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G. Joseph Szarka

G. Joseph Szarka ’68, 72, passed away on Monday, December 19, 2022. He was the husband of Marilynn Szarka.

GEZA “JOE” SZARKA, age 72, passed away suddenly on December 19, 2022. Devoted husband to Marilynn (nee Pilon). Loving father to Tara Quinty (Robert), Nichole Swartz (Dustin), Colin Brown (Christina), Jonathan L. Szarka (Kait Bramble), Mary-Lynn Brown (Mike Law), and Elizabeth Boice (Eric). Beloved grandfather to RJ, Jack, Lilou, Winry, and Ivy.

Geza Joseph Szarka was an exceptional man, father, grandfather, and husband. Born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1950, Joe was brought here by his father and raised in Philadelphia, Maryland and Hershey, PA. From humble roots milking cows and learning English under a desk, he grew into an acclaimed professional, working for the City of Philadelphia as a forensic scientist for 42 years. In 2015, Joe happily retired as Manager of the Philadelphia Police Department’s Crime Lab to spend every possible moment living life to the fullest with his wife Marilynn.

In his sunset years, he travelled with her worldwide, and somehow also managed to pick up his grandchildren from school (with seasonal chocolates to share) almost every single day. His greatest joy was journeying. From his honeymoon to Hawaii, to a vacation to Australia and Figi, all the way to his last big adventure to Alaska, his love of travel was insatiable. 40 miles, or 4000, it was only a step if it meant a new sight or time with those he loved.

These achievements aside, his pride and joy was undeniably his family. Every single person he met became a part of his life. When he met his first wife Judy, her children were his children from the moment he laid eyes on them. When he married his wife Marilynn, he was so incredibly proud of her and the family she brought with her that, to his dying day, he could talk your ear off about how special they were. From the ice cream lady on OCNJ boardwalk (Janice) to his colleagues at the many non-profits he was ‘volun-told’ to attend, his orbit was far and wide, and his gravitation was strong.

He was at his core humble, generous, thoughtful, patient and kind. He used his incredible intelligence to sort through every detail for everything, from choices for college, to slicing bread and turkey, to providing epic pots of chicken paprikash and nookedli for every holiday. He was devoted to ensuring his wife, his children, his grandchildren, and every friend he had, had every opportunity and everything they deserved. Everyone who met him leaned towards his love naturally, because he was a source of great peace and so much wisdom.

He gave everything he had for others. At the drop of a hat, Joe was there, next to his beautiful wife, with thoughtful gifts, food, time; whatever was needed. His was a selfless, curious, exceptional life, and his last words were about others. His family wishes him many happy days smiling upon us and singing along to our song. We love you.

Relatives and friends are invited to his visitation Thursday evening, December 22, 2022, from 6:00PM until 7:30PM at Louis A. DiGiacomo, Inc. Funeral Home, 1055 Southampton Road, Philadelphia, PA, 19116, immediately followed by words of remembrance service 7:30PM at the funeral home. Burial private.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Joe’s memory can be made to The VIDOCQ Society, 1704 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 or at vidocq.or

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