Jacqueline Ida “Miss Jackie” (Leone) Macaluso, 77, of Sparta, passed away of a hard battled illness on Monday, January 13, 2020.
Born on July 14, 1942 to the late John and Marie Leone; she was raised in Bristol, Connecticut as the oldest daughter of seven children. At the young age of thirteen, Miss Jackie was taught a strong work ethic and family to be the foundation of her character. She held a job earning $0.25 an hour in a tobacco field while giving her paychecks to her father to help support her large family. A proud 1961 graduate of Bristol Central High School in Bristol, Connecticut, and was quickly employed by the City Clerk’s Office thereafter. Very early in life as a high school freshman, she met her high school sweetheart and love of her life, senior Joseph Macaluso. Even though both families were not fond of the relationship because of the age difference and were told, “It was never going to last,” Miss Jackie and Joe’s love for each other was transcendent. They wed when she was of the legal age of 21 on, August 3, 1963. Her life-long focus was to champion the opportunities for girls, especially any in her family.
In 1969, she and her husband Joseph moved to Flanders, New Jersey and began their family. Together they raised their two daughters and son while the series of 5 family businesses up to the current Blockchain Applied Technologies, grew. She was a devoted mother who was very involved in every aspect of her children’s education, and provided a very loving, warm, and nurturing home for them. Miss Jackie enjoyed making mouth-watering traditional Italian dishes for their daily dinner hour. She had carefully prepared meals with the sense of family being of her utmost importance in her life. As the children gained more independence, Miss Jackie was employed as a dental office manager for Dr. Roger Casulli. During this time, she also became a volunteer at the Welkind Hospital for Multiple Sclerosis in Flanders, New Jersey. Never realizing this would be a disease contracted by her son at a later time in her life. Everyone who knew Miss Jackie knew that they were her best friend. And...they were.
Pope John Regional High School was the main reason the Macaluso family decided to move to Sparta, NJ in 1986. She was a highly efficient pragmatic problem solver, and her “just fix it” mentality was instrumental in installing a new HVAC system in Pope John. In addition, she was a contributor to the Pope John Middle School in the earliest stages of the school’s development.
It was common to see Miss Jackie with her youthful spirit heading to spin class at the Sparta Athletic Club. When in her home in Marina del Rey, she would be seen with her daughter at the Soul Cycle classes in Santa Monica. She was constantly on the move and often mistaken as her daughters’ sister. With nutrition, health, and wellness at the forefront of her priorities, Miss Jackie assisted bringing the YMCA to the area as well as being a top capital donor. She was also recently named, “Woman of the Year” by the YMCA as she used her synergy to influence contributions for the renovations which led to the beautiful addition of the basketball court. Among Miss Jackie’s recognitions, she was named, “Philanthropist of the Year” by the Sussex County Chamber of Commerce in 2018. Her generous and kind-hearted soul was also a monthly contributor to the Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. She also served as a co-chair person on the Blessed Kateri’s board as a founder of building operations of the new Blessed Kateri’s building structure on Stanhope Sparta Road, Sparta. She was a “Silent Angel” contributing to any causes which supported the opportunities for young women.
Miss Jackie is survived by her husband of 57 years, Joseph D. Macaluso; her adored daughters Jo-Ann Devereaux of Easton, PA, and Mary-Beth Macaluso of Santa Monica, CA; her loving son Joseph J. Macaluso and daughter-in-law Bonnie Macaluso of Mooresville, NC; four cherished grandchildren: Brandon Audeh, Dominick, Joseph J., and Madison Rose Macaluso; her six siblings: Anthony Leone, John Leone, William Leone, Maryanne Stinchon, Patricia Tincher-Leone, and Roland Leone; plus many extended family and friends.
An afternoon memorial mass for the beloved given by Rev. Msgr. Kieran McHugh at Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Catholic Parish, 427 Stanhope Sparta Road, Sparta, NJ 07871, on Saturday, February 15, 2020 at 3:00pm, followed by a Celebration of Life for Miss Jackie at Perona Farms located on 350 Andover Sparta Road, Andover Township, NJ 07821 at 5:00pm. The “just fix it” leadership example Miss Jackie stamped on all our hearts will be her legacy. In lieu of flowers, please make kind donations in her name to The Macaluso Compassionate Care Foundation,1A Main Street, Suite 7, Sparta, NJ 07871.