Joe Bianchi was very committed to North Arlington, New Jersey, a small community eight miles from the World Trade Center. He was born there, went to school there, played baseball on its first Little League team, and in high school lettered in football and track.
After a stint in the Army, Joe returned to North Arlington and attended Barber College in order to follow in the family trade. It was during this time that he met the love of his life, Catherine Furia. Joe and Catherine were married on September 26, 1965, and settled down to raise a family. They raised three children, Gina, Joseph, and Anthony, and became grandparents to seven grandchildren.
In time, Joe and Cathy opened the popular Pal Joey’s Hair Salon in North Arlington, where Joe got to know many of the people in town. They were always willing to support any group or individual that needed help. Joe joined the service clubs UNICO, Rotary Club, and the Elks because of their work in the community.
Joe became a member of Hose Company 1 in December 1980. He served many years as company president and financial secretary. He went inactive in 2006 but remained a social member of the company.
Joe served as a member of the zoning board and planning board, eventually becoming president of the planning board. After going inactive from the fire department, he decided to run for town council in 2007 and was elected. He eventually ran for and was elected mayor of the town where he had spent his entire life.
On Thursday, September 13, 2001, Joe joined one of the relief crews that went to Ground Zero. The North Arlington Fire Department had been operating at the World Trade Center site since the morning of September 11, 2001, performing various tasks associated with rescue and recovery operations. Unfortunately, this would result in Joe’s untimely death from multiple myeloma many years later on October 10, 2018.
Joe dearly loved and was devoted to his family, his community, and his neighbors. He was loved by many whose lives he touched and will be dearly missed by his family and his community.
I have known Mayor Joe since grammer school and high school. You could not find a better citizen. RIP Mayor Joe will always remember you.– Loretta Campanaro Casella
Firefighter Bianchi, We will never forget you. You are a true HERO!!!– lisa hopman