dancing, playing cards, and traveling together. Everyday Stephen enjoyed feeding and watching the birds, squirrels and wild turkeys. He was an avid reader and always enjoyed seeing an occasional letter in the Daily Journal written by his longtime buddy John Quinesso. Stephen was proud to be a lifetime and the oldest member of the Marine Corps League Semper Marine Detachment 205. A lifetime member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and a lifetime member of the VFW. Stephen received Service Awards and Medals; Good Conduct Medal, Combat Service in Asiatic Pacific W/Stars, American Defense W/Star, World War II Victory W/Star, Distinguished Military Service Award from the State of New Jersey, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Congressional Commemorative, Distinguished Service Award Marine Corps League, Military Service Medal for Honorable Service from Cumberland County, Campaign Member of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation - National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Va., Certificate of Appreciation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars for faithful service to the National Veterans Service Program. Through the years, Stephen had spoken at schools in Vineland, Millville and Buena, at community events and had given many news media interviews about the experiences he had at Pearl Harbor. Stephen never considered himself the hero but always tried to help keep history alive, never forgetting those who gave their service at Pearl Harbor and always remembering the Motto - Remember Pearl Harbor - Keep America Alert.

Stephen was recently honored during a ceremony on December 7, 2014, by local officials, veterans and residents on the 73rd Anniversary of Pearl Harbor that was hosted by Russell Swanson, Executive Director of the Vineland Downtown Improvement District and the city's Welcome Home Committee, and MC'd by Matt Jordan of the Semper Marine Detachment 205. Stephen was presented with numerous proclamations, resolutions and certificates.

Throughout the years, Stephen enjoyed attending all the veteran events and did attend the Vineland Memorial Day Service at Landis Park this past Memorial Day where he was honored and recognized for being a Pearl Harbor Survivor. He always loved seeing everyone and appreciated being recognized and thanked for serving but much more liked thanking others for their service. He enjoyed the keynote speaker, US Marine Sgt. Michael Schenck's as he spoke from his heart and not with a prepared speech. Sgt. Schenck remembered seeing Stephen when he spoke at the Millville High School a few years ago and shared how Stephen was such an inspiration to him. It was nice to see the mutual respect and admiration that they each had for one another. Stephen resided in Vineland, N J for over 35 years. He was married for 64 years to his loving wife JoAnn, who passed away in 2012. He had two daughters, Antonia who passed away in 2008 and Margaret Ann with whom he resided. Stephen is survived by his loving daughter Margaret Ann and son-in-law Philip Cornwell, his brother Charles and sister-in-law Annette, his sister Jane Sorrentino, his sister-in-law Patricia Acocella and sister-in-law Gloria Acocella, grandchildren Philip and Megan Diliberto, Stephanie Diliberto, Joseph Segond and great grandson Dominick Diliberto as well as many loving nieces, nephews and friends. Stephen is predeceased by his loving wife JoAnn, his daughter Antonia Segond, his son-in-law George A Lopez, Sr., his brothers Joseph, Anthony, Nicholas Acocella, sisters Angelina and Rose Acocella, Marianne Post, Mary D DiNapoli, Lucy Maffucci, and Margaret Muscarello. Stephen was a very hard working man all his life, a loving husband and a wonderful Dad, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He loved spending time with his family and attending family functions. He was a highly respected man of great character and morals and a great inspiration and looked up to by many for his achievements in the USMC and being a Pearl Harbor Survivor. Stephen achieved and accomplished many things throughout his lifetime, but his greatest was that he knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Stephen was once asked what his secret to his long life was and his response was "my faith in God." Stephen will surely be sadly missed by all but always remembered as a very special man.

A Funeral Home Visitation will be on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 10am to 12pm followed by a funeral service at 12pm conducted by Stephen's son-in-law Philip L Cornwell, Pastor of Life In Christ Outreach Ministries at Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Ave. Vineland, NJ. Burial will follow in the Cumberland County Veterans Cemetery, Bridgeton, N J.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Life In Christ Outreach Ministries, PO Box 154, Deerfield Street, N J 08313

ARRANGEMENTS are under the supervision of Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360

To send online condolences please visit our website at www.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.com

