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Joseph A. Simonetta Jr.


Joseph A. Simonetta Jr. passed away peacefully after a courageous battle on March 10, 2023 at his home in New Hope with his loving husband of 41 years Kevin A. Kester by his side.

Joe was born in Easton, Pa., and raised in Phillipsburg, N.J., before heading to Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Md., where he graduated with a BS in business and political science. Joe was passionate about politics and worked in political advocacy and association management for nearly 50 years, starting with his first role as campaign chairman for the Mayor of Phillipsburg in 1973, followed by his role as chief of staff for the Mayor of Trenton. His career ultimately lead him to join Public Strategies Impact in 1991, where he had been a senior partner ever since. Joe was one of New Jersey’s most effective lobbyists, well liked, trusted, and widely respected by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. He was truly one of the most talented pioneers in the lobbying profession, among his adversaries, clients, and coworkers.

His passion for politics was equally matched by his enthusiasm for life. He loved to cook and throw dinner parties for his dear friends whom he cherished more than anything. He was an avid boater and was proud of his captain’s license for sailing. Joe also loved to golf and could always be found at Trenton Country Club whenever he had spare time. In keeping with his zest for life was his adventurous spirit and love of travel. He also had a great appreciation for the arts, which lead him to settle in the New Hope area, where he served as a board member of the Bucks County Playhouse.

In addition to his husband, Joe is survived by his brother Michael and his wife Dawn (McConnell), his brother Mark and his wife Christine (Siddons), and many nephews, nieces and cousins. He is pre-deceased by his loving parents Antoinette (Stillo) and Joseph A. Simonetta Sr.

The memorial Mass will be offered on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Saint Martin of Tours Catholic Church, 1 Riverstone Circle, New Hope, PA 18938. Committal services will follow at the parish cemetery.

Calling hours will be held on Wednesday, March 22, from 2 to 4 p.m. and from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Van Horn-McDonough Funeral Home, 21 York St., Lambertville, NJ 08530.

In lieu of flowers, donations in the memory of Joseph A. Simonetta Jr. may be made to the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, 195 Little Albany St., New Brunswick, NJ 08901 or to the Bucks County Playhouse, 12 West Mechanic St., Suite 2A, New Hope, PA 18938 in New Hope in the name of Joseph A. Simonetta.

Photos you may wish to be included in the picture presentation of Joe’s life shall be emailed to

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