Our beloved Anthony Richard Sorce, born on June 10, 1940, has passed away peacefully on August 17, 2022. He is survived by his wife Martha; daughters Licia Woody, Sandi (Scott) Steelhammer, Alisha (Oren) Blam, and Allison (Chris) Perrone; sister Vita Fields and brothers Salvatore and James Sorce; in-law siblings Micki and Murray Golkow; nine grandchildren; as well as nieces, nephews, and dear friends. His blessed memory will be kept close to our hearts.
Who can describe the totality of a man? Anthony (Tony) was many things to many people. His most cherished roles in life were those of husband, father, grandfather and by extension son, brother, cousin, uncle and friend.
A lifetime New Jerseyan, Anthony was born in Newark to Anna and Vito Sorce. His American-Italian heritage would go on to inform his outlook on life.
As a child of the mid-century, Anthony was enthralled by America’s pastime. As a young boy, he used to come to supper with left hand hidden behind his back until his father would demand, “Tony, take that baseball mitt off at the table!” In contrast to his later life, young Anthony was somewhat of an athletic phenom, sneaking into the junior New York Yankees tryouts and being just about chosen to the team until he was found out to be one year too young. He was told he’d be a shoe-in for the following year, but that was not to be.
At age 15, Tony was little more than “knee-high to a grasshopper,” as he used to say. One day he was playing football with older kids. Tony was knocked to the side and suffered a hip fracture that altered his life’s trajectory.
Anthony was down but not out. While recovering from his first hip surgery, Anthony’s life-long best friend Phil Aromando would not leave his side, not even to play baseball with the other kids. Anthony and Phil sat together on the front porch, forging a rare friendship that lasted over seven decades long. They passed away a year apart.
Anthony’s lop-sided gait didn’t seem to slow him down from other pursuits. He was a master of “making lemonade” from life’s lemons. Not to be MVP in high school sports, Anthony instead became a sports team manager. He nurtured his greatest skill, being able to connect with others and leave them better for it.
Anthony became a man of letters, putting himself through school and earning his undergraduate degree from Seton Hall University and later his Doctorate in Education from Nova University. He was an inner-city teacher in Newark, New Jersey and later suburban teacher in Cherry Hill, New Jersey as well as principal and superintendent in Pine Hill, New Jersey. He ultimately became Director of Curriculum at the Camden County Educational Services Commission (CCESC) where he was known as “Doc.” He was more than a boss. He was both a well-respected mentor and leader. He had a profound impact on many who came in contact with him both at the Commission and throughout the state of New Jersey. His knowledge of the CCESC was undisputed and for many he was “the face of the Commission.”
Anthony’s work life was largely dedicated to education and the betterment of youth.
Tony was an every-man with the interpersonal skills to thrive amongst all echelons of society: he was down-to-earth but also refined; fluent with employees and management; comfortable in a weekend sweat suit as well as a tuxedo; disarming with a generous smile to all. He was always positive and never had a bad word to say about others.
Anthony was blessed with the love of his first wife, Sandy. They created a family with daughters Licia and Sandi. Though his first wife tragically passed away, God’s love endures. Anthony was blessed with the love of his second wife, Martha, and her two daughters, Alisha and Allison. Through joys and tribulations and with his growing family, Anthony continued to laugh and cry and remain steadfast for all of us who relied on his advice, caring, and trust.
Anthony loved family gatherings. He enjoyed eating at restaurants. He loved steak, fish, pie, you name it; but his favorite was Italian cuisine. He was an adamant fan of the Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles, convinced he aided their victories when watching at home or in the stadium. Anthony was an aficionado of action movies, westerns, war movies, house remodeling shows; but also documentaries, rom coms, food network shows, and dramas. Doing crossword puzzles was a favorite pastime of his throughout his life. He loved visiting the shore and islands; and when his mobility became more challenged, he would at times vacation in a condo or hotel with a balcony overlooking the beach.
Anthony Sorce passed away when on his last trip with Martha to the New Jersey shore. The day was sunny, blue skies with only a single small cloud, a salty sea breeze welcoming the discerning home.
The memorial will be private. In lieu of flowers you can make a donation in Anthony’s memory to the American Heart Association (https://www.heart.org) and note for it to be directed towards their research fund.