• Date Of Birth: July 2, 1927
  • Date Of Death: June 8, 2019
  • City: Rockville
  • State: Connecticut

Joseph P. Surdel, Sr. (Joe) 91, of Port St. Lucie, FL, former owner of The Crystal Lake Ballroom Resort, beloved husband of Dorothy J. Surdel, passed away on June 8, 2019. He was born in Rockville, CT, on July 2, 1927, to the late Blanche & John Surdel. He was also predeceased by his daughter, JoAnne Surdel, as well as his sister, Charlotte Cichocki.

Joe & his family built the Crystal Lake Ballroom, which had a 72 x 140-foot dance floor, at the age of 15, without ever taking any classes in construction, which also included a 2 story Restaurant, a sandy beach on the Crystal Lake, a grove and a 1,500 car parking lot. Originally, polka bands played in the Ballroom, as well as record hop nights for the teens.

In 1953 Joe booked all talent from NYC & handled all advertising. He booked the Glenn Miller Band, Gene Krupa & Lionel Hampton. The list of entertainers that performed there is vast, but included JoAnne Campbell, Joey Dee, Duane Eddy, Dion, Bobby Darin, Bobby Rydel, Frankie Avalon, Chubby Checker, Dee Dee Sharp, The Shirelles, Fats Domino, Gene Pitney, Bobby Vinton, Tony Orlando, Peter & Gordon, The Imperials, Paul & Paula, Chuck Berry & “Little” Stevie Wonder when he was 13! He worked with Dick Clark on various shows, as well as hosted Miss Crystal Lake Beauty Contests.

On September 12, 1953, Joe married Dorothy, the love of his life, with whom he enjoyed nearly 66 years of blissful marriage! They had four children, Diane, Rosemary, JoAnne & Joseph P. Surdel, Jr.

In 1966, the Ballroom & property were sold, when Joe & his family moved to South Windsor, Ct., into the home they designed & built. In 1975, they all moved to Cooper City, FL, and in 2002, he built a home for himself & Dorothy in Port St. Lucie, FL.

He is survived by Dorothy, his children, Diane & her husband, Tom, Rosemary & her husband, John, & Joseph P. Surdel, Jr., as well as his four grandchildren, Darlene Mesagno & her husband, Michael, Johnny Pastula & his wife, Amy, Joseph P. Surdel, III & Nick Surdel, as well as his nieces, Regina Surdel & Mary Potash, & dear lifelong friends, JoAnne Campbell Seals & Troy Seals. The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to Joe’s wonderful caregiver, Meryl Usher, & to his surgeon, Dr. René Loyola who used his hands of God to care for him, as well as Shirley & the staff of nurses on the 2nd Floor of St. Lucie Medical Center.