Joseph Pascuzzi, Jr.
October 05, 1930 - December 01, 2012
Joseph “Pap Pap Joe” Pascuzzi died peacefully in Stuart, Florida on Saturday December 1st, 2012 with his family at his bedside. At 82 years old he lived a long and prosperous life, taking full advantage of a gift of life he received 12 years ago through a heart transplant at Cleveland Clinic. A dedicated husband to Claudette for 56 years and committed father to Joe (Kristen) Pascuzzi, Genee (Marty) Warmuskerken, Tom (Shannon) Pascuzzi, and Maresa (Jeff) Tokarz, he enjoyed his grandchildren Amanda, Natalie, Anna, Jeffrey, Mary, Nicholas, Andrew and Matthew to the fullest as well. He is survived by his younger brother Ron of Trenton, Michigan. Joe is preceded in death by his sister, Betty Long.

Born October 5th, 1930 in Avella, Pennsylvania, Joe excelled at athletics and outdoor activities including hunting and fishing. He served our country proudly in the United States Air Force from 1951-55. He played football and baseball sharing his love of sports while stationed at Yokota Air Base, Japan. Following his military service he played football for the late Paul “Bear” Bryant at Texas A & M. He continued his football career and education at the University of Detroit from 1956-1959, where he met his loving wife Claudette and they started their family together.

After college he began his teaching and coaching career in the Detroit Catholic Schools, first at St. Hedwig and then at Birmingham Brother Rice. He taught mathematics and was head football coach at Brother Rice from 1963-1968, taking them to their first division championship in 1967. Following coaching he became the athletic director for the Detroit Catholic League. The Catholic League’s Joe Pascuzzi Track Award is named in his honor for serving ably, and championing improvements in track. Since 1975 the award has been presented annually to an outstanding male scholar-athlete in this sport. He was inducted as a Catholic League Hall of Fame Coach in 1977 and is recognized as a League Legend.

He went on to serve as athletic director at Chippewa Valley High School where he continued to mentor many young coaches. students and athletes. Later Joe became a successful insurance agent with the Franklin Life Insurance Company. He continued giving in business by providing opportunities to young new insurance agents. Always the competitor, he loved a round of golf and never turned down a skins game. His hunting dog was his pride and he enjoyed days in the woods and time on a lake or river fishing. He was an incredible chef, sharing his culinary skills and “Pap Pap Joe’s Pasta” with many friends and family over the years.

His wife, children, grandchildren, extended family and friends were blessed with his steady presence and enduring support over years. He will surely be missed but never forgotten as he touched so many lives in a positive way.

Friends may visit Sunday, December 9th from 2pm – 8 pm at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home 1368 N. Crooks Road, (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) Clawson, Michigan 48017.  A prayer service will be held Sunday at 7pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Regis Parish 3695 Lincoln Road, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301 on Monday December 10th at 10:30 a.m. Friends may visit at church beginning at 10am. A reception in his honor will follow at Maggiano’s 2089 West Big Beaver Road, Troy, MI 48084.

In lieu of flowers a gift to the Cleveland Clinic in his name is appreciated.

Lynch & Sons Location:   Clawson Visitation:
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Tom and Family, We're very sorry to hear of your Dad's passing. It takes a lot of strength to get through these times, and I'm sure you will find it through family and friends.

tom and micheleen bonifer

Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of "Coach' Joe Pascuzzi; a leader, mentor, and developer of young men in academics, athletics, and ethics.

Jim Schrock

I never played any sports for Mr. Pascuzzi, but he was the finest and most influential teacher I ever had. A lot is said about Mr. Pascuzzi as a coach, but his gift to me was not on the field, but in the classroom. I'll never forget his, "put the chickens with the chickens and the cows with the cows" analogies he used to teach Algebra.

Peter Cooper

I played football under Coach Pascuzzi at Brother Rice in my Sophomore year, his last year of coaching. I also had Coach as a Math teacher. It's important to know that I lost my Father at the age of 10 and Coach was one of those extremely positive male influences in my life. My life is better today because I had the privilege and good fortune to have known him. I have never forgotten Coach Pascuzzi and have thought of him often over the years as my life has taken me to other ends of the earth and I want to say "thank you" Coach! Now the more fortunates beyond the grave will get a taste of your magic! May you rest in peace and happiness.

Patrick Knuff

I am very sorry to hear of your father's passing. I knew your father when he was at Brother Rice as the football coach and my mathematics teacher. He was very good. My memory of him was one who was compassionate with his students and athletes, very good sense of humor and who commanded respect. I thought of him many times over the years and the positive impact he had on my life. Best Wishes to his Family.

