On December 18, 2021, Joseph "Chookie" Sciallo Jr. finally went to "the great beyond." Chookie was born on March 30, 1930 in Bloomfield. The son of Joseph Sciallo Sr. and Modestina Donatucci, brother of the late John Sciallo, and husband of the late Evelyn. He is survived by his three children: Judy Boyle, David Sciallo and Paula Mattern (Jim); as well as his six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Chookie served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War, then went on to work as a Teamster for over 40 years.
Being 91, Chookie knew that his time to go to "the great beyond," as he called it, would be inevitable. But there were a few things he wanted people to know about him, even after he had left us. If you knew Chookie, you probably remember seeing him sitting on his light blue porch for hours during the warmer months -- often blaring classic music and singing along with it. He loved living in his neighborhood and waving to everyone. He always said he wanted everyone to know he had a "full life." He loved that he got to live in the same block as all six of his grandchildren as they grew up. This was so important to him because as a child he also grew up around his immediate family and all of his close cousins in the Bloomfield area of the city, which he was so beyond proud to be from.
One thing that Chookie loved was jokes. He had multiple joke books sitting on his shelf and would sometimes repeat the same four jokes over and over again. He loved when people thought he was funny and he loved to make people laugh. We are all very certain that is what kept him with us for 91 years... his love of laughter. Laughter was so important to him, but so was helping people. Chookie helped people from the time he was a young boy, working during his youth to help his handicapped mother, all the way to taking care of his mother-in-law, his wife and even his closest friend. He was a selfless person and was here to do anything he could for anyone. He would often see people waiting for the bus in front of his porch and if the bus took too long, he would just ride them to wherever they needed to go. Without hesitation. That's who Chookie was.
Chookie was a very simple man. Besides sitting on the porch and listening to music, which he loved so much, he was also a huge sports and politics fan. If you talked to him for more than a few minutes you would know his views and you would also know that the Steelers needed to "run the ball" and the Pens needed to "shoot the puck." He would watch sports all day, on his multiple TVs, all set up in one room.
But above all things, Chookie was genuine. For someone of his age, and generation...he was accepting. He never saw anyone for anything other than who they were. He would talk to anyone who stepped on his porch, regardless of how they looked or what their situation was. As his family, we are beyond blessed that we got to live our lives around him. He was a man of few words, but in the last few years he would tell us he was "lucky" that he got to live the life he did. He would always say "When I die... I want everyone to know I had a full life," and we were happy to be a part of it.
Family and Friends welcome Wednesday December 22, 2021, 2-8 pm WM. SLATER & SONS, INC., (412-381-3345), 301 Virginia Ave., Mt. Washington 15211. Funeral Mass Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 10 am at St. Mary of the Mount Church, Mary Queen of Peace Parish officiated by Bishop David J. Bonnar. Burial will be private to the family only.