Joseph's Story

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Joseph P. Polito, Lieutenant Colonel, Air Force, Ret age 84 died peacefully with family by his side on Feb 25, 2018. He was born in Johnstown, PA to the late Peter and Catherine Polito and was predeceased by brother, Nicholas Polito and sister, Antoinette Polito Patterson. He is survived by wife, Betty Hockey Polito, children Joseph R., Nancy, Ronald, Marc, and Amy, and nine grandchildren. Since 2004, he and Betty resided in Bluffton, SC. After graduation from the University of Pittsburgh in 1955, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) and subsequently began a 24-year Air Force career primarily as an Air Traffic Control (ATC) Officer. His first assignment was with North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ATC Radar Control Center in Metz, France. Later, he was assigned Chief Controller, ATC Center, Sondrestrom Air Base, Greenland. Other assignments included Chief, ATC Center/Radar Approach Control, Okinawa, Japan, Assistant Professor, AFROTC at Allegheny College Meadville, PA and Airspace Manager and War Exercise Planner, Southern Region at NATO Headquarters, Naples, Italy. Prior to retirement, he served as Director of Air Traffic Control and Land Systems, Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, VA. He and family members lived in three foreign countries (France, Okinawa, and Italy). Betty and he traveled extensively, visiting more than 100 countries.
In 1968, he received a Master of Business Administration Degree from the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg, MS. After military service, he was an Assistant Professor, Thomas Nelson Community College, Newport News, VA where he taught computer science and business math and then Assistant Professor, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL teaching management and supervision. A funeral mass at Fort Meyers, VA will be followed by interment in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project. Arrangements will be handled by Sauls Funeral Home, Bluffton SC.
Published on February 28, 2018
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