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 Senior's Last Week Of High School

The bittersweet end.
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Well, this is it. This is what we've worked so hard the last four years - who am I kidding - basically what seems like our whole lives for. This is the very last week we will set foot as a student in our high school's hallways. As most schools are getting ready to set their seniors free at last, it all begins to set in - the excitement, the anxiousness, and also the sentiment and nostalgia.

For seniors, the years since our first day as a freshman at the bottom of the high school totem pole have seemed endless, but as we look back on these last few weeks, we realize that this year in particular has gone by extraordinarily fast. It was just yesterday that we were sitting in our classrooms for the very first time, going to our 'last first' practice, and getting our first taste of the (very real) "senioritis". With all that's going on in our lives right now, from sports and clubs, finals, and the sought after graduation ceremony, it's hard to really sit down and think about how our lives are all about to become drastically different. For some it's moving out, and for some it's just the thought of not seeing your best friend on the way to fourth period English; either way, the feels are real. We are all in a tug of war with the emotions going on inside of us; everything is changing - we're ready, but we're not.

THE GOOD. Our lives are about to begin! There is a constant whirlwind of excitement. Senior awards, getting out of school early, parties, and of course Graduation. We are about to be thrust into a world of all new things and new people. Calling our own shots and having the freedom we have so desperately desired since the teenage years began is right around the corner. Maybe the best part is being able to use these new things surrounding you to grow and open your mind and even your heart to ideas you never could before. We get the chance to sink or swim, become our own person, and really begin to find ourselves.

Things we don't even know yet are in the works with new people we haven't even met yet. These friendships we find will be the ones to last us a lifetime. The adventures we experience will transform into the advice we tell our own children and will become the old tales we pass down to our grandkids when they come to visit on the weekends. We will probably hate the all night study sessions, the intensity of finals week, and the overpowering stress and panic of school in general, just like we did in high school... But it will all be worth it for the memories we make that will outlive the stress of that paper due in that class you absolutely hate. As we leave high school, remember what all the parents, teachers, coaches, and mentors are telling you - this are the best times of our lives!

THE BAD. The sentimental emotions are setting in. We're crying, siblings are tearing up, and parents are full-out bawling. On that first day, we never expected the school year to speed by the way it did. Suddenly everything is coming to an end. Our favorite teachers aren't going to be down the hall anymore, our best friends probably won't share a class with us, we won't be coming home to eat dinner with our families...

We all said we wanted to get out of this place, we couldn't wait, we were ready to be on our own; we all said we wouldn't be "so emotional" when the time came, but yet here we are, wishing we could play one more football game with our team or taking the time to make sure we remember the class we liked the most or the person that has made us laugh even when we were so stressed we could cry these past few years. Take the time to hug your parents these last few months. Memorize the facial expressions of your little sister or brother. Remember the sound of your dad coming home from work. These little things we take for granted every day will soon just be the things we tell our college roommate when they ask about where we're from. As much as we've wanted to get out of our house and our school, we never thought it would break our heart as much as it did. We are all beginning to realize that everything we have is about to be gone.

Growing up is scary, but it can also be fun. As we take the last few steps in the hallways of our school, take it all in. Remember, it's okay to be happy; it's okay to be totally excited. But also remember it's okay to be sad. It's okay to be sentimental. It's okay to be scared, too. It's okay to feel all these confusing emotions that we are feeling. The best thing about the bittersweet end to our high school years is that we are finally slowing down our busy lives enough to remember the happy memories.

Try not to get annoyed when your mom starts showing your baby pictures to everyone she sees, or when your dad starts getting aggravated when you talk about moving out and into your new dorm. They're coping with the same emotions we are. Walk through the halls remembering the classes you loved and the classes you hated. Think of the all great times that have happened in our high school years and the friends that have been made that will never be forgotten. We all say we hated school, but we really didn't. Everything is about to change; that's a happy thing, and a sad thing. We all just have to embrace it! We're ready, but we're not...

Cover Image Credit: Facebook

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I Am So Thankful For The Strong Women In My Life

They have helped shape who I am today.

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As a kid, I had three major women in my life: my mom, my grandma, and my bubbie (Yiddish for "grandmother").

I can easily say I am all the better for having these women as my role models for life.

My mom and I didn't get along all that well when I was younger. Cliche as it is, it took me leaving home for college for us to really segue into a much healthier mother-daughter relationship. It also helps that we got a dog a few years ago and became crazy dog moms together who send dog memes and videos back and forth.

My mom is and always has been a powerhouse.

My mom worked a lot and taught me the value of putting in the effort. I learned from her to never settle for less than great, to work hard, and not let people walk all over me. She (and my dad) made sure I knew the value of professionalism and how to be professional. There's a reason I ask them to proofread any important emails before hitting send!

My mom is also a total goof.

This pretty much sums us up!

My sarcasm and humor are unquestionably from her. She's one of the funniest people I know and reminds me not to take everything too seriously. Also, the constant dog and baby videos we send one another are the best.

My grandma is my best friend.

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Yes, that's possible. It helps that we share a lot of interests. My grandma has always been my number one supporter and as I got older, became someone I rely so much on for emotional support. I can always count on my grandma to make me smile.

My grandma taught me to love unconditionally, even towards those you are not blood-related to.

She is my dad's step-mom and technically my step-grandmother, but you would never know we aren't blood-related with how she whole-heartedly loves her non-biological grandkids just as much as her biological ones. She made her home into a safe space for me in the years I needed that most.

My bubbie taught me that time apart means nothing when it comes to loving someone.

As I've grown older, I don't get to see my bubbie as much. But I know she is always there if I need her, and I know she loves me.

I recently went to dinner with her and was reminded of just why - and how much - I love my grandmother. She's tough and sweet, smart and funny. We spent most of the time talking about everything from family to theater to politics, and it was a highlight moment of my life. I enjoyed it so much.

I am unbelievably lucky to have not one, but two grandmothers who love me in the way only a grandmother can. They give my life a specialness I wouldn't get from anyone else in my life.

I am so lucky to have a mom who I can have a good relationship with and talk to openly. (And who puts up with my unintentional repetition of stories.)

I cannot thank any of these women enough for being involved in my life.

I love you all, and happy Mother's Day!

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