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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5 Perks Of Having A Long-Distance Best Friend

The best kind of long-distance relationship.
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Sometimes, people get annoyed when girls refer to multiple people as their "best friend," but they don't understand. We have different types of best friends. There's the going out together best friend, the see each other everyday best friend and the constant, low maintenance best friend.

While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

2. You always have someone to give unbiased advice.

This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

5. You know they will always be a part of your life.

If you can survive going to school in different states, you've both proven that your friendship will last forever. You both care enough to make time for the other in the midst of exams, social events, and homework.

The long-distance best friend is a forever friend. While I wish I could see mine more, I wouldn't trade her for anything.

Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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An Open Letter To One Of The Greatest Men I Have Ever Known, My Grandpa

Thank you to the man who taught me laughter, confidence, and so much more.

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Dear Papa,

My favorite memory of you is one that I can barely remember because I was so young. But I remember riding on your four-wheeler, holding on to the gas cap as hard as possible, and screaming every time I saw the speedometer go over 25mph. I remember just hearing your sweet laugh and slowing down just to speed it up again so I would keep screaming. You fueled my love for the mountains and the outdoors. I thank you for this.

I had my first love, who broke my heart into a million different pieces. I was so hurt, devastated and my self-esteem broke along with it. We were walking on the way back from your shop, under the canopy of grapes you planted. You asked me how I was doing. I lied I was doing fine. And said that I know I deserve better than a boy who cheats on me with my best friend. You looked into my eyes like you always did.

I stared back into your beautiful blue eyes and you told me that you never really thought he was good enough for me, and you said you did not like him very much because I deserved the world and he never gave me that. You also told me something I will never forget. You said, "ordinary men cannot handle extraordinary women and you are an extraordinary woman." You told me to never forget this. You raised my confidence and it meant so much to me. That heartbreak wasn't the last, but I always try to remember those words and it helps me get through it. I thank you for this.

I remember when you offered to let me learn how to drive in your truck. I hope you knew how much of an honor that was to me. I knew how much you loved your cars because you helped fuel my love for cars. We had to go to Walmart. And we were driving on the highway for quite some time when I looked over and realized you were sound asleep. We had driven forty minutes out of the way. You just laughed and instructed me on how to get to Walmart. You complimented me on how calm and relaxing I drove. You gave me the confidence to start driving, although back then I hated it. I thank you for this.

One day we were sitting, eating breakfast around that giant table you bought in the cabin. I reached out and held your hand before we said a prayer. You looked down and said, "you have beautiful hands, they remind me of my mothers'." I didn't let you see but I started crying because I always thought my hands were stubby and man-like. But you made me feel like they were the most beautiful thing about me. I thank you for this.

Papa when you were diagnosed with ALS I was stunned. I didn't know what it meant, although I had heard about it before. When everyone started telling me what the months and years ahead for you were like, I wanted to take it all away. I didn't want you to have to go through that. You are and were the best man I have ever known. I remember praying with our family, ugly crying for what felt like forever. When you came and hugged me, and you told me "It's all going to be okay sweetheart". When you would call me sweetheart, I knew that was my cue that you needed me to be strong. You only used that when the situation was grave, and it gave me all the strength I needed. I loved our lunches and little grandfather-grandaughter dates we would go on.

When I learned how to stick the needle in your chest in case of emergencies, your strength is what got me through it. That morning that my dad came up into my room and told me you had passed, I couldn't believe it. I promise I will take care of grandma, and try to be the woman you have raised me to be. Thank you for all of the memories and lessons. All of the laughter and amazing stories. Thank you for showing me what a full life actually consists of. I will see you again. I love you.

Your sweetheart,

Kenz

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