Dr. Stanley John Vitello, PhD, 76


Dr. Stanley John Vitello, PhD, formerly of Hopewell, NJ , passed away unexpectedly on June 26, 2020 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  He was 76 years old.

Stanley was born in South Philadelphia in 1944 to Orazio and Bessie Chaiken Vitello. He was the eldest of three children: brother to Janet Vitello Cristofaro and Martin Vitello. A proud Eagle Scout, his early years were filled with a love of learning, baseball, and history. Stan was the first in his family to attend college. His love of learning continued as he completed his bachelor’s degree at Temple University in 1965, Ed. S in Special Education at Vanderbilt in 1969, and his Doctorate in Educational Psychology at the University of Connecticut in 1972. He received a Master of Studies in Law from Yale Law School in 1983 and acquired his law degree from Villanova University in 1997 at the age of 53.

Stanley was a professor at Glassboro State College, The Pennsylvania State University and until retirement Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University, in New Jersey. He dedicated his life to fighting for and serving the developmentally disabled. Stan was an educator, author, attorney, and a career long advocate for the rights of those with disabilities. In 1990 he was awarded a Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Public Policy Fellowship and served on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy.

He loved to travel. He regularly presented at international conferences in Spain, Italy and other countries. He also volunteered his time with centers dedicated to disabled children in countries like India and Italy. Additionally, he spent time with his son David traveling much of Europe and visiting the home of their ancestors in Italy and Ukraine. They also took a weeklong trip to upstate New York to visit Historic Hudson Valley.

In 2016 he moved in with his daughter Emilie and her family. Stan and Emilie enjoyed going to the movies, lunches together (he especially loved a good bacon burger!), and he loved going for a weekly massage.

He is survived by his son, David Vitello (his wife Aya) and their daughter Kiyoko, as well as his daughter Emilie Singh (her husband Adish) and their daughter’s Chloe and Madison.  He will be deeply missed.

Stanley will be remembered for his love of his children and grandchildren, his sense of humor and his commitment to virtuous character and service to others. His children have started a foundation in his name to honor his Legacy and to continue to advocate for the populations he spent his life serving: stanleyjvitellofoundation.org

A quote from Stanley: “There are no life courses to take only to bear the slings and arrows of this life, and to never give up on oneself or others you love.”

There was a service for Stanley in Scottsdale, Arizona on Wednesday, July 15th, 2020 at Messinger Mortuary Pinnacle Peak. He will be cremated, and his ashes will be spread in Naples by his family.