Joseph R. Sciaraffa
RUMFORD -– Joseph R. Sciaraffa, 89, of Franklin Street, Rumford, died on July 4th, 2011 at the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris.
He was born in Rumford on March 17, 1922, the son of Alfonso and Lucia (Bevilacqua) Sciaraffa. He was educated in Rumford schools graduating from Stephens High School Class of 1940 where he was a three-sport star athlete.
Joe served in the Pacific during World War II with the U.S. Marines, IV Division making landings on the Marshall Islands, Tinion, Saipan and Iwo Jima. He was wounded on day 28 of the Iwo Jima Invasion earning him the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, and received the “Silver” Star honorable service medal from the state of Maine.
Upon returning from World War II, he continued his athletic career playing for the semi-pro football Portland Sagamores with his brother Tony. He also competed on numerous other teams including the Dixfield Townies, who played a Cuban National Baseball team in Battle Creek, MI in the early 50’s.
Joe competed in track and field into his mid-eighties, winning numerous medals including a National Championship in the 100 meter dash in 2002.
Joe worked as a millwright for over 32 years until retirement from Boise Cascade Paper Company in Rumford in 1984. He was a Communicant of St. Athanasius–St. John Church; Rumford Maine Lodge #862, B.P.O.E.; Napoleon Ouellette Post #24, American Legion; and the Robert Shand Post #1641, V.F.W.
Joe was predeceased by his parents; four brothers, Steven, Nicholas, Anthony, and Guy; and a sister, Jane.
He was survived by a very special friend and companion, Joanne Witas of Mexico; a sister, Fonza Giberson of Largo, FL; sons, Gene Sciaraffa of Durango, CO, and Dean Sciaraffa and his wife, Jennifer of So. Portland; three grandsons, Russell and Ross Sciaraffa of Colorado Springs, CO, and Greyson Sciaraffa of So. Portland.
The family would like to thank the staff at the Maine Veterans Home and the Androscoggin Home Health Care and Hospice for their excellent care shown to Joe.