Joseph R. Filinuk, Sr.

Age 74 of Collingswood and Ocean City, NJ

Joseph R. Filinuk, Sr., long time resident of both Collingswood and Ocean City New Jersey, died on December 24, 2020, at the age of 74. He grew up in Camden, New Jersey, and attended LaSalle College High School and LaSalle University. After graduation, he taught high school English and coached football and tennis at Sterling High School, then ultimately retired from teaching in 2002 from Haddonfield High School.

Mr. Filinuk, as he was known by his thousands of students, will be remembered not only for his strong personality but his true love of the English language. He spent his lifetime sharing his passion for English by devoting his life to education. He had high expectations and challenged his classes daily to unleash their potential. At the time, his students may not have understood his motives, but his passion and guidance ultimately resulted in each one exceeding their own individual expectations. His gruff and often intimidating exterior hid a generous and caring heart, which would appear when you needed it most.

Outside of school, Joe, as he was known to his friends, had a passion for books and music, amassing a collection of both that could rival the library of Congress. Before he retired, he would spend summers in Ocean City, splitting his time between the beach, biking on the boards, and Atlantic Books. When he worked at the bookstore, Joe’s recommendations were well renowned to Ocean City vacationers and residents alike who were searching for something to read on the beach. When not working or enjoying a book and a drink on the beach, he was an avid gardener and his flowers were always a sight to see in the back of his Ocean City house.

After retiring, he became a full-time resident of Ocean City and realized his dream of living at the shore with the love of his life, Patricia.

Joe is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Patricia (nee Kane); 4 children: Geoffrey, Meredith Sawyer (Bill), Joseph Jr, (Susan), and Gregory (Justina). He is also survived by six grandchildren: Abigail Sawyer, Jackson Filinuk, Rory Filinuk, Emma Sawyer, Kyle Filinuk & Brooke Filinuk. Services are private, but in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Angelic Health Hospice Care or the Alzheimer’s Association.