ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Joseph Garofalo III, 51 years old, born on May 19, 1970, and passed away on May 25, 2021 after a hard fought battle with pancreatic cancer.  

A beloved son to Joseph and Cordelia (DeeDee) Garofalo, brother to Cordelia Garofalo and uncle to Grace Arms, Joe's quiet disposition touched the hearts of friends, family and co-workers all around the world.  He loved fiercely and kept every friend he made for life, profoundly touching each of our lives with his deep insights, funny quips and calming presence.  

Joe grew up in Vermont and graduated from University of Vermont in 1992 with honors.  Armed with his B.A. double majoring in Political Science and Economics, he was off to New York where he got a job as a Commodity Clerk and worked his way up to Commodity Traders Assistant working simultaneously for multiple traders tracking thousands of trades daily on the New York Commodity trading floor. 

In 1999 Joe exchanged not only commodities but also residences to move to sunny Southern California. His devoted friend and housemate of over 20 years, Sara Rouse inspired him to switch to a career in Information Technology.  As an IT Systems Administrator, Joe was an essential part of a small team supporting many companies’ networks.   He loved his job and felt fortunate to be able to continue working until only a month before his passing

Joe fought bravely and valiantly for life.  His only regrets were leaving behind those he loved, and missing the opportunity to be a grouchy old man living on a corner lot and shaking his cane at kids on his lawn.  He was thankful for each day he was given, and even in his last moments, expressed gratitude for the love and support he received.  

There are no words to sum up this man, the impact he left on our hearts, or the hole his absence has left in our lives, but we are grateful to have been included in his journey and will miss him eternally.  

Please help us honor Joe by sharing your favorite stories and photos.  In lieu of flowers, please help support the fight against pancreatic cancer.
Posted by Donna Liermann on May 25, 2022
How has it been a year without you my friend? I am so grateful to have this place to see pictures and read memories, even though you avoided most social media. I guess we got the last laugh there. You could always make me laugh and often still do. Thank you for that.

My love to all of you that stop by this page while you are missing our Joe.
Posted by Stephen Sharp on July 18, 2021
Joe was a Brother in my pledge class when I rushed Alpha Gamma Rho at the University of Vermont in 1989. We and many in our pledge class moved into the house soon after, staying there until our graduation in 1992. Joe and I were roommates one of those years, the best roommate one could ever wish for (including his tip on how to warm your shaving cream before shaving)! He brought a calm and fun demeanor to every moment. We enjoyed many adventures together including some awesome hiking and skiing in the Green and White Mountains, often in his Datsun. Life after college kept us many miles apart, but my love and appreciation for Joe never waned. I miss you Joe.
Posted by Marian Venn on July 5, 2021
DeeDee, Joe, family and friends,

I'm so sorry to hear about Joe. I can see how much he meant to all of you and my thoughts are with you.
Posted by Debra Mossey on July 1, 2021
DeeDee, Joe, Cordelia, Grace, and Sara,

My condolences to all of you. Dee Dee, I remember how your eyes would light up when you talked about Joe and how very proud of him you were. He was blessed to have such a wonderful loving family. May the memories of him bring smiles, comfort, and peace to all the lives he touched. 
I am deeply sorry for your loss.
Posted by Loren Gosselin on June 30, 2021
My condolences to Joe’s family and friends. I knew him from my time at UVM as a fellow AGR Fraternity Brother. He was a wonderful person and a great example to others.
Posted by Tia Sherman on June 4, 2021
Joe, Deedee, Cordelia, Grace and Sara,
Keith and I are so deeply sorry for your loss. You are all in our thoughts and prayers.
Posted by Elaine Vulcano on June 4, 2021
Garofalo Family - Love to you all. 
Posted by Donna Liermann on June 2, 2021
Joe 2, Deedee, Cordelia, Grace and Sara, I am so grateful to all of you-his family, for helping Joe become the amazing man he was. The comfort in this loss is knowing that he lived life on his terms and was able to find the good in everything.  I am confident that some of that zest and contentment will live on in all of us. I know his spirit remains with us and will help guide us not only through this loss but also throughout the rest of our lives on this Earth. 
For all of Joe's other loved ones, I look forward to reading your stories and seeing your pictures. These memories are treasures and even the sad ones were blessings having spent them with Joe. I consider us all family in a way, as most of the people Joe let into his life, he intended to keep there forever.  Forever was cut way shorter than my liking but how lucky we were to have had the time together that we did.  
Joe, thank you. Thank you for all that you taught me, for giving me inspiration, direction, meaning and roots. It's funny because I can't even find words to fully express what you mean to me. I guess some things really can't be said, they must be felt. Ironic since that is another concept I learned from you.  So many of the interconnected elements of our past experiences have already revealed themselves. I am excited for you to unmask more.
Until we meet again... Sparkle on my friend. I'll be watching.  
Posted by Sara Rouse on June 1, 2021
Joseph, you are missed. Lily, Romeo and I are lost without you. Thank you for many years of friendship, companionship and laughs, and for being the person I always came home to. Thank you for being the sweetest patient in the world, and for showing all of us how to be grateful for every single day, even the bad ones. Fly high, my friend. We love you. 
Posted by Cordelia Garofalo on May 31, 2021
So smart, athletic, calm, funny, wise, good looking & kind. I miss my brother who teased me, taught me, took care of me and adventured with me. I am excited to share stories and pictures with you all, to remember and cherish the years we had together. ♥️ I look forward to celebrating Joe’s life for the rest of mine by channeling his goodness on a daily basis, showing up, staying calm and not wasting a day, by living without regrets just like Joe showed us was possible.

