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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An Open Letter to the Best Friend I Didn't See Coming

Some people come into your life and change you forever—thanks, bestie.
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Dear best friend,

I wasn't expecting you when God placed you in my life. I had my friends. I had my people. I wasn't exactly open to the idea of new meaningful friendships because I had the ones I needed, and it didn't seem like I really needed anybody new.

Thank God that was false. Sometimes you meet people and you just know that you're going to be good friends with. Sometimes you meet people and you realize that there is no such thing as chance. I think God has a funny way of making it seem as if the things that happen to us are by chance, but honestly, that’s a load of crap. If the biggest moments of our lives were left up to chance, then I believe that would make God out to seem as if he didn’t care. It would make it seem as if He was truly abandoning me and making me face some of my most important seasons fully isolated. But you, best friend, are a true testament to the fact that God doesn’t just leave such important aspects up to chance. Thank you for taking a chance on our friendship, and thank you for allowing me to take a chance on what I didn’t realize would be the most impactful friendship in my entire life.

Thank you for being real with me. Thank you for not sugar coating things. Thank you for telling me when I have a bad attitude. Thank you for loving me through my mistakes. Thank you for supporting me in my decisions, even if it isn’t always the decision you would make. Thank you for wanting the best for me, and for making that your true intent behind the words that you say to me, whether they be constructive criticism or encouragement.

Thank you for being a goof with me. Thank you for putting me first. Thank you for seeing the importance of our friendship. Thank you for making time in your schedule for us to just sit and do homework, eat Mexican food, or sit on the porch and listen to music that emotionally wrecks you.

You’re one of a kind. You’re a shoulder to lean on. You’re a safe place. You’re a free spirit. You’re rough and tough, but your heart melts for the people you love and it’s obvious. You’re more than meets the eye. You are worth getting to know. You are worth loving. You pursue people. You are passionate about your future. You are everything that a person needs, and I really thank God that for some reason you continue to choose to be in my life. Thank you for literally dragging me up my mountains of fear when I want to stay exactly where I am at and wallow in the sadness. You bring joy—true joy—wherever you go. You are my best friend, confidant, and biggest fan. You will be the Maid of Honor, Godmother, and fun Aunt.

I used to think lifelong friendships weren’t really a thing. It just seemed like people always grew apart and forever was never a point that was attainable. Best friends forever is a cliché phrase that is continuously overused nowadays (sometimes, I even used to make light of it), but thanks for making that a reality. You are truly the best friend I could have asked for. So thank you for it all. You make life more fun, and I couldn’t thank God more for making an incredible human, friends with me.

I love you, pal!

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Cover Image Credit: Julia Dee Qualls

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17 reasons summers are for our grandpas

Soccer and grilling and buying ice cream, yum.

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Summer is for a lot of things. Taking Insta photos and traveling and camping and spending time with friends.

But the true heroes of the summer have to be our Grandpas, something I'm seriously learning this summer while I live with my grandparents and commute to take a class.

Here's why summer isn't for your friends or that random Tinder hookup or for posting bikini pics in the Mediterranean, it's for our Grandpas.

1. Warm weather means going outside

Whether it's fishing or playing catch or camping, or for my Grandpas, sailing and soccer, the warm weather means your Grandpa is probably going to have some outdoor activity for you to engage in.

2. Time off of school means time to teach them how to use the Internet

3. The air conditioner either runs nonstop or not at all

4. If there's a major sporting event he won't leave the recliner

During World Cup season, forget about doing anything other than watching games. My grandpa's been insisting on dropping me off for the train at 6:30 in the morning on the days when Mexico plays at 7. Definitely has his priorities straight.

5. Going out to eat happens a lot

6. Grilling season!

7. Unconventional ways to escape the heat

We're not going to play in the sprinklers because that would be wasteful but we'd definitely drive to the mall to walk around in the air conditioning for an hour.

8. Father's Day

With a whole day in the summer dedicated to celebrating them, it's truly no surprise that Grandpas enjoy spending the warmer months of the year surrounded by their kids and grandkids.

9. Home improvement projects

Painting or building something or fixing a leaky faucet, summer time means more time, which means getting to the things you don't normally have time for (or don't want to do yourself) during the rest of the year

10. Car washes

Not the kind where you drive through any time of the year but the kind when you're outside in the driveway with a bucket of soap and a sponge glove washing it yourself early in the morning before the sun is strong enough to make the windows streak.

11. Listening to stories

Summertime means more free time and long days mean more late nights. When at Grandma and Grandpa's house, this is best spent listening to stories. Who knows, you may even learn something new!

12. Day trips

Whether it's driving 45 minutes to a different mall and getting some ice cream or spending the day exploring a new town, mini vacations happen a lot during the summer, and seem to be something that grandpas love to do.

13. Spending time in nature

And of course, along with these explorations, one has to find time to hike around a lake or check out a forest or find some other way to "get some fresh air".

14. Playing games

Sitting outside or at the kitchen table even after the sun goes down playing dominoes or learning poker or teaching him fun new games like Uno Attack! are some of my favorite summertime memories with my grandpa.

15. Pulling pranks and telling jokes

The more time you spend with your grandpa, the more likely you are to encounter advanced Dad Jokes, aka Grandpa Jokes™️

16. Insta opportunities

Maria Nelson

Cute grandparent pictures > bikini beach pictures any day.

17. Time very well spent

Maria Nelson

Our time with our grandparents is so short that any time spent with them is time very well spent. I'd rather spend my summer enjoying my grandparents than spending money doing more glamorous things. At the end of the day, summer isn't for our friends or our Instagram followers or our bikini bods, it's for our grandpas.

Cover Image Credit:

Maria Nelson

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