Obituary of Stephen Acocella

Stephen H. Acocella, 93, while at home, went peacefully to be with the Lord on May 27, 2015. Stephen was born on December 23, 1921 in Montclair, N J to his parents, Antonio and Margaret Sadie Acocella and was the 8th in his family of 12 brothers and sisters. He attended Montclair schools and enlisted in the USMC right out of high school in July 1940 so that he could send money back home to help his family. At that time, he received $21.00 a month and sent his Dad $15.00 of it every month. He received his boot camp training in Paris Island, S C, served nine months in Cuba then was sent to Pearl Harbor, Hawaii where he served in the defense of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. His battery of 60 men was in a sugar cane field at Salt Lake Camp near the Harbor at Hickman Air Field when the attack occurred. They had no weapons or ammunition when the bombing and strafing took place and out of frustration threw rocks and potatoes at the enemy planes. He witnessed the sinking of the USS Arizona and participated in action against the enemy at Vella Lavella, 15Aug43-11May44. He did his first tour of duty overseas without a furlough home for 4 years. His two tours totaling 5 years, 5 months were in the Pacific. Stephen was in Okinawa when the war ended and was discharged in December 1945 with the rank of Sergeant. Stephen's story and interview has been recorded in the Library of Congress. Stephen married his wife JoAnn in 1948 and resided in Lodi, NJ for many years. Stephen was employed for many years at Tuscany Fabrics in Passaic, N J, and moved with the company to Anderson S C when it was sold and renamed Stauffer Chemicals where Stephen became manager of shipping and receiving. Upon retiring in 1981, Stephen and JoAnn moved to Vineland, N J. Stephen was an avid golfer all his life and worked many years as a caddie at Upper Montclair Country Club. He had the opportunity and enjoyed caddying for many of the great golf professionals such as Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Billy Casper and Julius Bogart. After he moved to Vineland, for a time, he enjoyed playing at the Centerton, Cohansey, Buena Vista and Holly Hill golf clubs and remained a member of the Centerton Golf Club for many years. Stephen was proud to have had two holes in one in his golfing career. Stephen was also a good bowler for many years. He and JoAnn enjoyed bowling together in leagues and won many trophies for high game achievements. Stephen and JoAnn enjoyed dancing, playing cards, and traveling together. Everyday Stephen enjoyed feeding and watching the birds, squirrels and wild turkeys. He was an avid reader and always enjoyed seeing an occasional letter in the Daily Journal written by his longtime buddy John Quinesso. Stephen was proud to be a lifetime and the oldest member of the Marine Corps League Semper Marine Detachment 205. A lifetime member of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association and a lifetime member of the VFW. Stephen received Service Awards and Medals; Good Conduct Medal, Combat Service in Asiatic Pacific W/Stars, American Defense W/Star, World War II Victory W/Star, Distinguished Military Service Award from the State of New Jersey, Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Congressional Commemorative, Distinguished Service Award Marine Corps League, Military Service Medal for Honorable Service from Cumberland County, Campaign Member of the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation - National Museum of the Marine Corps, Quantico, Va., Certificate of Appreciation from the Veterans of Foreign Wars for faithful service to the National Veterans Service Program. Through the years, Stephen had spoken at schools in Vineland, Millville and Buena, at community events and had given many news media interviews about the experiences he had at Pearl Harbor. Stephen never considered himself the hero but always tried to help keep history alive, never forgetting those who gave their service at Pearl Harbor and always remembering the Motto - Remember Pearl Harbor - Keep America Alert.

Stephen was recently honored during a ceremony on December 7, 2014, by local officials, veterans and residents on the 73rd Anniversary of Pearl Harbor that was hosted by Russell Swanson, Executive Director of the Vineland Downtown Improvement District and the city's Welcome Home Committee, and MC'd by Matt Jordan of the Semper Marine Detachment 205. Stephen was presented with numerous proclamations, resolutions and certificates.

Throughout the years, Stephen enjoyed attending all the veteran events and did attend the Vineland Memorial Day Service at Landis Park this past Memorial Day where he was honored and recognized for being a Pearl Harbor Survivor. He always loved seeing everyone and appreciated being recognized and thanked for serving but much more liked thanking others for their service. He enjoyed the keynote speaker, US Marine Sgt. Michael Schenck's as he spoke from his heart and not with a prepared speech. Sgt. Schenck remembered seeing Stephen when he spoke at the Millville High School a few years ago and shared how Stephen was such an inspiration to him. It was nice to see the mutual respect and admiration that they each had for one another. Stephen resided in Vineland, N J for over 35 years. He was married for 64 years to his loving wife JoAnn, who passed away in 2012. He had two daughters, Antonia who passed away in 2008 and Margaret Ann with whom he resided. Stephen is survived by his loving daughter Margaret Ann and son-in-law Philip Cornwell, his brother Charles and sister-in-law Annette, his sister Jane Sorrentino, his sister-in-law Patricia Acocella and sister-in-law Gloria Acocella, grandchildren Philip and Megan Diliberto, Stephanie Diliberto, Joseph Segond and great grandson Dominick Diliberto as well as many loving nieces, nephews and friends. Stephen is predeceased by his loving wife JoAnn, his daughter Antonia Segond, his son-in-law George A Lopez, Sr., his brothers Joseph, Anthony, Nicholas Acocella, sisters Angelina and Rose Acocella, Marianne Post, Mary D DiNapoli, Lucy Maffucci, and Margaret Muscarello. Stephen was a very hard working man all his life, a loving husband and a wonderful Dad, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. He loved spending time with his family and attending family functions. He was a highly respected man of great character and morals and a great inspiration and looked up to by many for his achievements in the USMC and being a Pearl Harbor Survivor. Stephen achieved and accomplished many things throughout his lifetime, but his greatest was that he knew Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Stephen was once asked what his secret to his long life was and his response was "my faith in God." Stephen will surely be sadly missed by all but always remembered as a very special man.

A Funeral Home Visitation will be on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 10am to 12pm followed by a funeral service at 12pm conducted by Stephen's son-in-law Philip L Cornwell, Pastor of Life In Christ Outreach Ministries at Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Ave. Vineland, NJ. Burial will follow in the Cumberland County Veterans Cemetery, Bridgeton, N J.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made to Life In Christ Outreach Ministries, PO Box 154, Deerfield Street, N J 08313

ARRANGEMENTS are under the supervision of Rone Funeral Service, 1110 East Chestnut Avenue, Vineland, NJ 08360

To send online condolences please visit our website at www.RONEFUNERALSERVICE.com


Inscription

SGT US Marine Corps
World War II
Pearl Harbor Survivor


Family Members

Flowers

In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees

Sponsored by Ancestry

Advertisement

  • Created by: Marvin Cope
  • Added: 18 Sep 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial ID: 152485912
  • Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/152485912/stephen-h-acocella: accessed ), memorial page for SGT Stephen H. Acocella (23 Dec 1921–27 May 2015), Find a Grave Memorial ID 152485912, citing Cumberland County Veterans Cemetery, Bridgeton, Cumberland County, New Jersey, USA; Maintained by Marvin Cope (contributor 48201562) .