Joseph N.
"Joe Lang"



In Show Tonight


Camden Courier-Post
February 28, 1938


Attendance of more than 700 persons is anticipated at a minstrel show to be given tonight and tomorrow night by the Young Men's Catholic Club of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Fourth and Division streets.

In addition to the minstrel show there will be dancing by Marie "Sunshine" Dragonette and the Falco Brothers, and a song and dance number by Armira Regan. In the circle will be George Valianti and Armand Paglione, end men; John Ragone, interlocutor; Joseph Colangelo, Mario di Lodovico, Anthony Cotrambone, Gerald Villano, John L. Gregorio, Joseph Parisi, James Ladik and Louis Valente. Dominic Gregorio is directing the show.

Camden Courier-Post * March 4, 2010

On March 2, 2010; of Cinnaminson, NJ; age 92 years. Beloved husband of 70 years of the late Nettie; Devoted father of Salvatore and his wife Marie, Peter and his wife Patricia, Nicholas and Carole, and Francine and her husband William Eisenmann; Loving grandfather of Joseph, Doreen, Peter Jr., Perry, Nicholas Jr., Christina, Marc, Kevin, and great grandfather of Isabel, Adalene and Joseph. Joseph was one of the organizers to form the union at Campbell's Soup in the late 1930's. He served as secretary, treasurer and business manager of Local 80 - United Food and Commercial Workers Union; representing employees at Campbell Soup, US Cocoa Corp., Harris Steel Co., Haddon House Inc., and Flavor Delite. He also served as a business agent for Local 77 - American Federation of Musicians from 1960 to 1968. Mr. Colangelo attended Rutgers University and was a co-adjutant instructor at Rutgers as well as an instructor in the General Education Development Program at Rutgers for students to attain a high school equivalency diploma. He was also active in the following capacities; secretary/treasurer of the Camden Central Labor Union, Vice President of NJ State Industrial Union Council AFL-CIO, served as general vice-chairman for four years on the United Way Camden County chapter, treasurer of the Union Organization for Social Service (A United Fund agency), past president and secretary of the Delaware Valley Musicians Club, 2 year chairman and later vice-chairman of the executive board of the Camden chapter of the Red Cross. In his youth, he was a singing band leader using the professional name of Joe Lang. His dance band and cocktail unit played the major hotels, ballrooms and cocktail lounges in the New Jersey and Pennsylvania area. He sang in the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church choir in the 1940's and 1950's and performed the "Ave Maria" in many churches for weddings. Mr. Colangelo was also a charter member of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Cinnaminson. Relatives and friends are invited to the Visitation and Funeral on Friday from 7 to 9 PM and Saturday from 8:15 to 9:15 AM at the FALCO/ CARUSO & LEONARD Pennsauken Funeral Home, 6600 North Browning Road. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 AM at the Church of St. Charles Borromeo, 2500 Branch Pike in Cinnaminson. Interment will follow at Lakeview Memorial Park in Cinnaminson. The family requests memorial contributions in his memory to the Moorestown Visiting Nurses Hospice, 300 Harper Drive, Moorestown, NJ 08057 OR United Way of Camden County, 196 Newton Avenue, Camden, NJ 08103. Info, condolences and guestbook at

Philadelphia Inquirer * March 4, 2010

Joseph N. Colangelo, 92, labor leader

Joseph N. Colangelo, 92, of Cinnaminson, a longtime labor leader who represented many employees from food and commercial companies in South Jersey for several decades and helped start a union at Campbell Soup Co. in the 1930s, died Tuesday at home.

Born and raised in Camden, Mr. Colangelo started working at Campbell Soup after graduating from Camden High School.

He soon helped organize a union at Campbell. From then on, he continued to go up the labor-leadership ladder.

"Joe was a fixture in the labor movement here for the last 60 years," said State Sen. Donald Norcross (D., Camden). "He was instrumental in many advances."

Norcross, president of the Southern New Jersey AFL-CIO, had known Mr. Colangelo since childhood. Norcross' father, George Jr., worked closely with Mr. Colangelo in the labor movement.

Mr. Colangelo served as secretary, treasurer, and business manager of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 80, which represented employees at Campbell Soup and other companies, including US Cocoa Corp., Harris Steel Co., and Flavor Delite.

Mr. Colangelo's work at Campbell, Norcross said, helped workers win health coverage and pension benefits so "people could retire with dignity."

"Those who knew Joe loved him. He was somebody who was respectful and understood what was needed to raise a family," Norcross said.

Mr. Colangelo was a Campbell Soup employee for nearly 50 years, said his daughter, Francine Eisenmann.

Labor negotiating wasn't his only skill. He was also a well-known singer and was often invited to sing "Ave Maria" at weddings.

According to a short autobiography, Mr. Colangelo went by the name Joe Lang as a musician and was the lead singer of a band. The group performed at area hotels, ballrooms, and cocktail lounges.

Mr. Colangelo also belonged to the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church choir in Camden in the 1940s and '50s.

He served as a business agent for American Federation of Musicians Local 77 all through the 1960s, and as president and secretary of the Delaware Valley Musicians Club.

Other high-ranking positions that Mr. Colangelo held included secretary and treasurer of the Camden Central Labor Union and vice president of the New Jersey State Industrial Union Council AFL-CIO.

He was an instructor in the GED program at Rutgers University and a charter member of St. Charles Borromeo Church in Cinnaminson.

For four years, he served as vice chairman of United Way of Camden County, and for many years was a board member. Its president and chief executive officer, Mike Moynihan, said Mr. Colangelo "has a long legacy with the United Way."

"All you had to do was pick up the phone and Joe would do anything he could to help you out. He was a real community champion," Moynihan said, noting that Mr. Colangelo had helped develop an immunization program for laborers' children.

Mr. Colangelo was chairman and later vice chairman of the executive board of the Camden County chapter of the American Red Cross, and stayed on as a volunteer for more than 25 years.

Camy Trinidad, executive director of the chapter, recalled the powerful labor leader as a warm and generous person with a firm hand as he grasped a shoulder and looked a person in the eye.

"He was a strong advocate for everything involving health care, including the Red Cross," Trinidad said, adding that Mr. Colangelo had dramatically increased blood donations and financial support to the organization by encouraging contributions from organized labor.

Mr. Colangelo was the first recipient of the Good Neighbor Award given by the Red Cross for humanitarian work.

Even after his Joe Lang days, he was well-known for his voice. He often sang "God Bless America" at award dinners, Trinidad said.

"He had a booming voice and was a great musician," Trinidad said.

The union community called Mr. Colangelo "the voice of Labor Day," Norcross said. He had remained a visible part of the labor community, singing the national anthem at an annual Labor Day celebration in South Jersey.

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Colangelo is survived by sons Salvatore, Peter, and Nicholas; eight grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

His wife of 70 years, Antoinette "Nettie" Colangelo, died Feb. 12. "We all think he died of a broken heart," his daughter said.

Friends may call from 7 to 9 p.m. tomorrow and from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. Saturday at the Falco/Caruso & Leonard Pennsauken Funeral Home, 6600 N. Browning Rd., Pennsauken. A Funeral Mass will be said at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Church of St. Charles Borromeo, 2500 Branch Pike, Cinnaminson. Burial will be in Lakeview Memorial Park, Cinnaminson.

Contact staff writer Claudia Vargas at 856-779-3917 or

Inquirer staff writers Barbara Boyer and Jonathan Tamari contributed to this article.