Geoffrey C. Briefs

Whenever the question comes up: "Who was the teacher who really made a difference in your life?" my recollection has always been, Mr. Pascuzzi. As a freshman struggling with initial algebraic concepts, it was Joe Pas (I would never have dreamed of calling him that) whose patience, prodding and pushing, finally busted through the cobwebs of my 14 year-old brain. No condolences seem really necessary here; only heartfelt thanks, and congratulations on a life well lived. Buona notte, caro amico.

Bill Cutting

It was in the classroom that Mr. Pascuzzi made his mark on me...He was a very kind and patient algebra teacher to a kid who couldn't understand any of it. He was a truly memorable and inspiring character and I am a better person for having known him those many years ago.

Kevin Fogarty

For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. - 2 Corinthians 5:1

Karl Nilsson

Young Joe and I, both being lawyers, have encountered each other often during our professional lives, and the conversation always . . . no matter what business we were doing . . . always eventually returned to his father and what he was up to. He really made the most of his second shot at life. We should all be so lucky. Anyone who knows me realizes that I wasn't Rice football material, but nevertheless Mr. Pascuzzi as my math teacher at Rice still touched my life the way he touched the lives of those who played on his teams. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends on your loss.

Paul Monicatti

Sorry to see you go Joe. I played football for him at Brother Rice. I also had him for Algebra. He was a great influence. I just quoted him this week -"You've got ta have Desire!" He joins my Dad who also played at UD. There are now in the Communion of Saints.

Tom Kurkowski

I had the pleasure of taking math from Mr. Pascuzzi at Brother Rice. Besides teaching me math, he taught me about having "heart". After reviewing a forumla, he would see we were bored and take the opportunity to teach the value of having passion about what we did in life. He would pound his big chest and tell us that no matter what we did we had to have heart. When raising my boys, I gave them the same lesson about being passionate about what they did in life. I would pound my chest and tell them about what Mr. Pascizzi taught me about having "heart". May his memory be eternal.

Buzz Stapczynski

We only knew Joe a little through his son Tom and family, but the moment we met him he was memorable forever. We feel blessed to have shared his company, as well as his famous cooking. Italy does not produce pasta as good as Joe's and we will always remember his wonderful company and beautiful spirit.

The Shaughnessy family

Tom and Family, We are so very sorry for your loss. Your father sounds like a wonderful man. Wish we would have had the pleasure of knowing him. Mike and Kim

Mike & Kim Velarde

Uncle Joe lit up our life with his smile and sweet nature. We will miss him until we see him again. We love all the Pascuzzi's. We love you Aunt Claudette.

Ronna and Barry Staley

"Mr. P" lived a life of honesty, integrity, and honor. The love he felt for his family, friends, and community was real and palpable. To those that knew him, he was not only a role model, but an inspiration... the very essence of what a father, a man should be! Thanks for the memorable moments you shared with us, "Mr. P." May His rod and staff comfort you, may He anoint your head with oil; we know that you will live in the house of the Lord forever! (Psalm 23) Until we meet again, The Magoons

Michael Magoon, MD

To the Pascuzzi Family: Coach was my freshman algebra teacher at Rice in 1966-67 and I can't help but smile at the memories of Coach Pas. We loved him as much as he loved us. His famous saying, "it's an axiom" when we failed to understand why something was what he said it was. I was blessed to be taught by him and to know him as a man. A life well lived, Coach. Enjoy your eternal rewards. You earned them.

Mark MacGuidwin

Our deepest sympathies to the entire Pascuzzi family. I have heard about Coach Joe forever and had the pleasure of meeting and talking him years ago. He will always be remembered as a competitor, mentor, coach and teacher. I had the pleasure of being one of his brothers players (so many have as well) and know Ron was deeply committed to his older brother. Our thoughts are with all of you.

Dennis and Dana Brown

Dear Pascuzzi Family - Although I have never met Mr. Pascuzzi he seems to have had a remarkable and giving life touching many lives; what a blessing he must have been as your father, grandfather,and patriarch! An example of a life well led!

Jeff Pittel & family

Condolences to the Pascuzzi family on the passing of Joe. I was a part of his first football team at Brother Rice in 1963 and I always considered him a mentor. He cared deeply for his players/students and even once removed a fellow coach who did not meet his positive expectations. He influenced deeply my own coaching career.

John Springer

Sending praryers to your family in a tough time. I am glad I was a neighbor as a young child. All my best.

Christi Moll

Pascuzzi family, a sad day indeed. I knew your dad when I was in my teens, wish I could have spent some time with him in later years. I would love to have talked about football. I remember your dad describing football players as 250lb guys 'that could run like dear.' I'll never forget that comment. Sorry I couldn't make it to the services. Hope to see you guys in future.


Claudette & family, I just found out about your loss, I am so sorry. I talked to Chris Corona and Cindy Koerner lanni they would like to send cards but we so not know your address? If you could email me address that would be wonderful. Think of you often. Hope the rest of family is good. My prayers are with you the family. Love, Jody Holdway

Jody holdway



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