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Joseph Bartlotti dies; World War II veteran, semipro football player was 91

Joseph Bartlotti, a World War II veteran and

Joseph Bartlotti, a World War II veteran and semipro football player from Glen Cove, died on Feb. 11, 2015. He was 91. Credit: family photo

Joseph C. Bartlotti, a World War II veteran and semipro football player from Glen Cove, spent 67 years working for the same Long Island manufacturing company.

Bartlotti worked for three generations of owners of the Hauppauge-based Colonial Wire and Cable Co., beginning on the factory floor and becoming foreman. Retirement was not in his vocabulary and he worked until he was 89 years old, said his son, Robert Bartlotti of Oyster Bay.

Bartlotti died Feb. 11 from complications of Alzheimer's disease at an assisted living facility in Oyster Bay. He was 91.

Until his father retired, "he was running the shipping and loading dock," Robert Bartlotti said. "He was still there barking orders, running the forklift, giving everybody a hard time . . . . It was that generation. He lived through the Depression, came up with seven brothers and sisters. You were never going to tell him to retire."

Thomas Walsh III, president and owner of the cable company that his grandfather started in 1946, said he recalled Bartlotti was the first one to arrive at work each morning.

"He was almost like another owner out in the plant; that's how much of a good worker he was," Walsh said. "He cared . . . . Every company wishes they had employees like him."

Walsh said even in the last few months of his employment, "he still wanted to go, go, go. I told his family, 'As long as he wants to work here, he's got a job.' He was just a great man."

Joseph Bartlotti was born on July 18, 1923, in the small coal mining town of Boyers, Pennsylvania, the eldest of eight children. The family moved to the Forest Park section of Glen Cove in the 1930s after Bartlotti's father, an Italian immigrant, died of emphysema from working in the mines.

At Glen Cove High School, Bartlotti was a "three letterman" on the varsity football, golf and basketball teams. He served in the Army from 1943 to 1946 as a sergeant and armorer technician grade 4 in the Pacific theater, seeing action in New Guinea, the Philippines and the invasion of Japan, his family said.

He met his future wife, Patricia Martin, at a soda fountain in Bayville, where her family had a summer home, she said. She and her friend challenged Bartlotti and his friend to a game of shuffleboard. They married about a year later at her church in Woodside, Queens, in 1953 and settled in Glen Cove.

Her husband worked seven days a week, she said. An avid golfer, he caddied every weekend at the Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove from age 9 until he was 85, she said.

"He was really a good provider," said Patricia Bartlotti of Glen Cove. "His family had to have everything. We never wanted for anything."

In 1989, Bartlotti was inducted into the Glen Cove Hall of Fame. He was the "star center" of the high school's varsity football team in the early 1940s and, after his Army stint, he played for the Glen Cove A.A. semipro football team until the early 1950s, according to a 1989 article in the Glen Cove Record-Pilot.

In addition to his wife and son, survivors include daughter Nancy Kreiner of Westbury, sister Marie Butelli of Glen Head, three grandchildren and a great-granddaughter.

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