North Brunswick, NJ
Joseph Skapper, 83, of North Brunswick, NJ, passed away at his home surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, July 21, 2016.
Born in Apatistvanfalva, Hungary, on November 28, 1932, he attended school in Szentgotthard and Budapest, Hungary. During World War II, he lived in Budapest. In 1945, when his father was imprisoned by the Soviet Army and sent to a Siberian gulag for nearly three years, Joseph went to work to help support himself and his family. From 1952 to 1954, Joseph served in the Hungarian Army and was stationed in Eger.
On October 28, 1956, he married the former Maria Dolgos in the Roman Catholic Church of Kethely, near Szentgotthard. They married during a tumultuous time as the Hungarian Revolution, when Hungarians fought for their independence from the communist Soviet Union, began on October 23, 1956. Only days after their wedding, as the fighting raged and Soviet tanks rolled westward toward Szentgotthard, Joseph and Maria made a courageous decision to flee their homeland for freedom. They escaped and were refugees in Austria and then airlifted to the United States where they arrived with many other Hungarians at Camp Kilmer, NJ. They settled and raised their family in New Brunswick. On June 30, 1967, he and Maria proudly became naturalized U.S. citizens. In 1975, they moved to North Brunswick.
In 1959, Joseph joined the General Motors Assembly Division Plant in Linden, NJ. He was a member of the United Auto Workers (UAW) and retired from General Motors in 1989.
Joseph was a parishioner of St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church in New Brunswick, NJ, and an active member of the Hungarian American Athletic Club (HAAC), also in New Brunswick. He was an avid sports fan and enjoyed international soccer, New York Rangers hockey, Knicks basketball and Yankees baseball.
Joseph was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather. He was kind, patient, humble and strong and had a tremendous work ethic. When friends, neighbors or relatives needed help or assistance, he would always be there to offer his heartfelt support. He was a patriot and appreciated the freedom and opportunities that America provided to him and his family.
Joseph was predeceased by his father, Jozsef Skapper, and mother, the former Maria Koszar. He is survived by his wife, the former Maria Dolgos, his daughter, Lillian Graham, of Belle Mead, NJ, his son, Steven Skapper, of Basking Ridge, NJ, grandson, Timothy Graham, Jr, granddaughter, Madeline Skapper, son-in-law Timothy Graham, daughter-in-law, Lori Skapper, brother- and sister-in-law, Karoly and Mary Dolgos, brother- and sister-in-law, Erno and Ilona Dolgos, sister, Marika Skaper of Szentgotthard, Hungary, as well as other family and friends in the United States and Hungary.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 28, 2016, from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at Gowen Funeral Home, 239 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ.
Funeral services will begin at 9am on Friday, July 29, 2016, at Gowen Funeral Home, followed by mass at 10:30am at St. Ladislaus Roman Catholic Church at 213 Somerset Street, New Brunswick, NJ, followed by internment at St. Peter’s Cemetery, 500 Somerset Street, in New Brunswick.
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