A hard-working, quiet man who was an avid sports fan

MELROSE — Joseph C. DeCristoforo, 74, of Melrose passed away after a brief, but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. Born and raised in Cambridge, Joe was a wonderful son to Florence and Batholomeo, a great brother to Phyllis Berte, Theresa DeCristoforo, Linda DeCristoforo and Bart DeCristoforo, a loving husband to Frances DeCristoforo for 44 years, a dedicated father to Joe DeCristoforo (Jessica DeCristoforo), and a doting grandfather to Sofia and Evalina DeCristoforo. Joe had numerous nieces, nephews and cousins that he loved and was proud of. A true definition of a warrior, Joe had previously beaten leukemia, brain tumors, skin cancer and other serious medical conditions.

As a veteran of the Army, Joe honorably served his country during the Vietnam War. He would return home and earn a degree from Salem State University before embarking on a 30 plus year career at Harvard University, rising to manage the university’s finances as a General Accounting Manager and ingratiating himself within the Harvard community and administration. He would also go on to be elected to the Board of Directors of the Harvard University Employee’s Credit Union, serving as Chairman of the Board for three years. Joe was extremely generous with his time and resources.

He dedicated himself to the Melrose community as a youth baseball coach and youth hockey coach, and later was an Assistant Baseball coach at Austin Prep. Joe loved all things sports and was a terrific baseball and softball player. He was an avid sports fan of all the Boston sports teams and of Harvard University. A savant of all things 1960’s, he was unrivaled at music trivia, sports trivia and wiffleball. He also had an endearing comical personality that those close to him got to enjoy. A big softie for pets, Joe loved all his dogs and cats throughout the years. Joe also had an interest in cars and loved tinkering around the house with a shiny new power tool. He also held a seminal appreciation for the small things in life, such as a foggy beach during a rainstorm, playing the acoustic guitar on the couch or simply enjoying the company of friends and family. Joe was a hard-working, quiet but great man with great hair. He will be dearly missed.

A Mass of Christian burial was held on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 11 a.m. at St Mary’s Church, 9 Herbert St., Melrose with burial services to follow at Wyoming Cemetery in Melrose. A gathering celebrating Joe’s life was held at the VFW Post 1506 428 Main Street, Melrose after the services on Tuesday August 2, 2022. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Make a Wish Foundation in his name, which was a cause very close to his heart. May he rest in peace. To leave an online message of condolence please visit gatelyfh.com.