Joseph J. ParadiseFebruary 4, 1928 ~ March 10, 2017 (age 89)
Mr. Joseph John Paradise, 89, of Westfield MA and formerly of Milford MA, died peacefully on March 10, 2017 at home surrounded by his family. Joseph was born in Milford MA, to Luisa (Andreola) and (Antonio) Teodorico Paradiso, the fourth of five children.
Mr. Paradise attended Milford public schools and graduated from Milford High School in 1945. His love and fascination with aviation led him to join the Civil Air Patrol during WW II. Joe went on to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an eye toward aeronautical engineering, before deciding that his calling lay elsewhere.
Mr. Paradise entered the Congregation of the Clerics of St. Viator in Arlington Heights, Illinois and was ordained as a priest in the Roman Catholic Church on May 17, 1959. He earned his B. S. degree in physics from Loyola University and an M.Ed in psychology from DePaul University in Chicago. His service to his order led him to Las Vegas, Nevada where he was a much admired priest, counselor and high school math and physics teacher.
Mr. Paradise eventually left the priesthood, but continued his life’s work of serving others by earning a Masters of Social Work degree in Social Work Administration from Arizona State University. He embarked on a notable career, first as a social worker for the Inter Tribal Council of Nevada. He then was hired by The Bureau of Indian Affairs and served first as counselor at the Stewart Indian Boarding School for Native American children in Carson City, Nevada.
Mr. Paradise had a genuine passion and concern for the welfare of the Native American tribes and people that he served, and his career took him to many beautiful parts of the Western United States, where he served in many capacities in Nevada, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Washington over more than two decades. Joe’s untiring work on behalf of the Native American people was recognized by ssspecial awards at several points throughout his career.
Mr. Paradise eventually retired in the seaside town of Newport, Oregon before moving back home to Massachusetts to be closer to family. Joe had a life long love of both people and nature; he loved to go camping in the beautiful parks of the Western U.S. and found that being in the woods brought him a tremendous sense of peace.
Mr. Paradise is the husband of 21 years to Rebecca S. Murray, who shared his passion of serving others. He is the loving father to his children from his first marriage to Josephine Davis, his daughter Mary Louise Paradise Moore of London, England, and his son Theodore J. Paradise of West Springfield MA. Joe was devoted to his 5 grandchildren, Diana, Amelia and Ian Paradise and Caroline & Olivia Moore. He was cherished by many other family members who will miss him dearly, including his step-daughter, Lisa Hall, who came to help care for him many times during the past 5 years. He also cherished his 4 step-grandchildren, Leif Eric Murray, David Ray Murray, Vincente Hall-Galvan and Alexandra Hall-Galvan.
Mr. Paradise will be remembered for his generous heart, his concern for social justice, and his love of others. Joe was predeceased by his brother Peter Angelo Paradiso and his sisters Clara Cullen and Concetta (“Connie”) Davis. He is survived by his brother Michael “Tony” Paradiso of Woodbridge CA.
A Memorial Service was held this past March at the Episcopal Church of the Atonement in Westfield MA. Private Graveside Committal Services were held Tuesday (July 25th) at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Milford MA under the direction of the Edwards Memorial Funeral Home of Milford MA.