In Memory

Dennis Chiappetta - Class Of 1961

Dennis Chiappetta

Dennis Ferdinand Chiappetta, Sr.

June 17, 1943 - July 13, 2021


Dennis Ferdinand Chiappetta, Sr., 78, of Manalapan, New Jersey, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, July 13, 2021.

One of six children, Dennis was born June 17, 1943, to Ferdinand and Angeline (Bonofiglio) Chiappetta and raised in their warm Italian Catholic family in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was a member of Holy Rosary Parish where he also attended elementary school. After graduating from St. Joseph's High School in Kenosha, Dennis earned a scholarship to attend Marquette University, where he completed Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Communications. He married his high school sweetheart, Sandra Pohlman, June 12, 1965 marking the start of a loving and joy-filled 56-year marriage.

Dennis moved to New York City with Sandy in 1965 to participate in a highly selective management training program at Equitable Life Assurance Society. He became a Systems Analyst with Equitable Life, and then with Young and Rubicam Inc. (Y&R) at its headquarters in New York. While working and raising his family, he earned a Master's degree in Business Administration at New York University, and became Vice President and Director of Y&R's Corporate Financial and Business Systems. A steadfast leader, Dennis was counted on to manage business systems across the worldwide agency.

Dennis and Sandy moved out of Manhattan as their family grew, establishing roots in Manalapan, New Jersey.

Always an ardent reader, Dennis' love of books inspired him to start a long and fulfilling hobby as a rare book and art dealer. He always appreciated great literature and fine art in its many forms. He shared this passion with each of his five children and 24 grandchildren. He often gave others specific books as gifts for a reason. Each of Dennis' books had a story beyond those told within its pages.Dennis was an extraordinary cook, a skill learned as a boy from his mother, Angie, and perfected over many years of experimenting. Whether he was preparing an extravagant Christmas Eve feast for 35, complete with traditional family dishes, or turning leftovers into flavorful meals, he did so with verve and humility. He always let his food speak for him. Good food was a demonstration of his love.Dennis was also an avid golfer, a passion inspired by his father, Ferdy, enjoying many rounds in the early morning on his own or with family. Golf was both an essential skill to master, and a lot of fun.In all interactions he had with family and friends, in the office, or the antiques market, he quietly modeled gentle humor, tact, diplomacy, and virtue, and he always upheld the truth while practicing the art of understatement.

Dennis drew strength from his faith, passed down to him by his parents and shared among his large family. He was a parishioner of St. Thomas the Apostle in Old Bridge, New Jersey, for 50 years. His love of God and family was paramount, and his reliable presence, his counsel and his encouragement in times of need will never be forgotten by his friends and family. Family, faith, and infinite support and love from his wife Sandy, provided Dennis the foundation and support necessary to make the most of his God-given talents and make a real difference in the lives of nearly everyone he met.

Dennis is survived by his wife, Sandy, whom he loved dearly; his five children: Maria (Jeff) Hartman, Dennis, Jr. (Tina), Christopher, Anthony (Monica) and Vincent (Carmen) and his 24 grandchildren: Henry Christopher, Elizabeth, William, Natalie, Emily and Jeffry Hartman; Dennis III, Olivia, Anna and Joseph Chiappetta; Matthew, Thomas, Robert, Maria, Bernadette, Cecilia, Margaret, John and Veronica Chiappetta; and Julia, Peter, Gregory, Marco and Alexander Chiappetta. He is also survived by his brothers and sisters: Gail (Jim) Whelpley, Jeffrey (Elaine), Carole Ann Forgianni, Ferdinand (Susan) and Rita (Art Maurer).

Friends and family may visit from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at The Brunswick Memorial Home, 454 Cranbury Road, East Brunswick, on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Funeral services will be held on Friday, July 23, 2021 at 8:45 a.m., starting at Brunswick Memorial followed immediately by a 9:30 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic Church, Old Bridge. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Burial Park in South Brunswick.

Should friends desire, donations may be made in memory of Dennis to: The Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist, The Sophia Institute for Teachers, or The Thomas More Society.