College mourns passing of Joseph Britto, longtime adjunct professor of history

It is with sadness that the College shares news of the death of Joseph Britto, on May 16, 2021. He was 74.

A lifelong lover of history and education, Britto taught as an adjunct at SUNY New Paltz for more than 25 years, and continued serving the campus community as an instructor with the College’s Lifetime Learning Institute for many years afterwards.

He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and held graduate degrees from Brooklyn College, St. John’s University and The City University of New York. He resided in Pine Bush, New York, for many years prior to his passing.

He married Gale Coulter in 1969, and over more than 50 wedded years their immediate family grew to include four children, three daughters-in-law and seven grandchildren.

In addition to his teaching roles at SUNY New Paltz and SUNY Orange, Britto worked for 30 years as a bilingual counselor at multiple New York State Department of Corrections facilities.

Britto (known to friends as “Buzzy”) also served as a board member at the Pine Bush Public Library and as a parishioner and member of the Guardian Angel team at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic Church in Bullville, New York.

An obituary published by the family notes that Britto “never stopped learning or encouraging others to learn … and was famous for asking others what they were reading.”

Joseph Britto is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren, and many in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends.

A wake will be held on Sunday, May 23, from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. at William Gagan Funeral Home, 1525 Burlingham Road, Pine Bush, New York, 12566.

Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, May 24, at St. Paul’s RC Church, 2800 Route 17K, Bullville, New York, 10915.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

St. Paul’s RC Church, P.O. Box 222 Bullville, New York, 10915


The Pine Bush Area Library, 223 Maple Ave., Pine Bush, NY 12566.