Michael Joseph Negro, 97, of Maricopa, AZ passed away peacefully after a long and brave battle with Alzheimer’s on August 27, 2022.
Beloved husband of Pamela Mary Negro (Burns) of Maricopa, AZ. Loving father of Michelle DeFiore (Thomas - Deceased) of Hammonton, NJ; Joseph Negro (Kathy) of Atco, NJ; Connie Wrage (Richard) of Payson, AZ; Cindy McKeffery (Jack) of Westmont, NJ; Michael Negro, Jr. of Ft. Still, AR; Donna Ingemi (Tony) of Hammonton, NJ; Robert Negro of Montgomery, AL; and Hope Negro (Jennifer) of Manassas, VA. Cherished Grandfather of 20 Grandchildren, 18 Great-grandchildren, and eight Great-great-grandchildren. Dear brother of Agnes Cifaldi (Nick) of Philadelphia, PA. Kind companion of his dog, Napoleon.
Preceded in death by Joseph Michael Negro (father); Agatha Negro (DiBrigida) (mother); Harriett Eck (daughter) (Michael - Living); Christina Negro (daughter); Mary Tyers (daughter) (William - Living); Marion Negro (daughter); Maria Negro (daughter); Caroline Orlandi (sister) (Albert); Nancy Di Pietro (sister) (Nicholas); John Negro (brother) (Marge - Living); Mary Torrieri (sister) (Pete); Teresa Herbst (sister) (Bud); Joseph Nagro (brother); and Bear, Pepper, and Missy (canine companions).
Born on August 13, 1925 in Philadelphia, PA and a long-time resident of Williamstown, NJ, Michael owned a general contracting company (M.J.N. & Associates) and was instrumental in the estimation and construction of numerous Atlantic City, NJ casinos. He also owned and operated a general store (Front Porch Country Store) in Williamstown, NJ with his wife and family.
Michael returned to college as a non-traditional student at age 64, and attained several degrees including a graduate degree with honors. This achievement allowed him to work as an Educational Studies Coordinator at the Rowan University Center for Addiction Studies in Glassboro, NJ. During his tenure at the university, Michael helped to establish numerous tobacco quit centers. He also worked with the NJ Higher Education Consortium developing substance abuse prevention educational materials that were showcased nationally. He loved working with students and made a lasting positive impact on those that he mentored. Michael worked at the university for 12 years before retiring to Maricopa, AZ.
Michael dedicated his life to the service of others through his involvement with numerous organizations and charitable foundations at his church, St. Mary’s in Williamstown, NJ; and his schools, Gloucester County College and Rowan University. He also served his Country honorably in World War II as a master sergeant in the U.S. Army Air Corps for three years and was a Prisoner of War. Michael was the nose gunner of a B-24 that was shot down over Landes De Bussac, France, and was captured on the ground by two German soldiers. Miraculously, he managed to escape, and after hours of running through the woods, sought help from a local French farmer who assisted Michael in beginning to fight as a member of the Maquis. After several months, Michael found freedom by crossing the Pyrenees Mountains into Spain, and on D-Day he returned safely onto British soil. Michael was awarded the following medals: Bronze Star; Purple Heart; Good Conduct Medal; Honorable Service Lapel Button WWll; Prisoner of War Medal; American Campaign Medal; European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign: two Bronze, one Silver; and the World War II Victory Medal.
Michael enjoyed working on crossword puzzles, playing cards, gardening, traveling, and cheering for Philadelphia sports teams. He loved spending time with his family, friends and pets, and his elaborate annual 4th of July parties created many cherished family memories. A man of strong character and faith, Michael valued and embodied honesty, hard work, strength, courage, and love.
Visitors may pay their respects at National Memorial Cemetery 23029 North Cave Creek Rd. Phoenix, AZ.
Tribute Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfdEoQVBFIU