Joseph C. Ponsi

joseph ponsi

October 30, 1945 ~ January 16, 2018

Ponsi, Joseph Charles, 72, of River Vale, died January 16, 2018 surrounded by family. Raised in Leonia, son of the late Robert and Carmela Ponsi. He was the third oldest of eight brothers. He graduated from Montclair State College in 1967, where he also received his master's degree. His career started as an industrial arts teacher at Palisades Park High School. He became a guidance counselor in 1980 and later became Director of Guidance in 1988. He also started the wrestling program there in 1968 and went on to coach for 27 years. He was named Bergen County Coach of the Year in 1981 and 1991 and was inducted into the NJ Wrestling Coaches Association Hall of Fame. He retired in 2004 after his 37 year career. He was a loving husband and father and a devoted grandfather as "Pa" to his only grandson Anthony. Beloved husband of Rosalie (nee: Lazzaro). Devoted father of Kimberly Karcich and her husband Andrew & Allyson Tudda and her husband Tony. Dear brother of Louis, Stephen, Edward, John, Thomas, and late brothers Robert and Donald Ponsi. The family will receive their friends on Friday 4:00 -8:00 PM at the Frank A. Patti and Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home 327 Main Street "opposite the Fort Lee Library". The funeral will leave Saturday at 10:00 am for the celebration of his funeral mass in St. Nicholas R.C. Church at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to The American Cancer Society or The National Stroke Association. For condolences, directions, or information (201) 944-0100 or


Funeral Service: January 20, 2018 10:30 am

St. Nicholas R.C. Church
442 E.Brinkerhoff Avenue
Palisades Park, NJ 07650

Visitation at Funeral Home: January 19, 2018 4:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Frank A. Patti & Kenneth Mikatarian Funeral Home
327 Main Street
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

Final Resting Place:

Madonna Mausoleum
2070 Hoefleys Lane
Fort Lee, NJ 07024

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Memories Timeline


  1. Rest In Peace, Coach Ponsi. I remember you gave so much of yourself to the Palisades Park High School community, and you had a big heart. ♥️

  2. I had Mr. Ponsi as a teacher in Palisades Park High School (1970-74). It was a very long time ago but I do remember him as he was a really nice guy. Blessings on his journey and condolances to the family

  3. Thank you for all you did for me. You always looked out for me in HS and made sure I was doing the right thing. You started a program that helped save my life. I will be forever gratetful. RIP Mr. Ponsi

  4. Rest in Peace, Coach. Our condolences to your family. You touched the lives of so many young men and taught them many lessons. You will be missed.

  5. So so sorry for your loss. We have fond memories from my moms birthday parties in goldens bridge. He is with my mom now.

  6. So sorry for your loss. From reading your posts, I gather he was a wonderful man who will truly be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  7. R.I.P. My FRIEND I will cherish the times we had together. My Sincere condolences to the Roe, Kim and Allyson and the rest of the Family.

  8. Rosalie & daughters.

    We want to express our deepest sympathies for the loss of your dear husband and father.

    May God give you the strength to cope.

    So very Sorry…

  9. A true gentleman and caring individual. We will miss you and may God's light shine upon you.

  10. Condolences go out to the Ponzi and Lazzaro families who need the strength of our love and friendship to help them get through their time of tears and sorrow. Our deepest sympathy,
    the Kunz Family, Karen, Michael, Michael Jr., Kevin and Brian

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