A Tribute To Joe Talevi

A Tribute To Joe Talevi

Middletown lost a legend this past week.
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Joe Talevi was a giver. Whether it was a toy to his grandchildren or a helping hand to loved ones and strangers alike, Joe was known for his big, generous heart. If anyone needed a place to stay, a job, or a friend, one could find it in Joe Talevi.

After 88 years of giving, and 63 years of marriage, Joe died on Tuesday, July 18, 2017. He was 88.

Joe was born on March 19, 1929 in Middletown, Connecticut to Arnold Philip and Mary (Cordone) Talevi. He had five older sisters: the late Grace Steadham, Ruth "Tootsie" Potenti, Joanne "Junie" Liljedahl, Pauline D'Amato, and Molly Pascoe.

Joe attended school at Saint John’s in Middletown, and graduated from Middletown High School in 1947. The love of his life, Kathy Talevi, was a few years behind him in school. She graduated from Middletown High School in 1950. She was good friends with Joe's sister, Molly. While the girls were out one day, Molly's car broke down, and Joe came to the rescue. That's when he met Kathy.

They quickly fell in love, and married on June 19, 1954 in Middletown. They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary this summer.

Joe built Kathy their very own home on Great Hill Pond Road in Portland. Every time they had another child (there were five in total), he would add another room onto the house.

To this day many carry fond memories of the Talevi house on Great Hill Lake in Portland, where Joe resided with his family for 50 years before moving back to Middletown. Joe not only built his own house, but his own businesses, including Talco Asbestos Removal. He also attended church daily.

Joe is survived by his children and their spouses: Arnold “Mitch” and Dori, Steven and Noelle, Chris and Melissa, Jodylynn and Jeff, and Nancy and David; and his eight grandchildren: Nicholas, Natasha, Ashley, Alexa, Christopher, Adrienne, Jaimee, and Dahlia. He is also survived by his sisters Ruth “Tootsie” Portonte, Joanne “Junie” Liljedahl, Pauline Damato, and Molly Pascoe. He was predeceased by his sister, Grace Steadham.

Joe was always up for an adventure. He enjoyed traveling to Italy, Greece, Australia. He loved traveling so much, in fact, that he purchased two airplanes. When asked whether he was content with his life’s accomplishments, he said he was happy that he had owned airplanes.

Joe was well known for his many stories and jokes. He was always the life of the party. He looked forward to spending time with his friends, family and especially his grandchildren. He will be missed by many.


Joe's funeral liturgy will be held on Wednesday, July 26 at 11 a.m. at Saint John’s Church. Calling hours will be from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25 at Biega Funeral Home, 3 Silver Street, Middletown, Connecticut.

The family wishes to thank the entire staff at Apple Rehab for the kindness and care they gave to Joe during his stay.

Those who wish may make memorial contributions to St. John's Church, 19 St. John's Square, Middletown, CT 06457 or to Xavier High School, 181 Randolph Rd., Middletown, CT 06457. To express condolences and share memories, please visit www.biegafuneralhome.com.

Cover Image Credit: Kathy Talevi

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A Letter To A Lost Family Member

Thank you for always believing in me.
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Well, this month marks a full year that you have no longer been with us. It is still confusing to grasp that you are really gone. I think about you more often these days, especially when I am really stressed because you were always my go to person to confide in when the going got tough.

It is still very surreal to me. I still sometimes think that you will be home when I come to visit, sitting in your recliner with your house shoes on, wrapped in a sweater. I even still talk about you in the present tense, but I guess the reality of things doesn't really hit me until I am standing next to your grave speaking with you. Death is strange that way.

I dream about you sometimes on days that I don't expect, but greatly appreciate. They are always pleasant dreams so I hope that means pleasant things for you as well.

As you have probably noticed, I have been a train wreck lately, worrying myself over small, pointless things. I can only imagine what you would say to me. Probably something to make me laugh and smile a little. I miss hearing your voice...

The family is doing okay from what I can tell. I am not exactly a mind reader, but I know you would tell me that I am pretty close to being one. Perhaps I got that from you. We all have our moments, but I guess that is just the sad reality of it all. Life goes on, doesn't it?

Life has been a roller coaster for me and I would love to fill you in on everything, but I'm sure you already know. I just wish you were here for the thrill of the ride with me.

I feel like you would be proud of me, or at least in the direction that I am going in with school and my career and just life in general. I know you would support me through it all no matter what. But even then I still have my doubts. Maybe its the growing anxiety I have, but I sometimes would like to hear you say those things now, even though its not possible.

I think you would really appreciate the person I am becoming. I am more myself than I have been, granted I still struggle and have my bad days, but I am beginning to be at peace with myself. Something you always were.

The journey's not over yet and there will be much more to experience, but just know that I think about you whenever I make a big decision. I always think about if you would approve or not, but in the end I know you would always approve of my decisions. You did help raise me after all.

You probably already know this, but just know that you are greatly missed. Thank you for always believing in me, but most importantly, thank you for being my unexpected guardian angel.


Cover Image Credit: Flickr

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To The Family Who Stepped In When My Mother Stepped Out

Blood isn't always thicker than water, but sometimes it is. And for those times when it is, I am endlessly grateful.
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It's no secret that my relationship with my parents has been rocky most of my life, especially as I entered high school and eventually started college. My parents were divorced before I could form a memory. I was always too much like both my parents for my own good. I got my dad's blonde hair, wits, and quick thinking. From my mother came my sass, sarcasm, and slightly rebellious streak. Like every tween and teen, I butted heads with my mother in high school quite frequently. Curfews, outfits, extracurriculars, the sky being blue, you name it and we fought about it at least twice. I always knew that she loved me and we butted heads because she cared. But then things changed.


Her second marriage went south and she started to care more about her social life and her soon to be ex-husband than her own child. And I saw this and I resented her for it. The door on our relationship was closing and I couldn't seem to get a good enough grip to keep it open. She took to alcohol and at 17 years old, I moved three hours away, as these were the only things we could come up with to fix the problems of our lives. Things continued to spiral out of control for the next three years.

I received my Aggie ring in the middle of April and my eyes were eternally yanked opened to everything I had been ignoring as I mourned the death of my relationship with my mother. Through it all, my father remained the perfectly strong and consistent rock. He supported me no matter how many times I forgave her and let myself get burned by her toxic flame.

My stepmom did everything she knew how to do for me despite our differences and my personal authority issues. My aunt stepped up in ways I never could've imagined she could for me. My grandparents were and still are constantly in my corner, supporting me endlessly in every chapter of my life. I have a boyfriend who goes out of his way to make every day the best he can for me. I am surrounded by people who cheer me on to no end.

I never thought that losing the person whose job it is to support me would prove how much support I truly had in my corner. And to these people, I am endlessly thankful.

Cover Image Credit: @haillllss

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