Italian American Community Mourns Passing of Joseph Coccia, Jr.

| January 14, 2013

The Montclair State University community mourns the passing on January 3, 2013, of Cav. Joseph Coccia, Jr., a loyal friend and founder of the University’s Joseph and Elda Coccia Institute for the Italian Experience in America.

Joseph Coccia, Jr.

Joseph Coccia, Jr.

Coccia dedicated his life to preserving Italian American culture and heritage, and through the Institute and Coccia Foundation, he educated young people about Italian language, life, food, business and history. The Coccia Institute at Montclair State partners with national and state organizations to promote an understanding of the important links between Italy and America and to advance an interest in Italian and Italian American fields of study, both among scholars and the general public.  Read more…


Joseph Coccia Jr. wanted everyone to love Italy’s rich history and culture as much as he did. “He wanted to show people it’s not all about the negative. It’s not all about the Mafia and tough guys. … He wanted to promote all the positive things,” said Coccia’s daughter, Elisa.  Read more . . .

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