Joseph V. Dumbra

Joseph V. Dumbra, 82, of Holmdel, died peacefully at home Wednesday, November 27th. Joe was born in Florence, Italy, and lived in the United States for 10 years before returning to Italy following World War II. He returned to the United States to attend Fordham University, where he also earned his Master’s degree in Spanish and met Marie, the love of his life, whom he adoringly called his “principessa”.


Joe was a Professor of Italian and Spanish at Pace University in New York for more than 40 years and retired as the Dean of Continuing Education. He was a parishioner of St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church, where he served on the Parish Council and was a Lector and Eucharistic minister.


He enjoyed cooking, wine, and classical music. Joe was an avid hobbyist enjoying activities such as carpentry, gardening, puzzles, stamp collecting, and reading. He was a history enthusiast with a wide range of interests from the Renaissance to World War II. In addition to contributing to many charitable organizations, he was a supporter of the Arts, attending operas, theatre, plays, concerts, and museums.


Joe was most passionate about his family. He loved to travel with his wife and children, visiting his Italian homeland often, as well as other European and US locations. He was happiest surrounded by family, whether it was watching Notre Dame football, enjoying our annual LBI vacations, or hosting many holiday celebrations, especially the traditional Christmas Eve feast. He selflessly supported his children and grandchildren in their many endeavors, on the sidelines or in the audience beaming with pride.


Joe is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Marie Micale Dumbra; four children, Paula Dumbra Anthony, Shelton, CT, Joseph and Celia Dumbra, Cream Ridge, NJ, Michael and Ashley Dumbra, Point Reyes Station, CA, and Christina and Dennis Brooks, Atlantic Highlands, NJ; his nine grandchildren, Katharine and Victoria Anthony, Maximus and Gaia Dumbra, Emilia and Paolo Dumbra, Jackson, Penelope, and William Brooks. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Patty Micale, Holmdel, NJ; his nieces, Maria and her husband Vincent, Connie, and Marybeth; his grandnieces and grandnephews, Sean, Joan, Grace, Ellie, Matthew, and Kate. He was predeceased by his parents, Domenico Dumbra and Nadina Rocchiccioli Dumbra, his in-laws Salvatore and Pauline Micale, his brother Domenico Dumbra, and his brother-in-law Anthony Micale.


Visitation is Monday, Dec. 2nd, 2:00 to 4:00 and 7:00 to 9:00 pm, at the Holmdel Funeral Home, 26 South Holmdel Road, Holmdel. Mass of Christian burial is Tuesday, Dec. 3rd, 10:00am, at St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church, 165 Bethany Road, Holmdel. Entombment will follow at St. Catharine Mausoleum, 1100 West Chicago Blvd., Sea Girt. To share a favorite memory of Joe or send messages of condolence, please visit his tribute page at