Joseph J. Cosgrove of New Silver Beach, North Falmouth, MA died peacefully January 4, 2019. He was 82.
The eldest of four sons of Martin J. and Mary A. (Harrison) Cosgrove, he was born in Boston on July 12, 1936, in the midst of a prolonged summer heat wave. From his roots as a child of the Great Depression, he became, thanks to parents who put great value in education, the first in his family to receive a college degree and went on to a successful managerial career with Digital Equipment Corporation. He retired as the company’s Vice President of Worldwide Manufacturing.
Joe grew up in West Roxbury and graduated in 1954 from Boston Latin School. As he enjoyed reminding his children and grandchildren, his youth centered on rigorous study and a variety of after-school jobs including newspaper deliverer, altar boy, shoe salesman, hot dog vendor and soda jerk. That latter job provided the opportunity to meet frequent customer Frances Connerty of Temple Street who allegedly received extra ice cream scoops and eventually a marriage proposal. They were wed November 7, 1959 at St. Theresa’s Parish in West Roxbury and in the ensuing eight years had four children whom they raised in Walpole, MA, Easthampton, MA and Colorado Springs.
After his 1958 graduation from Tufts University where he majored in Chemistry, Joe worked for many years with RCA and in 1973, he began a three-decade career with Digital Equipment Corporation that included stints as plant manager at DEC facilities in Westfield, MA, Westminster, MA, Colorado Springs, CO, and beginning in the late 1980s in Tokyo, Japan and Hong Kong where he was the company’s Vice President of Manufacturing Asia Pacific.
His career afforded him opportunity to travel throughout the U.S. and much of the world. In retirement, he and Fran continued to pursue lifelong passions in the environment, history and education with travel to the U.S. national parks and tours of Europe, Asia, Africa and South America.
Central to his life were his many friends and family for whom he in countless ways showed great devotion and generosity. Despite the many relocations and far-away travels over the years, he always came back home to the Boston area and the Cape house at New Silver Beach, which he and Fran purchased in 1972 and have used as a family haven and hub ever since.
In addition to his wife of 59 years, Frances (Connerty) Cosgrove, Joe is survived by his four children and their spouses, Joseph M. and wife Rita of Methuen, MA; Jeanne F. and husband William Steffancin of Fort Worth, TX; Mary P. and husband John Verbeke of Simsbury, CT; and Brendan M. and wife Sylvia of San Mateo, CA.; grandchildren Benjamin, Kate, Kara, Sean, Ryan, Sophie and Nathaniel. He also leaves brothers Paul and wife Terry of Seekonk, and James of Boston, and several nieces and nephews as well as sister-in-law Jacqueline Cosgrove and brother-in-law Paul Connerty, both of West Roxbury. He is predeceased by his brother John who passed away in April 2016.
Visiting hours will be held from 4-7pm on Thursday, Jan. 10th at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 584 W. Falmouth Hwy (Route 28A), West Falmouth. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 12:00pm on Friday, Jan. 11th at St. Theresa of Avila church, 2078 Centre St., West Roxbury MA 02132. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery, 990 Lagrange St, Boston.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Massachusetts Audubon Society, 208 South Great Road, Lincoln MA 01773 (www.massaudubon.org).