By Barbara Ann Zippi
Lawyer and civic volunteer Joseph R. Polito Jr. of West Chester, often affectionately called “Mr. Chester County” by his friends for his devotion to the community, died on June 19. He was 77.
Mr. Polito passed away at Neighborhood Hospice in West Chester after a five-year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife Marianne, daughter Marie Rochele, and son Joseph Christopher.
Born on Valentine’s Day, Mr. Polito grew up in West Chester playing in the aisles of his family’s corner grocery. He finished St. Agnes Catholic High School in 1956, and four years later graduated from what is now St. Joseph’s University, majoring in political science.
After earning a degree from Villanova School of Law, he began practicing law with the West Chester firm of Perna & Delduco. Soon after, he became a Chester County assistant district attorney and then special deputy attorney general assigned to West Chester University.
He opened Kent & Polito law practice in West Chester in 1974.
“Joe loved the law immensely and dedicated his life to community service,” wrote his family in a tribute.
He was also a decorated member, past president and board member of the Rotary Club of West Chester. He also received First West Chester Fire Company’s dedicated service award for his efforts with the company.