Homage to Uncle Joe


As we celebrate Father’s Day on Sunday, I wanted to pay homage to one of my father’s brothers, my Uncle Joe. He was one of six surviving children after his father was killed while felling trees.  My father was only ten at the time and Joe was not far behind in age.  The family all helped one another, and Uncle Joe tended an apple orchard in the rural Western Massachusetts town of Ware just outside Palmer.   He also grew a vegetable garden and sold the harvest in the fall along with bushels of apples.  He never married, was a modest, hard-working devout man with a heart of gold.  Education was number one in our family, and Uncle Joe helped all of us achieve our dreams and goals in life.  We were all his children, and he took great pride in us.  To all the grandfathers, fathers, husbands, sons, brothers, uncles and men in our lives, I dedicate this post to you and wish a  Happy Father’s Day.  You guided us with your example.  May everyone take time to share family stories and memories.

Homage to Uncle Joe

My father’s brother,
an amazing man,
had apple orchards,
abundant gardens,

fruit trees and
was a thrifty man
who never spent on
himself. He gave

most of it away to
all his nieces and nephews
to help us with

He never married,
but we were all his
children. Devout
Catholic, compassionate man.



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8 Responses to Homage to Uncle Joe

  1. thank you for this. Many stories about Joe. He did love music and sometimes it surprised me. When my brother died, he got the Aretha Franklin double album of gospel music and enjoyed it. I would not have thought of him as an Aretha fan – but -he was.

    I think when I was eight I made some stupid comment about how he never finished school. My mom shut my up in a heartbeat.

    “He speaks three languages and he’s travelled in Europe. He has a beautiful singing voice and those are his National Geographics you read all the time.”

    I’m sending a couple of other pics via email.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you for this insightful comment about another side of our Uncle Joe. I had many of his classical recordings of opera and a favorite The Moldau. Aretha is a fine musician and also a favorite of mine. I heard the story that he dropped out after the 8th grade to work in the factory to raise money to support the family. He was generous to a fault and never bought for himself especially clothes and made do with college sweatshirts handed down to him from family members. Joe’s life experiences and travels made him an educated man in my eyes. He was smart too. I’ll look for those photos and add them to my photo album. I remember those National Geographic magazines too. Polish, English and German? I don’t know all the languages he spoke, but I always admired him as I believe we all did. And your mother is very astute. 🙂


  2. Very nice and thoughtful homage to your Uncle Joe. 😦 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Arno Bode,cologne,Germany says:

    Liebe Mary Ann,
    Deine warmherzige Familienverbundenheit ist beispielhaft und macht Dich so liebenswert.Meine große Hochachtung.
    Liebe Grüße
    Dein Arno

    Liked by 1 person

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