Joseph Grosso

June 29, 1949 - Feb. 26, 2014
Joseph Grosso - June 29, 1949 - Feb. 26, 2014

       Joseph Grosso, who retired as an environmental engineer with the New York City Department of Environmental Protection in 2006, died at home in Bradenton, Fla., on Feb. 26, surrounded by family. Mr. Grosso, who had cancer, was 64.

       He had lived in East Hampton from 2000 to 2010.

       His family said he was loved by many for “his pure heart and characteristic eccentricities.” He was passionate about baseball. An enthusiastic marathon runner, he completed the Boston Marathon.

       After retirement, Mr. Grosso pursued a lifelong interest in health and wellness and earned a degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a holistic health counselor. With the hope of inspiring others, he created newsletters offering nutritional advice. He wrote them under the name Chief Joseph and would leave them for patrons at places like Babette’s restaurant in East Hampton.

       He was a regular at the gym at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk and had a spot on Plum TV for a time.

       Mr. Grosso was born in Brooklyn on June 29, 1949, to Carmine and Filomena Grosso. He grew up in Brooklyn and graduated from St. John’s University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. He earned a master’s degree in health counseling from Columbia University.

       He was married to Janet Grosso, whom his children described as “the love of his life,” on May 7, 1983, at the Tavern on the Green in New York City. She survives him.

       Mr. Grosso’s daughter Olivia Grosso said he had always wanted to retire to Florida, and the family finally moved there in 2010. Ms. Grosso, who lives in Bradenton, said her father loved spending time with his two adopted dogs, Peanut and Angel, and his cat, Ginger.

       In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Grosso is survived by another daughter, Gabrielle Grosso of Bradenton. A sister, Theresa Licitra of Staten Island, also survives.

       A service will be held at the Church of God at 4571 46th Street North, St. Petersburg, Fla., on March 23 at 11 a.m. A reception will follow.