Joseph M. Mogavero, 93, of Pittsfield, died peacefully on Tuesday, January 14, with his loving family by his side.
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Joe was born December 2, 1926 in New York City. His parents, Frances (DeCarlo) and Joseph Mogavero, moved the family to Pittsfield when Joe was a boy, to give him and his brother Philip a better quality of life, and to be close to extended family. He married his one and only, Ruth Deminna on July 28, 1956. Together, he and Ruth raised their two daughters, Joan and Arlene, in Pittsfield.
In his childhood he worked at Mogavero’s Bakery, owned by his Uncle Gene, delivering bread to local families on his bike with his brother, Phil. He enjoyed a long career at the GE, working nearly 40 years as a Test Technician in the Transformer Division. He and his family enjoyed many a family picnic at the GEAA, and summer vacations in Rhode Island, camping and basking on the beaches. After he retired, he worked with his best friend of 85 years, Enrico (Rico) Giardina, in Rico’s cobbler shop, waiting on customers and taking apart shoes.
Joe proudly served his country in the US Marine Corps, during World War II. Because of his young age, he had to get his parents’ permission to enlist in the Marines. He was deployed to the Pacific theater, and was stationed in Guam.
Joe was a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He lovingly cared for his wife, Ruth, for many years when she became ill; her death in 1996 caused him profound sadness. Still, Joe tended to look on the bright side of things, and by example, encouraged others to do the same. Later in life, when in rehabilitation following a hip surgery, instead of bemoaning his difficulties, Joe would find his way to the nurse’s station, to tease and joke with the nurses and staff. In all settings, Joe was best known for his love of telling stories, and making people laugh.
Joe loved being a grandfather, and spent many happy afternoons watching his grandsons play sports. He also loved to travel, and was able to go with her daughter Joan and her two boys on trips to Disneyland and Daytona Beach. An enduring memory for him was his trip to Sicily, the land of his father's birth, with his dear friend Rico, and their friend Rudy Sacco.
A close second to his love of family and friends, was Joe’s love of food. No matter how poorly a day might be going, the sight of a loved one arriving with his favorite soup, pasta dish, or better yet, a cannoli, gave Joe a beaming smile and a mission – no crumb left behind - that he would not fail to complete. But first, he would always offer to share it.
Joe was an active member of American Legion Post 68, Sons of Italy Lodge 564, the Italian American Club, the Central Berkshire Holy Name Society, and Mount Carmel Church.
Joe is survived by his daughters Joan Burns (Pittsfield, and husband David) and Arlene Philla (Rehoboth, MA); his grandsons, Tim and Tino Burns (Pittsfield), and Joe Philla (Rehoboth); his nieces Lisa Candelet (Pittsfield), Frances English and Nancy Amato (Westford, MA) and their spouses and children; his nephew Philip Mogavero (Morris Plains, NJ) and his children; his sister-in-law, Katherine (Kiki) Mogavero (Pittsfield); and his favorite godson Johnny Giardina. In addition to his wife, Ruth, he is predeceased by his brother, Philip Mogavero.
Joe’s family would like to express deep gratitude to the expert caregivers from Springside Nursing Home, Hospice Care of Western Mass and those who showed him loving care during the last leg of his journey with us on Earth.
FUNERAL NOTICE: A Liturgy of Christian Burial for Joseph Mogavero will be celebrated Monday January 20, 2020 at 11:00 AM at St. Mark's Church, 400 West St. Pittsfield, MA by the Rev. Geoffrey Deeker. Burial will follow in St. Joseph's Cemetery. Calling hours at FLYNN & DAGNOLI-BENCIVENGA FUNERAL HOME, 5 Elm St. Pittsfield MA are Monday morning from 9-10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Out of the Pits dog rescue in care of the funeral home. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com