Joseph “Papa” LeRose left this earth on Friday, August 28 to reunite in heaven, with his parents and the many family members that he so dearly missed. He was born in Pittsfield on September 30, 1948, to Gaetano and Margaret Giannopolo LeRose. Joe grew up in Pittsfield with his brother Tom and had many fond memories of that simpler time.
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A graduate of Pittsfield High School and the University of Massachusetts, Joe worked for many years for the Massachusetts Department of Revenue in Child Support Enforcement. In 1995, he was awarded the Governors Pride in Performance Award. He had also worked during his college days and young adulthood at Carr Hardware, and he greatly valued the many things that he learned from his coworkers there.
Joe was an active member of South Congregational Church for 27 years, where he served on several boards and enjoyed the fellowship of the many friends he made there.
Until his Parkinson’s disease slowed him down, Joe lived a fulfilling life, enjoying his beloved daughters, grandchildren and nieces, baking and eating apple pie, bicycling, gardening, woodworking, riding his Bultaco motorcycle, skiing, clock collecting, and fishing, in that order. He participated in The Josh Billings Runaground as a cyclist for several years.
It was important to Joe to help others, and he accepted people as they were, “with all their foibles”, as he often said. Never one to sit down if he could find something active to do, Joe made picnic tables for all the children of family and friends. When he finally did sit down to relax, it was on the deck, dressed in a flannel shirt, and with a copy of Fine Woodworking magazine, his beloved cat, Twiggy, and a few Devil Dogs or a bottle of Sam Adams. The time spent with family each year on Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard was the most special to Joe, and he seldom looked as relaxed as he did at the beach.
Joe was especially close to his brother, Tom and his cousin, Joe. Together, they cherished many great memories of family times long ago, as well as hunting and fishing.
Joe stayed at home as long as he safely could, but over the last year, his failing physical health and battle with dementia forced him to enter long term care. He was cared for at home for several years with his beloved care giver, Charlie Bateman, who he came to love and argue with like a sibling. His family will always be grateful to Charlie, and to his first beloved caregiver, Ashley McNair, and to the many nurses, nursing assistants, activities staff and therapists at Hillcrest Commons who worked so hard to provide the best care possible for him, despite the challenges of being isolated by Covid this year.
Joe is survived by his wife of 29 years, Patricia Winkle, his twin daughters, Abigail LeRose and her fiance Noah Kirkman, Katherine LeRose Jones and her husband Craig, and daughter Stephanie DuBois, all of Pittsfield. He leaves his cherished grandchildren, Donovan and Dominik DuBois, and Brantley, Avah and Bryan Jones, who all loved their Papa very much. He leaves his brother, Thomas LeRose and his wife, Ellen of Windsor, and their daughters, Tanya, Trisha, and Gina, who held a very special place in his heart.
Flynn and Dagnoli Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Services will be private due to the restrictions associated with Covid 19.
Joe loved to go to Flo’s Diner, where he had become a dedicated regular, for breakfast with Charlie. In fact, if you’d like to honor and remember, he’d be happy if you had a big breakfast at Flo’s, and thought of him. Tell them he sent you. To add to the Book of Memories, please visit www.flynndagnolifuneralhomes.com