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Joe Gray Gambino

Joe Gray Gambino, age 84, of Clearwater, FL passed away on May 3rd, 2024 at the Largo Medical Center Hospice following an extended illness. Joe was born on November 23rd, 1939 in Brooklyn, NY to his loving parents, Salvatore Gambino and Josephine Louise Saitta. On March 19th, 2017 he married Rosemary J. Hrepta at the Colonie Town Hall located in Colonie, NY. They shared 7 beautiful years of marriage together. Joe was employed as a garment cutter and assistant production manager from1959–1965. He also drove a delivery truck for UPS. Prior to this, he served 15 months with the US Marines as a Rifleman and squad leader. He eventually wound up working for two different New York City agencies, the NYC Department of consumer affairs and the NYC taxi & limousine commission (TLC). Joe was a former communicant of the Latham, New York based, national Catholic Polish Church named “Blessed Virgin Mary of Częstochowa” (BVMC). He was an avid reader of history, particularly the Civil War and Korean War. He loved to read about foreign cultures and ancient European history. He subscribed to numerous auto & personal firearm publications & was astute in their construction. He loved watching pro-football & followed the Buffalo Bills, NY Jets, Cleveland Browns and especially the Cincinnati Bengals. Joe grew up in Jackson Heights, NY, lived in Bay Ridge, NY & moved to upstate NY in 1995 to Guilderland, NY. He then relocated in 1997 to Rensselaer, NY where he resided until late 2020 when he and his wife permanently moved to Clearwater, Florida. Joe enlisted at age 17 in the US Marine Corps and served two tours in Vietnam. He was honorably discharged as Corporal (Rifleman). His keen interest in autos made him well qualified to later become inspector for NYC taxi and limousine commission and, eventually, promoted to their Director of Safety and Emissions. Joe’s dynamic personality was well suited to oversee diverse ethnic groups while at NYC’s TLC. The Hispanic Brotherhood presented an award to Joe upon his retirement from the TLC and his departure, for a position in the New York State government. He was a loving, honest, devoted husband and often referred to lovingly as a “big brother” by his female cousins. Survivors include His sister, Mary Roche (Richard) Of Massapequa, New York. Nephews, Lawrence Roche (Gina); Christopher Roche(Allison) And grand nieces/grand nephews Kayla, Jeremy, Ethan, Alessandra, Renee & Ava. Goddaughter, Caroliyn Abbate-Hopwood, and Godson, Daniel Abbate both of Virginia. It is with sincere gratitude that his surviving wife wishes to thank American Legion Post #007, Clearwater, Florida, for its active support of Joe while he was at the hospice. Additionally, his wife wishes to thank NY Lodge #38, Kings Co. Fraternal Order of Police for their inclusiveness of our ‘new home state’ amongst their NYS majority membership. A service will be held in Joe’s honor 3:00-7:00 PM, Sat. June 8, 2024 at Veterans Funeral Care, Clearwater, FL. He will be later buried at the Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, Florida. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to the Wounded warrior project or toys for tots sponsored by USMC. 

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