Schenectady – Dr. Joseph J. Testo, age 95, formerly of Troy and Rotterdam Junction, died peacefully on February 9th, 2018 at Kingsway Nursing Center.
Born in Troy, he was the son of the late Dominick and Serafina Cioffi Testo and loving and devoted husband of the late Janet Cox Testo whom he married on March 4, 1944.
In his early years, Dr. Testo attended School 10 in Troy and graduated from Troy High School. He received an Ed.D. from Columbia University, an M.S. in Education from SUNY Oneonta, and a B.A. from Siena College and a Specialist’s Diploma from Harvard University in Chinese Language and Area Study.
Dr. Testo was a professor and chairman of the Department of Education Administration and Policy Studies at the State University of NY at Albany. His experience in the field of education included posts as principal of the Woestina and Henry J. Ellers Schools in the Schalmont School District, Supervisor of B.O.C.E.S. elementary schools at Booneville and Remsen, NY, and demonstration teacher at both SUNY Oneonta and Teacher’s College, Columbia. He began his teaching career in Troy.
Joe was a member of the NYS Elementary Principal’s Assn. He was the author of The Elementary School Principal: Emerging Leader and numerous articles in the field of educational administration. He was also Editor-in-Chief of the School of Administrators periodical, The Journal. He was the recipient of several educational awards.
During WWII, Joe served in the Army from 1943-1946 and was stationed in the China-Burma-India Theatre of war. In 1980-1981, he spent a year as principal of the American School in Greece. While there, he and Janet visited many other countries, including those of their heritages, Italy and Ireland.
He was a deeply spiritual man and was a communicant of St. Margaret of Cortona Parish in Rotterdam Junction. There he served as Eucharistic minister, lector, President of the Parish Council and enjoyed playing bocce with friends from church.
Joe often compared himself to one of his favorite New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig because he, like Lou, also believed himself to be “the luckiest man on the face of the earth.” He frequently used Lou’s quote when speaking of his ten children, their spouses, his twenty grandchildren, his four great grandchildren, his parents and siblings, his in-laws, his many friends and students and especially about his relationship with God and the love of his life, his wife, Janet Helen. Each person, in turn, is so very lucky and blessed to have had him in their lives.
Joe was a true humanitarian. He was kind, caring, fun-loving and intelligent. He was a man of integrity, who wrote poetry, stories and music. He sang with a wonderful voice and always tried to do the right thing. His greatest joys revolved around his family.
Dr. Testo is survived by his beloved children, Janet (Gil) Dunn, Jean (Dan) Hubicki, Kathleen Fraser, Joseph Testo, Daniel (Pat) Testo, Susan (Eric) Pedersen, William (Tricia Boudreau) Testo, Nancy (Jeff) Salamon, Stephen (Kyle) Testo and Richard (Jill) Testo; his cherished grandchildren and precious great grandchildren, as well as several in-laws, nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his wife, Janet Helen, his grandson, Colin Pedersen, his son-in-law, Jack Fraser and his six brothers, James, Anthony, Charles, Theodore, Patrick and Albert Testo.
The Testo family wishes to thank the terrific staff at Kingsway for the extraordinary, loving and compassionate care they provided. They became like extended family. Their kindness is greatly appreciated.
A mass to celebrate Joe’s life will be held at St. Margaret of Cortona Roman Catholic Church, 1228 Main Street in Rotterdam Junction on Friday, February 16th at 3pm.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, February 17th from 10am-12pm at DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Ave., Rotterdam. A memorial service will immediately follow at noon.
Interment will be at St. John’s Cemetery in Troy in the spring.