It is with deep sorrow that I report the passing of Monmouth County Democratic leader Joseph P. Caliendo.
Joe spent over five decades leading the Democratic Party in Monmouth County. In 1962, Joe became a Democratic county committee member in Middletown. By 1969, Joe became the President of the Middletown Democratic Club. He led the Middletown Democrats for 25 years, 10 of which Democrats controlled the local offices. His commitment showed as he ensured decades of a full county committee slate in Monmouth’s largest town. Until his passing, Joe served as the Monmouth County Democratic Sergeant-at-Arms where he ensured that Democratic traditions were maintained within the party for years.
Joe was a committed labor leader as well. He spent 32 years leading the members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers in Monmouth County. Joe retired in 1990, but continued to advocate for labor when he was elected President of the IBEW Local 400 Retiree Union. Joe was also the Vice-President of R.A.C. and served as a delegate for the Monmouth & Ocean Central Labor Council.
Joe’s number one priority was always his family. Joe was married to Patricia Caliendo for nearly 60 years. He is also survived by his three committed daughters, seven grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Former Chairman Victor Scudiery offered the following thoughts on Joe's passing:
"Joe was a tremendous Democratic leader and ally to me throughout my 20 plus years as County Chairman. More than anything, he was a friend. I am heartbroken over his loss and my thoughts and prayers are with Pat and his entire family"
U.S. Congressman Frank Pallone also offered the following thoughts on Joe's life and legacy:
"The passing of Joe Caliendo is a tremendous loss to all who knew him and the entire community. His dedication to our shared Democratic values never wavered, and he championed our party for decades in Middletown and Monmouth County. I considered Joe a personal friend, extend his wife and his entire family my condolences, and join you all in mourning. We can honor his memory by continuing to stand strong for what we believe in, no matter how difficult the fight."
The viewing will be on Saturday, December 13th from 9:00am to 11:00am. It will be held at John Pfleger Funeral Home, 115 Tindall Road, Middletown, NJ. A service will be held at the funeral home followed by the burial at Mount Olivet Cemetary, 100 Chapel Hill Road, Red Bank, NJ.
On a personal note, Joe introduced me to Democratic Party politics in Monmouth County and has been instrumental to my life during the past ten years. The Monmouth County Democratic Party has lost one of our greatest minds and hardest workers. He will be missed dearly.
Chairman, Monmouth County Democrats