Joseph R. Zaccardi, electrical engineer, dies

Joseph Zaccardi worked on the AWACS radar system upgrade for Westinghouse.

Joseph R. Zaccardi, a retired Westinghouse Electric Corp. electrical engineer, died Tuesday from prostate cancer at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Passavant Hospital in Pittsburgh. The former longtime Ellicott City resident was 83.

Joseph Raymond Zaccardi, the son of Peter Zaccardi, a landscaper, and his wife, Jean Zaccardi, a bookkeeper, was born and raised in Pittsburgh, where he graduated from Penn Hills High School.


He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1958 from what was then Carnegie Institute of Technology, now Carnegie-Mellon University.

Mr. Zaccardi began his Westinghouse career in Pittsburgh and in 1960 moved to Baltimore and went to work at the company’s Linthicum facility. He later earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University.


One of Mr. Zaccardi’s significant projects during his 35-year career was serving as project manager in the late 1980s for the Airborne Warning Control System — or AWACS — radar system upgrade.

He retired in 1993.

An Ellicott City resident for 53 years, Mr. Zaccardi was a Baltimore Colts and Ravens fan. He was also a Life Master bridge player who competed in multiple local and regional tournaments and an accomplished landscaper.

Since 2013, he had been living in Pittsburgh.

His wife of 56 years, the former Mary Louise Kernick, died in 2016.

A visitation will be held Sunday from 4 p.m. until 6:45 p.m. at which time a remembrance service will commence at the Harry H. Witzke Funeral Home, 4112 Old Columbia Pike, Ellicott City.

Mr. Zaccardi is survived by two daughters, Laura Lee Zaccardi of Jersey City, N.J., and Julie Zaccardi of Tampa, Fla.; and his identical twin, Dr. James P. Zaccardi of Murrysville, Pa.