Joseph A. Skwarek, 92, of
Rome, passed away peacefully on Sunday, February
28, 2016. He was born on April 14, 1923 in Rome.
He was a graduate of St. Aloysius Academy and went
to Ithaca College on an athletic scholarship and
was a three sport performer. He also earned
varsity letters at Hobart College while with the
Navy V-12 program. On June 9, 1951 he married
Barbara Hartigan in Farmingdale, LI. She passed
away on July 1, 1998.
Joe enlisted in the Navy during
World War II and was commissioned as a deck
officer from the Cornell University Midshipman
School, serving in the Mediterranean Theater with
the amphibious fleet.
After being honorably
discharged from the Navy, Joe became a member of
the physical education department of the Rome City
School District in 1948. During his 40 year career
he coached a variety of varsity and modified
teams, including baseball, basketball, football
and cross country and spent 18 years as an
athletic trainer for the football team. Coach
Skwarek led the RFA Black Knights varsity baseball
team for 27 seasons and led them to seven COL
championships and a Section III title. He was also
the first cross country coach at RFA.
Coach Skwarek was active in the
community. He was on the fundraising committees
for RFA Stadium and Kennedy Arena and spent 16
years as the assistant to the superintendent of
recreation of the City of Rome and two years as
superintendent. In 2004, he was inducted into the
Rome Sports Hall of Fame.
Joe is survived by two sons and
daughters-in-law, Gary M. and Sandra K. Skwarek
and Joseph M. and Rita L. Hartigan; two
grandchildren, Alex and Jessica Skwarek; a half
brother, Frank Civiok; and several nieces and
nephews. He was predeceased by three sisters,
Helen Domagal, Jane Kozik and Mary Anne Belensky.
Funeral services will be held
on Thursday from Nunn and Harper Funeral Home,
Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome, at 10:30 a.m.
followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at
Transfiguration Church at 11:00 a.m., with the
Rev. Paul Angelicchio officiating. Interment will
take place in St. Mary’s Cemetery. Family and
friends are invited to call at the funeral home on
Wednesday from 5-7 p.m.