PALMER — Joseph Charles Santucci, a lifelong resident of Palmer, passed away peacefully in his home on September 24.
Joe was born on July 28, 1932 to the late Joseph and Lillian (Messier) Santucci. He was the third of eight children. Joe served his country as a U.S. Army paratrooper during the Korean War and received the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in combat. He was a graduate of Palmer High School where he played football and met his wife of 63 years, Jeanne (Laviolette) Santucci, the love of his life.
He will be remembered for his generosity, integrity, and devotion to his family and community. The son of an immigrant, Joe was no stranger to hard work. He helped support his family from a young age working in tobacco fields and keeping odd jobs through his military service. He worked for over 31 years for the US Postal Service where he climbed the ranks and served as Postmaster in the Palmer office from 1977 until his retirement in 1988. However, retirement didn’t stop Joe, as he continued to work in tax preparation and in a local greenhouse for many years. He was an avid flower gardener and enjoyed reading, golfing, sports and jigsaw puzzles. He and his wife enjoyed traveling to Hawai’i, California, and Tennessee to visit family. Joe was known for his service to the community. He was a longtime active member and volunteer of Saint Thomas Parish in Palmer where he was known as ‘bingo Joe,’ and regularly served at the Palmer Food Share. He had a positive perspective on life and could always be relied on for bookkeeping, problem solving, and sound advice.
Joe is survived by his loving wife, Jeanne (Laviolette) Santucci of Palmer, his sons Joseph Jr. and his wife Sally Santucci of Tennessee and James and his wife Elise Santucci of California; and his daughters Gina and her husband Jeffrey Overton of Hawai’i, MaryAnn and her husband Lee Santella of Brimfield, Suzanne and her husband Stephen Kaitbenski of Southbridge. Joe was known as “Grandpa Joe” to 14 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren, along with numerous nieces and nephews and countless other children who considered him like a grandfather.
He leaves his sisters Jeannette Allen of Thorndike, and Lorraine Wilga of Florida, brothers Michael Santucci of Florida, and Paul Santucci of Brimfield. He was predeceased by his granddaughter Jillian Santucci, his sisters Virginia Gaudette and Patricia O’Connor, and brother Anthony Santucci.
Calling hours will be held at Beers and Story Palmer Funeral Home, Thursday, September 27 from 4- 7 p.m. Family and friends may gather at the funeral home on Friday, September 28 for 10 a.m. to follow to a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. at Saint Thomas Church in Palmer, followed by burial at St. Thomas Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Kara (kara-grief.org, 650-321-5272), Saint Thomas Church (413-283-5091), or simply offer a helping hand to someone in need, that is what ‘good guy Joe’ would have done. For more information, please visit www.beersandstory.com