On Saturday, February 6, 2021, James Allocco entered into eternal rest and into the arms of our loving God.
James led a life well lived. His life centered around his faith, family, and a love of teaching.
Born on March 21, 1946 and raised in Hoboken, New Jersey, James had a passion for education and was the first member of his family to attend college. He graduated from Jersey City State University with a Bachelor of Arts in social studies and, ultimately, a Master of Arts degree in history with a concentration in political science and economics. In 1968, James was hired by the Dumont Board of Education as a high school social studies teacher. He spent the next thirty years at Dumont High School as an acclaimed classroom instructor and leader. During his career, James was the recipient of the Governor’s Teacher Recognition Award and the New Jersey Council for the Social Studies’ Outstanding Teacher Award. He was also awarded the William Cuff Educator Award for Educational Leadership from Montclair State University for his mentorship of student teachers.
James always put his students first by finding creative ways to encourage students’ critical thinking skills and learning. He did this through continuous professional development, curriculum revision, and self-reflection. James was also a great colleague and supporter of teachers’ rights. He served as President, Vice President, and Legislative Chairman of the Dumont Education Association. In addition, James served as Bergen County Education Association’s Legislative Chairman and was a member of the New Jersey Education Association’s Legislative Committee. As a member of both the NJEA and NEA, James was often called upon to discuss the impact of pending legislation on student learning and teacher responsibility with state and federal legislators. Because of these achievements, James later became Vice Principal of Charles A. Selzer School in Dumont. He held this position until his retirement in 2008, capping a forty-year career.
James was a man of strong faith. He was a devotee of St. Ann, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, and St. Anthony. In 1974, James was among the first group of Eucharistic Ministers commissioned in the Archdiocese of Newark. At Our Lady of Fatima Church in North Bergen, James served as a lector, Eucharistic Minister, and CCD teacher, which is how he met his wife Claudia. James continued these positions after moving to Ridgewood in 1988 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church until health issues made it too difficult for him to continue. Because of his belief in helping others, James supported numerous charities including Save the Children, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Wounded Warrior Project, Shriners Hospitals for Children, and numerous Catholic Charities.
James is survived by his beloved wife Claudia (Cerchio), daughter Jennifer, son David and his wife Constantina (Hoppas), and two grandsons, James and Christopher whom he spoiled and cherished. He is also survived by his sister Florence and brother-in-law Anthony Lenza, as well as a large extended family that includes numerous first and second generation nieces and nephews.
A mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Ridgewood on Tuesday, February 16, followed by entombment at Holy Cross Cemetery in North Arlington.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that prayers be said for the repose of his soul. Charitable contributions may be given to one of the charities supported by the Allocco Family.
The Funeral Mass on 2/16/21 at 10:30 AM will be live streamed. Please click on one of the links below to view the live stream.
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