Joseph Iamele, 94, of Norwich, CT, formerly of Orange, husband of the late Lillian Gentile Iamele died Saturday, March 3, 2012, at his home at St. Jude's Assisted Living after a brief illness. Joe was born in New Haven on March 15, 1917 to the late Pasquale and Grace DiVito Iamele. He graduated from Hillhouse High School in 1935. He then joined the Citizens Military Training Corp during World War II. Joe became a foreman at U.S. Motors and took real pleasure in sharing stories of the wonderful people he worked with there. He left U.S. Motors to join the family business, Doyles Cleaners, and he worked tirelessly to help that business thrive for many years. Joe and his wife, Lillian were parishioners at Holy Infant Church in Orange, and he was a proud member of the Orange Lions Club and the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree, John Barry Council. Joe's first love was his family. He gathered all and hosted family picnics for many years at his beautiful Orange home, which he had built himself. Joe was always there for all. He understood that each of his family was on an individual journey in life, and he supported those he loved as they traveled along theirs, wherever it might lead. Joe was always ready to listen, and he generously offered his advice as well as financial support to both immediate and extended family members to ensure that each one would get the best start they could on their lives. Joe's sense of humor is legendary. Whew! When you were with Joe, you were ALIVE . . . he kept you on your toes with his sharp wit and the twinkle in his eye. He would say things just to 'get' you, and then he slyly would smile as he noticed that, indeed, he had done what he set out to do! Lil spent many years laughing good-naturedly at Joe's shenanigans. What a patient woman she was! Joe and Lil loved to travel and enjoyed many trips during their marriage - to Italy, Germany, Alaska, China, and elsewhere. Joe loved to dance and, after two whiskey sours, was often the last one dancing into the night at family weddings. He was famous for his mouth-watering turkey. Thanksgiving meant 'Joe's Turkey' to all who knew him. He enjoyed cooking 'his' turkey for many years at the Thanksgiving celebration for Veterans in Orange Ct. Two of Joe's many interests included bowling and baseball, he introduced his daughters and many of his nieces and nephews in their younger years to baseball with trips to New York to see the Mets. The smell of his pipe and that special tobacco will continue to bring a comforting memory of Joe to those who love him whenever they smell it. Joe maintained a unique, bright, alive, engaged demeanor until far later in life than many of his contemporaries, and all who knew him are grateful for his example on how to live well and kindly. Besides the love of his life whom he married at Sacred Heart Church in New Haven in 1940, and cared for with unconditional love when she was in good health and when she became ill. He was also predeceased by his brothers, Nicholas and Frank, his sister, Kathryn, and his devoted daughter, 'Patti D,' Patricia DeGennaro. Joe is survived by his loving family that includes: two daughters, Lillian Mei of Branford and Joan Heffernan of Norwich; sons-in-law Donald Mei and Edward Heffernan; 7 grandchildren, Donald Mei, Susanne Mei, Heather Surber, Julie DeGennaro, Toni Lynn Fetter, December Colter, and Jessica Boyd; their spouses - Laura Mei, Ronald Lamprecht, Michael Surber, Thomas Langan, David Fetter, Thor Colter, and Greg Boyd; and 8 great- grandchildren - Grace and Katherine Mei, Julian and Lucia Lamprecht, Sophia and Emilee Surber, Madelena and Patrick Fetter, and Autumn Colter. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Mary Iamele, and by numerous nieces and nephews and their spouses who will be eternally grateful that he was their very own Uncle Joe. And we all know that he is so happy to be dancing with his beloved Lilli and in heaven . . . finally. We love you Joe. Funeral from BEECHER & BENNETT-TAYLOR FUNERAL HOME, 410 Campbell Ave. at Court St., West Haven, on Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 9:15 a.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Celebrated in Holy Infant Church at 10:00 a.m. Entombment in St. Lawrence Cemetery Garden Mausoleum. Family and friends may visit with the family on Wednesday evening from 5 to 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. Contributions in Joe's memory may be sent to Hospice SouthernCT Capital Campaign, 227 Dunham St., Norwich, CT 06360

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  1. I’m really going to miss Joe. Making jokes about his harem, seeing him hold court in Florida with all his friends who loved him, and watching him sit on the lanai with Don smoking a cigar–he was the best. He was one of a kind and had a wonderful life and a big heart. I’m glad he’s no longer suffering and am grateful I knew him.

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