Joseph Francis Martinelli, (Uncle Joe) 88, passed away on Monday, April 1st.
Joseph grew up and lived most of his life in Bridgewater, where he attended public school and graduated from a local vocational school. Subsequently he studied civil engineering and graduated from the Chicago Technical College. He worked most of his life in construction as a foreman and superintendent for several large construction companies. Kirkland Construction Company employed him as a superintendent on the construction of the U.S. Naval Facility in Nantucket, the old Boston City Hall restoration, the Wholesale Flower Market in Boston, and the Boston Public Library alterations, among a number of other projects. In the 1950's, he and his brother Paris owned and operated a concrete form construction company.
As a young man he served in the United States Navy's Mobile Construction Battalion (Seabees). He had happy memories of his years in the service and enjoyed traveling the world as a Seabee.
Joe was a low-keyed and thoughtful man whose reserve hid a lively curiosity and interest in family, friends and the world. He regularly asked people about their lives and remembered what they told him in detail. His interest in people extended to family history of both his own and inlaws' families. For years, Uncle Joe researched all sides of his family tree, creating extensive genealogies and sharing them with his relatives.
A devoted caretaker of parents, and brothers in their later years, he was especially close to his sister Mary, with whom he lived in their family home in Bridgewater until she moved to a nursing home. He visited her there daily, remaining active in her care.
Uncle Joe was caring, as well, with all his neices and nephews, great neices and nephews, and great, great neices, sending them brithday cards every year always with a generous check enclosed. He was ready to help family and friends with home repairs and construction projects, either with hands on work or valuable advice. He was a member of the Lincoln Club for many years.
Joseph was creative and artistic in nature. He made furniture for himself and the family, remodelled his family home, built himself a studio in his childhood bedroom, and remodeled his father's workshop in the back yard. He liked listening to Italian music, keeping a small collection of CD's in his SUV. In his later years he remained technologically astute, building himself a computer and using the latest technological innovations, whether an ipad, kindle, or digital camera. However, he continued to use his trusty flip phone after trying and rejected a smart phone.
Physical health was another focus for Uncle Joe. In his seventies he was walking seven miles most days, and in his eighties, he regularly used exercise equipment to keep in shape. He was a disciplined eater, keeping a healthy weight, while occasionally enjoying a pizza and apple pie a-la-mode.
Joe was an avid sports fan, especially of the Boston Red Sox, and somewhat of a news junkie, watching it daily and reading the Brockton Enterprise up until his death. He was the family's go-to person for information on births, deaths and marriages.
Joseph is the son of the late Louisa (Tozzi) and Ernest Martinelli, brother of the late Paris, Albert, and Mary Martinelli and the late Ida Braga, brother-in-law of the late Anna Martinelli and the late Eugene Braga, uncle of Donna O'Brien and Peter Holmes, Peg Cook and the late Robert Cook, Robert Martinelli and Rita Hill, Eugene E. Braga and Ming Hai, Bruce and Lisa Braga, great Uncle to Tom and Jessie Barr O'Brien, Mathew and Jaime Slaney, Philip and Brenda Slaney, Allison (Martinelli) and Christopher Gibson, Jill and Robert McNamara, and Jared Martinelli,and great, great uncle to Meghan and Abigail Slaney, and Caitlin and Regan Slaney.
All are cordially invited to the Prophett-Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home on Wed. April 10th for a visitation period from 9:30am to 10:30am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 103 Center St. Bridgewater at 11:00am. Burial will be held at the Massachusetts National Cemetery, Bourne.