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Recent Tributes
Posted by Donna Liermann on May 25, 2022
How has it been a year without you my friend? I am so grateful to have this place to see pictures and read memories, even though you avoided most social media. I guess we got the last laugh there. You could always make me laugh and often still do. Thank you for that.

My love to all of you that stop by this page while you are missing our Joe.
Posted by Stephen Sharp on July 18, 2021
Joe was a Brother in my pledge class when I rushed Alpha Gamma Rho at the University of Vermont in 1989. We and many in our pledge class moved into the house soon after, staying there until our graduation in 1992. Joe and I were roommates one of those years, the best roommate one could ever wish for (including his tip on how to warm your shaving cream before shaving)! He brought a calm and fun demeanor to every moment. We enjoyed many adventures together including some awesome hiking and skiing in the Green and White Mountains, often in his Datsun. Life after college kept us many miles apart, but my love and appreciation for Joe never waned. I miss you Joe.
Posted by Marian Venn on July 5, 2021
DeeDee, Joe, family and friends,

I'm so sorry to hear about Joe. I can see how much he meant to all of you and my thoughts are with you.
Recent stories

Thoughts from a friend and lover

Shared by K Hill on June 3, 2021
There comes a point in your life when you realize that who you are as a person is a reflection of what you have done and who you have done it with.  Some people have simple tastes, simple thoughts, simple goals, and lead simple lives.  Joe was not a simple person.  Whether his courage was a result of nurture or nature I will probably never know but he lived large for a small-town boy.

I met and dated Joe in college, and we shared wonderful adventures.  I rode in my first muscle car that he may or may not have driven a little too fast, enjoyed my first sushi using chopsticks that he trained me to use (I still laugh recalling his stalwart patience), I took my first solo vacation adventure traveling thousands of miles to meet him on an island and I even drove from Vermont to Brooklyn every weekend for a year in my rusty old college car (before he introduced me to the delights of rail travel)so I could romp with him (oh dear lord the walking) the length and breadth of NYC.

Whether I was roller blading around Central Park, learning how to bake the perfect apple pie in Brattleboro, rock climbing in Killington, sharing ice cream on Church Street, hiking Vermont’s famous peaks, or sailing on Lake Champlain, I savored every moment with that man.  In the end I needed a simpler life than he had chosen so we parted as friends.  He was out there though and that was all I needed to know.

In the last 24 hours I have thought about this long and hard, and I have decided even though his adventure ended before mine, he is not really gone.  The way to properly use chopsticks lives on, the knowledge that Patagonia really is a superior clothing brand is still here, crazy cats will call him up, every time I see a stingray, use spray starch to crease pants, buy peanut butter or wear emeralds he will be there.  He was an amazing person, he brought me joy, he left me with tools to bear his passing and he will be missed. I am better, so much better, because of him andI will hold on tight to those parts of me, that are him.

Say Hello...

Shared by Sara Rouse on May 31, 2021
Joe and I lived together for over 20 years.  It's hard to believe that prior to living together, we were complete strangers, brought together by roommates.com.  It's even harder to believe that Joe didn't exit stage left immediately after his comically disastrous first day in our home.  

After meeting once, Joe brought his couch and his rent check to me and then went back to his Huntington Beach apartment.  He had been given the keys and paid rent, so I had assumed he would be moving in any day, but days and then weeks passed and there was no Joe.  One day, some of my friends had arranged to go to a club together.  The club was closest to my house, so we would meet there, pre-party and then head for the club.  It was a theme club, and of course we would all be dressing for the occasion.  I was wearing dramatic bell bottom jeans and had done my hair and makeup in some dramatic fashion and was ready to party.  The door bell rang.  I threw open the door expecting to see one of my friends dressed in a similarly odd fashion, but instead, there stood Joe.  

I explained that this was not my normal attire and that we were going to a theme club, and apologized profusely that there would be friends coming over, all while Joe shrugged, smiled and tried to go about the business of hanging up curtains in his new furnished bedroom.  When the door bell rang again, I ran to answer the door, threw it open and was greeted by my friend (and later his friend) Donna, wearing a low cut shirt and bell bottom pants.  She walked into the house and immediately declared, "I can't go over to Sara's without my boobage hanging out."  I quickly shushed her, and told her my new roommate had shown up and then repeated this "greeting" quickly each time the doorbell rang.  

Each of my friends wanted to get a look at this new roommate, so they made excuses to go down the hallway passed his room and look in at him.  Some of them stopped and invited him to join us on our adventure, but each time, he explained that he needed to get moved in and told us to have fun.  

On the way out of the house, I told Joe once again how sorry I was about all this drama and assured him that I would be as quiet as a mouse when I came home, so that he would not be disturbed.

Many hours and many many drinks later, our group found ourselves in a predicament.  One friend had lost her car keys.  Several of us had left our keys, including my house keys, in her car, thus, we were left with 1 two-seater car, and several friends who could not get into their homes.  Drunk logic told us that the best course of action would be for us to go to my house and spend the night.  And, so, I find myself, standing outside the door to my house, ringing the doorbell and beating on the door crying, "Hey new roommate, let me in!"  

The door opened, and I began to profusely apologize for waking him up and trying to explain the situation, but once again, Joe just smiled and shrugged.  The party continued while trips were made back and forth to the club to retrieve the rest of the group, and we setup beds around the house and on Joe's couch.  

Once everybody had left the following morning, I apologized once again and asked Joe if he was going to move out.  In true Joe fashion, he looked at me quizzically and said "No.  Why?"  

For more than 20 years, Joe tolerated all of my shenanigans with the same patience and grace he illustrated on his first night.  He ate all of the meals I made for him, no matter how good or bad with a smile and he made our house my home.