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James J. Cozzarelli, Jr., a funeral director and long-time resident of Belleville, N.J., entered into eternal rest on Sunday, June 6, 2021, at the age of 72. James was born in Philadelphia, P.A. on September 1, 1948, to the late Olympia (nee Gentile) Cozzarelli and the late Doctor James J. Cozzarelli.
Guests will be received at the Irvine-Cozzarelli Memorial Home, P.A., 276 Washington Avenue, Belleville, N.J. on Wednesday, June 9th, 2021, in the afternoon from 1:00 to 4:00 o’clock and the evening from 7:00 to 9:00 o’clock.
For directions and to send condolences to James’ family please visit: www.irvinecozzarelli.com. Complimentary parking assistance will be available at the funeral home.
A Funeral Mass will be offered at Saint Peter’s R.C. Church, 155 William Street, Bellville, N.J. on Thursday morning, June 10th, 2021, at a 10:00 o’clock. Those who wish to attend the funeral may gather at the funeral home at 9:00 o’clock.
Entombment will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, 340 Ridge Road, North Arlington, N.J.
James is survived by two sisters, Patricia-Ann Cozzarelli & her significant other Edward Klingener, Sr. and Doctor Annette Olympia Cozzarelli-Franklin & her husband Doctor James Franklin. He is also survived by a niece, Catherine C. Klingener and many dear cousins.
James graduated from Belleville High School and went onto Wagner College, where he became interested in mortuary science. He attended the McAllister Institute of Mortuary Science. On August 10, 1970, James J. Cozzarelli, Jr became a licensed Practitioner of Mortuary Science in the State of New York. On June 21, 1974, James J. Cozzarelli, Jr. became a Practitioner of Mortuary Science in the State of New Jersey. James served his community for nearly 47 years. Mr. Cozzarelli found his calling and his life’s work, and that was by giving hope to the deceased’s loved ones, and dignity to the deceased by the caring, supportive, and dignified funerals. While James was still studying at the McAllister Institute of Mortuary Science he was recognized for facial reconstruction and cosmetology.
James was not only gifted in the art of Mortuary Science, he possessed a distinction as an interior designer and his love of the arts. He had a flare for a special type of painting technique that would create marble and stone on walls. In 1992, he was selected as, “Who’s Who in Interior Design, 1992 International Edition”. James J. Cozzarelli, Jr. had a passion for several things. One is literacy and education as evidenced by his countless hours transforming the Belleville Public Library children’s Carnegie Reading Room with “outstanding volunteer work and splendid artistic skills, promoted and developed higher reading skills, school achievements, and cultural growth.” (An honor recognized by the Belleville Chamber of Commerce November 7, 1992.) Sunday, June 2, 1985, was named, “James J. Cozzarelli, Jr. Day” by Essex County Executive Peter Shapiro. Mr. Cozzarelli created a “plan to develop an ordinary space into a neoclassical space by combining modern sensibilities with a grand European tradition”. The children’s room was then renamed, James J. Cozzarelli, Jr. Room. To accomplish his goal, Mr. Cozzarelli spent nearly 300 hours over several months building and painting the illusion of marble and stone on the walls of the children’s room in the library. Even after his personal goal was met for what he envisioned a children’s reading room should look like, he continued to serve as a trustee of the library board and even served as President. On April 17, 1996, Mr. Cozzarelli received a plaque in appreciation of 20 years of service to the Belleville Public Library and Information System, as a trustee and devoted past president. His sense of volunteerism didn’t stop with the Belleville Public Library and Information System. He also became involved with the Columbus Day Parade and was the grand Marshall and Senator Scott extended special commendations to Mr. Cozzarelli, Jr. on October 18, 1992. On October 12, 1992, Mr. James Cozzarelli, Jr along with other influential citizens received a proclamation for the “Anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ Quincentennial Celebration”. That same year, Mr. Cozzarelli, Jr. was presented with another proclamation on March 1, 1992, for the work that he accomplished in the Belleville Public Library. He was recognized as being appointed a trustee in 1976 and continuing to serve many years in that capacity. The proclamation reads, “James J Cozzarelli, Jr is a gifted interior designer who worked magic in the dismal children’s room, transforming it to a room where children can dream”. Mr. Cozzarelli, Jr also created an association for the special needs population in Belleville, under the United Way. His volunteer association provided events for the special needs population. An interesting fact is that the popular TV series, “The Soprano’s” was filmed in the Irvine Cozzarelli Memorial Home, enabling James to meet the actors. This led to Mr. Cozzarelli joining the Screen Actors Guild. Another form of art that Mr. Cozzarelli, Jr. had great talent in was music. When he was young he had several different bands growing up. He was an extremely gifted pianist who was so confident, yet humble, that he could walk into a restaurant/bar where he was known and just sit down at their baby grand piano and entertain patrons. At times he was asked to keep playing when he was ready to get up. He could play any song and make it sound “bluesy”. Perhaps because of his love of art and beauty, that led him to decide to bring home a beautiful Afghan Hound with long fur that flowed like silk. Marcus became our beloved family dog for many years. His family recalls the holidays, especially as everyone grew older and went their separate ways, and James would play the piano and sometimes his sisters would try and play duets with him. He will be greatly missed not just by his family, but by his families he served caring for their loved ones, bringing them comfort and dignity. What is sad, is the potentially new families that will never have a funeral directed by James J. Cozzarelli, Jr. They will not experience it.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation, in James’ memory, to the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive, Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601 (www.lung.org)
American Lung Association
55 West Wacker Drive, Suite 1150,, Chicago, IL IL 60601