Joseph A. Vitale Jr., 68, a former sales engineer for the American Can Co. in Baltimore, died Saturday of cancer at the Columbus Hospital in Newark, N.J.
A mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Vincent DePaul Church in Gillette, N.J. Burial with military honors will be in St. Vincent DePaul Cemetery.
Mr. Vitale was born in the St. Ann's Parish of Baltimore and graduated from the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in 1942.
Immediately after graduation, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and served as crew chief for a bomber squadron until the end of World War II. He was the recipient of numerous military honors in the European theater of operations.
Soon after returning to civilian life, Mr. Vitale attended the University of Baltimore and participated in the founding of the Campbell-Porter Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, now known as the Parkville VFW.
In 1947 he joined the American Can Co. in Baltimore as a sales engineer. In 1968, he moved to northern New Jersey, where he took a position as a plant manager for the Shasta Beverage Co.
Survivors include his wife of 44 years, the former Elisabeth Gwynn; three sons, Michael J. Vitale, Joseph A. Vitale and Paul A. Vitale, all of Gillette, N.J.; and two daughters, Donna Marie Smith of San Jose, Calif., and Anna Marie Vitale of Newark.