Joseph “Joe” Gabriel Zurolo Jr., of Elkton, Maryland, died February 5, 2020 at the Perry Point Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Perry Point, Maryland. He was 71.

Born in Connecticut on April 23, 1948, he was the son of the late Joseph Gabriel Zurolo Sr. and Fannie Salzano Zurolo.

Mr. Zurolo was a US Army veteran, where he served in the military police from 1967 to 1970. After leaving military service, Mr. Zurolo continued a career in law enforcement, joining the Elkton Police Department in February 1971.  He was later recruited to join the Maryland Office of the State Fire Marshal in January 1975, where he served until his retirement on December 31, 2009.

Throughout his tenure with the Office of the State Fire Marshal, Mr. Zurolo was a K-9 handler, as well as a technician with the OSFM Bomb Squad. One of his most memorable assignments was the security detail for the 1995 papal visit by Pope John Paul II in Baltimore. Mr. Zurolo later told the Cecil Whig of the tremendous sense of pride he felt when asked to perform security checks on the Basilica’s altar prior to the Pope celebrating mass. Mr. Zurolo was well-known throughout the law enforcement and public safety community. His investigative prowess was an outstanding asset, as he assisted the Maryland State Police and allied agencies on numerous high-profile investigations. 

Mr. Zurolo was an avid volunteer, having achieved the lifetime member status with the William M. Singerly Steam Fire Engine and Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 of Elkton, Maryland. He was also a member of the Maryland Trooper’s Association – Lodge 15, where he served as vice president and treasurer. Mr. Zurolo was well known for his dedication to the Maryland Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run and Shop With A Cop, Cecil County, Inc. Mr. Zurolo would step in as Santa Claus during holiday visits to Union Hospital of Cecil County and surrounding nursing homes. When he wasn’t volunteering, Mr. Zurolo enjoyed spending time with his dogs and reading books about World War II.

Mr. Zurolo is survived by his twin brother, Vincent Joseph Zurolo and his wife Valerie; a nephew, Joseph Vincent Zurolo and his wife Sharon; a niece Angel Zurolo Wulff and her husband Steven; great nieces Crystal Zurolo and Gianna Wulff and a great nephew, Shane Wulff.  Additionally, Mr. Zurolo is survived by his goddaughter, Brittany Meaders Lester as well as numerous aunts, cousins, and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shop With A Cop, Cecil County, Inc. P.O. Box 98 Childs, Maryland 21916.

Visitation for family and friends will be held Thursday, February 13, 2020, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m., at the Crouch Funeral Home, 127 South Main Street in North East, Maryland.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 14, 2020, at 10:00 a.m., at the Immaculate Conception Church at 455 Bow Street in Elkton, Maryland. Interment with full military honors will follow in the Immaculate Conception Cemetery on Singerly Road near Elkton, Maryland.

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