Joseph N. Delaney, 92, died peacefully at home Wednesday, July 7, in Bloomfield, N.J. He was born in Montclair, N.J. in 1927 to Thomas Delaney (County Mayo, Ireland) and Josephine Norman (County Dublin, Ireland).
Joe lived most of his life in Montclair but moved to Bloomfield 12 years ago. He attended Immaculate Conception schools where he was on the football team and served as an altar boy in the church.
Joe enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in the spring of 1945 at the age of 17 and served through the end of WWII. When Joe returned he completed his high school degree at Barringer High School in Newark. He then attended Montclair State College on the GI Bill, where he earned a bachelor's degree and later a master's degree. As an undergraduate he played on the first undefeated and untied football team in Montclair State history.
During the Korean War he served in the N.J. National Guard and then in the U.S. Army, stationed in Southern Germany. In the army he taught reading and writing to GIs with low literacy and he also boxed. Upon his return to the United States he taught elementary school for 38 years in Bloomfield until his retirement in 1992.
In 1963 he received a Fulbright Grant to teach at an American Embassy School abroad. He took a sabbatical from Bloomfield schools and accepted a post in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in 1964, where he also served as principal.
Joe was a vibrant member of the Montclair community for much of his life. He was an active member of the Cosmopolitan Club of Montclair, Overseas Neighbors: Montclair-Graz, Montclair Red Cross, Montclair YMCA, Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh, and the Montclair Rehabilitation Organization where he was both a board member and a longtime driver. He was also a founding member of Edelweiss Passaic, a Bavarian folk dance club, where he developed many close, longtime friends.
An avid reader, especially of science, history and Irish lore, he believed in lifelong learning. He also loved opera, ballet, classical music and international folk dancing. He taught the latter to numerous students and adults. He loved to travel and often visited relatives in Ireland and England, and also traveled in Europe, Africa and Australia.
He is survived by his daughter Claire (Michael, Rita and Josie de Leeuw), his son Thomas (Michele, Bryn and Tia Leno), his devoted aide and friend of six years John, his former wife Joan, his former daughter-in-law Heather, and many adored cousins in the United States and abroad. He was predeceased by his older brother Jack (John).
A celebration of his life will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to Toni’s Kitchen in Montclair, N.J.
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We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Hugh M. Moriarty Funeral Home