Joseph Peter Pandolfo, (“Joe”) of Kensington, CT, died on October 4th, 2020, at age 90. He spent his last days in the constant presence and voice of his family and passed away peacefully, early in the morning of a sunny autumn Sunday.
Born in New York, NY on September 26th, 1930, Joe took an interest in science at a very early age to better understand his sister’s health condition, sparking a lifelong passion and profession in the sciences. The first in his family to attend college, Joe graduated from Fordham University and went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Meteorology and a Doctorate in Oceanography from New York University, where he taught after serving as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in Saudi Arabia. A career with Traveler’s Research drew him from his native New York City to raise his family in Connecticut, where Joe had visited older relatives as a child. He finished his career as President of the Center for the Environment and Man, an atmospheric research organization. In retirement, he reviewed grants for the National Science Foundation in Washington, DC.
In his new hometown, Joe served on the Board of Education and was a faithful parishioner and supporter of Saint Paul Catholic Church, teaching in the Catholic Youth Organization and serving on the Parish Council and as a 3rd Degree member of the Knights of Columbus. Joe’s love of reading and knowledge was unparalleled and a gift that enriched and broadened the world of everyone who knew him. Perhaps the local library’s most frequent patron, he truly knew something about everything! He was also a constant patron of public broadcasting and the arts; you could always expect visits with him to be peppered with conversation of the latest news or accompanied by opera and classical music.
Joe was predeceased by his parents, Paolo Pandolfo and Lucia (Ganci) of Sortino, Sicily, and sisters Sophie Pandolfo and Rose Maconi (Corradino), who will greet him in the light. He is survived by his beloved wife of sixty-eight years, Dolores (Maple); his brother, Sebastian Pandolfo (Nancy); and his children Lucia (Don) of Unionville, CT, Paul (Gail) of Kensington, CT, Philip (Rebecca) of West Hartford, CT, Joseph (Elaine) of Ashford, CT, John of Telluride, CO, and Robert (Tania) of Philadelphia, PA. He is also survived by his nine beloved grandchildren, Erica, Andrea, Teresa, Vincent, Caroline, Gina, Emily, Eli, and Fatimah and seven great-grandchildren. With Dolores, Joe raised an extraordinarily close-knit family, and always made our spouses, in-laws, partners and friends feel like part of the family as well. We are all blessed by his lion-hearted love and devotion to us, which will sustain us in his passing as it did in his lifetime.
The family will hold a private memorial Mass and interment. In lieu of flowers, a memorial donation may be made in Joe’s name to Berlin-Peck Memorial Library, 234 Kensington Rd. Berlin, CT 06037, 860-828-7125, https://berlinpeck.org/donations/ or to a charity of your choice.
The Berlin Memorial Funeral Home is serving the family.
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