Obituary: Joseph P. Consentino, longtime Ridgefielder

Joseph P. Consentino passed from this journey to another on Friday, January 19, 2018. Sandra, his best friend, loving wife, partner, soulmate and mother to their remarkable children, Susan and Stephen, was by his side. Their adventures were shared over 55 years; memories that will forever be conversations.  

Joe’s education, career and passions created a colorful tapestry of interesting threads.  

After graduating from St. John’s and Columbia Universities with degrees in journalism, Joe became a photojournalist for Saturday Evening Post, Look Magazine and Sports illustrated. His photographs have been celebrated in numerous books, collections and exhibits including a portrait of Edward Steichen, which resides at the Museum of Modern Art.  

Joe endeavored to add greater dimension to his lens by telling stories through documentary filmmaking, and a new chapter began.  

Together with Sandra (film editor and producer) Joe created Consentino Films Inc. and Big Bear Films, LLC. They honed their craft with respectful dignity, winning several Emmy Awards, and were nominated for an Academy Award.

As a member of the Ridgefield community for over 53 years, his contributions were numerous. They included fundraising films for ABC House, RVNA and Ridgefield Library.

Through the Ridgefield Playhouse Film Society, which Joe founded, evenings were spent enjoying films and interesting Q&As with actors and directors. Their respect for Joe made them want to participate and educate us as an audience. These events provided a window into the work and tenacity necessary to bring movie magic to life.  

Another “major” passion of Joe's was baseball. Upon graduating from St. John’s University, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox organization and played for several seasons before an injury ended his career. After moving to Ridgefield and starting a family, Joseph applied his baseball acumen to the small diamond — coaching hundreds of young children in the Ridgefield Little League. As his players progressed through high school he started the town’s first travel baseball team — the Ridgefield Nighthawks American Legion team.

In 1993, Joe, along with George Foster (former Cincinnati Reds and NY Mets All-Star), took his love for the sport one “diamond” further by founding the New England Collegiate Baseball League (NECBL). Joe’s goal was to give student athletes a better chance to have their talents recognized by Major League scouts. Since its inception, over 135 NECBL alumni have played in the Major Leagues.  

Joe’s greatest accomplishment is his family. His children, Susan and Stephen, and grandchildren Alexander, Isabella and Blake exemplify Joe's solid foundation of warmth, trust, encouragement and bravery.

Joe’s home welcomed many friends who became extended family. He was a mentor to many young men and women who were embraced by his love, subtle humor and wisdom.  

The triumphs of his life, his loves and talents now blanket the universe with his goodness.

Funeral services will be held on Friday, January 26, 2018 at 12 Noon at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 351 Main Street, Ridgefield. Interment will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Ridgefield. There will be no calling hours. A date for the Celebration of Joe Consentino’s life and works will be held at the Ridgefield Playhouse and announced in the near future.  

Joe’s family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to:

All funds received will be used to sponsor a major improvement for an existing Ridgefield Little League field in Joseph’s honor.