RICHARD (DICK) JOHN MARINELLI SR., 89, of Burlington, NJ peacefully passed away on January 21, surrounded by his family. Before battling esophageal cancer for the last 6 months, he was blessed with near-perfect health for 89 years of his life and sought to live every moment of it, as Frank Sinatra would say “My Way”.
Dick was born on April 9, 1931 in his parents’ home in Burlington, NJ, as one of nine children. He often told stories of sharing a bedroom in the unheated attic of their home with two of his brothers. After graduating from Burlington City High School in 1949, he worked various jobs while also playing several sports with his friends where he excelled in basketball and bowling. He also had a love for dancing and was voted best dancer of his high school class and also was 1 strike short of bowling a perfect 300. He then volunteered for the U.S. Coast Guard where he was stationed in New York City and had the luxury of experiencing several epic sporting events and Broadway shows in the early 1950s.
In 1961, he married Elaine Luyber and they went on to have five children; Richard Jr, Thomas, Kathryn, Christopher and Paul. They raised their children initially on Shadeland Avenue in Burlington City before moving to Tanner Avenue in Burlington Township surrounded by what became lifelong friends. Dick was an avid tennis player and member of the Elks Club along with being very involved with his children’s sporting activities.
After leaving the U.S. Coast Guard, Dick settled into his career with PSE&G first as a meter reader and then promoted to a Bookkeeper for most of his tenure. After retiring with 35 years of service in 1995, Dick and Elaine took time helping care for two of their grandchildren, Noah and Sarah. He then started his second career at NADE Auto Auction. Dick loved working at NADE, and particularly enjoyed the relationships he formed with the other drivers and fellow retirees.
Dick loved spending time with family, watching sporting events and horse racing, and listening to what he called the best music of the century. Dick was a big fan of Frank Sinatra, big band music like Stan Kenton and the Four Freshman, and jazz/orchestral music from local high school bands. He especially took pride in going to his grandchildren’s school band concerts and competitions.
The kindness Dick showed towards his loved ones, friends, and even strangers was unmatched. He was a man who always had a smile on his face and was always able to find the bright side of any situation and relationship. It was a quality of his that will be remembered and carried on by every person he touched.
Dick was predeceased by his wife Elaine and son, Christopher. He is survived by his sons Richard (wife Wanda), Thomas (wife Lisa), and Paul (wife Theresa), daughter Kathryn (husband Andrew) and daughter-in-law Suzy Marinelli Formhals. He was blessed with 9 grandchildren; Alexander (wife Gwen), Andrew (wife Sophie), Noah, Sarah, Dominic, Marina, Carlie, Luke and Olivia, as well as 4 great-grandsons; Benjamin, Samuel, Zachary, and Leo.
Family and his heritage were always very important to Dick and it would be remiss not to include his parents, siblings and in-laws here. Son of the late Dominic and Bruna Marinelli, Dick is survived by his brother, Adriano Marinelli, his sister’s in-law Doris Marinelli, Lois Green and Wilma Worthington, his brother’s in-law Alan Luyber and Al Green, and many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.
Preceding his death were his brothers Mario, Marcello, Anthony and William; his sisters Fernanda, Mary and Clara; his brother’s in-law Nicholas, George, Robert and William; his sister’s in-law Mary, Annette, Maribel and Elizabeth.
No service will be held at this time and will be scheduled in the future. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in the name of Richard J. Marinelli Sr. to the International Multiple Myeloma Foundation at give.myeloma.org or the American Cancer Society at donate3.cancer.org. (www.BradleyStow.com)
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