ForeverMissed
Tributes
Posted by Marti Newbold on July 26, 2021
My memories of Joe are centered in the beautiful home in St Pete. I went there usually to see Maureen or to drop off my daughter Kati to babysit Meara. Joe was always kind and gracious. On my first visit, he gave me a tour of the house and shared their plans for restoring it. His intelligence was sharp and unassuming. In subsequent visits, Joe was always welcoming and his presence gentle and kind. I always enjoyed talking with Joe. Many years have passed since the last time I saw Joe. I will never forget his Spirit.
Posted by Maureen M Corbett on July 25, 2021
Hello Everyone,
We will hold a gathering to remember Joe on Saturday, September 25, 2021 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm at the St. Petersburg Woman's Club at 40 Snell Isle Blvd. NE, St. Petersburg, 33704: http://www.stpetersburgwomansclub.org/facility/venue-location
Please email Maureen at mmcorbett@mindspring.com if you have any questions.
Posted by Marshall Reynolds on June 23, 2021
My Brother Joe.
It took me a while to center myself enough to author my thoughts on Brother Joe.
Every time I began to write, so many emotions and memories flooded forth, and I was not able to put how I felt about Joe into words. The feelings and essence of Joe are more than words can reveal.
However, I shall attempt to describe the Brother, the Man, the Father, the Friend we all knew and loved.
The very first time I met Joe was when Trish introduced me to her Brother and his wife Maureen in September 1994. I noticed his eyes smiled first with a sincere warmth, then his lips presented a big grin that made me feel welcome and cared for in an instant. This is Brother Joe.
Then the firm handshake and hug showed me the intense and caring man that he is. Once again within a few seconds I felt like I belonged. This is Brother Joe.
We discussed Work, Home. Family, Spiritualism, and even Politics. Joe shared every topic with complete honesty and a devotion to each topic. I realized I had met someone I could share my beliefs openly, without any recrimination or disbelief. This is Brother Joe.
Trish and I continued to get to know each other, and I was included in every Holiday in 1994 and Mom’s Birthday in 1995. Joe and Maureen were present at each family get together, and I discovered a profound deep feeling of Family in Joe. He genuinely wanted to know what was going on with each Brother, Sister, Mother and Father and offered to help if assistance was needed. This is Brother Joe.
Trish and I married in May 1995, and it was Joe’s idea to blow bubbles, rather than throw rice. It was absolutely wonderful. I will always remember Joe trying to blow bubbles while he smiled with joy that his Sister had found a Partner and he had found another Brother. This is Brother Joe.
If I remember correctly, it was late summer or early fall 1996 when Joe and Maureen moved to St Petersburg. They rented a house that we will always remember as the “Artist” house. Everywhere you looked there was a painting, or a sculpture. This is where I discovered Joe had a passion for older architecture and preservation of historic homes. So, it was no surprise when he and Maureen purchased a home in St Petersburg in July 1996 that was almost 80 Years old. Joe was living his dream to restore, protect and LIVE in a Historic home. They went to auctions and collected some priceless period pieces that complemented the home in special, artistic ways. This is Brother Joe.
I remember when Joe and Maureen announced that they were pregnant. Maureen was glowing with the energy of a “mother to be”. But Joe was almost floating with joy as he shared the most wonderful news. Over the next few months, he would share the special things he wanted to do and share with their child as they grew into Adulthood. He was preparing to be the best Father any child would want. This is Brother Joe.
Then Miss Meara was born in November 2000 and Joe was the most special Dad. He cared deeply for Maureen and his new daughter Meara. Joe and Maureen made sure that Meara grew up in a loving home that revered family. All three were highly active with all Grandparents and the sisters and brothers. They never missed any special holidays with family. Joe also was there for Meara in any endeavor she chose to pursue. Joe was a soccer coach when Meara played soccer and a band patriarch with Meara’s rock and roll band. Everything he could do to be with her in her growth endeavors. This is Brother Joe.
Joe also supported Maureen in her pursuit of her Psychology practice. He set up all the accounting so Maureen could focus on her clients. This is Brother Joe.
He also was greatly involved with the community and helped any way he could. He worked tirelessly with city and county elected officials to assist in their campaigns and in any other activities that supported the community. This is Brother Joe.
When his mother required some nursing care he thoughtfully, and with deep compassion, organized her treatment, and visited almost every day. He was a loving, caring Son. When she passed, he was there with her and worked diligently with his Dad, to provide a most loving and caring tribute to his mother for all the family. This is Brother Joe.
When his Dad died a few months later he once again worked diligently with the family to provide a loving and compassionate tribute the Patriarch of the Family. This is Brother Joe.
The passing of his Brother Jim affected the entire family. Joe felt the passing of a Brother deeply, and it seemed to cause some introspection into family. He always collected family memorabilia but seemed to have a new urgency to collect even more family items for posterity. When John becomes ill the desire to collect more family memories became even more profound. When I was scanning all the family photos that were passed to Trish when the parents passed, Joe was extremely excited to get the copies. When Trish and I visited Joe and Maureen early in 2021 and I gave Joe the 7,600 copies he was genuinely excited. Very soon after Joe had the photos categorized and placed in very distinct folder for easy recovery. He shared these photos with the entire family. This is Brother Joe.
When brother John passed, Joe seemed peaceful and content. Joe realized that Brother John had been extremely uncomfortable with his health for the past year, and he knew John was now at peace. This is Brother Joe.
When time came for Joe to pass, he did it in private so Maureen or Meara would not feel the anguish of witnessing the event. He loved unconditionally and completely his family, his community, and his life.
This is Brother Joe.
Posted by Teri Butler on June 7, 2021
I had the priveledge of knowing Joe for over forty years. He was the best of friends, and one of the kindest people I have ever known. So many stories! Taking karate class together and stretching out every night in the weight room with the basketball players. The time he got a concussion from water skiing. The time he taught bread baking in winter mini-session. The time five of us went camping and it turned out to be day 1 of deer season. The long drives home from Davidson to Fort Myers listening to his mix tapes. Him teaching me to drive a stick on the long drives home, listening to mix tapes. Backpacking across Europe, where Joe made friends everywhere we went. Visiting and getting to know every member of his family, because that is who he was. Getting a letter about the first time he met Maureen. And another when he became a father. Joe always made and kept friends. I would go momths or even years without hearing from him, then suddenly get a letter/email that picked right up where we left off, as if no time had passed at all. I will surely miss him but feel blessed to have had him in my life for as long as I did.
Posted by Erin White on June 5, 2021
When I think of Joe, I think of his warm smile, his great questions and listening ear. I also think of great memories with him. Of Dad’s 5 siblings, Joe was the uncle I was able to log the most time with because of his time living close to us in Missouri. He was a fun uncle! He got Doreen (my sister) and I to go sledding on these large black inner tubes on the snowy hills of St. Joseph, Missouri. It was so much fun! He bought me my first album. I didn’t care that it was Little River Band:), I just thought it was cool my uncle bought me an album! I so looked up to him and my uncle Charles when they biked around Ireland. He brought me back several things and one was a small piece of china, which I still have sitting on my dresser. He was always so thoughtful. He also took Doreen and I on a road trip to Florida to see family in his BMW (which I also thought was pretty cool).

But my most recent favorite memory was 2 years ago when he volunteered to pick me up at the train station outside of DC. for my Uncle Jim’s memorial service. Of course, like always, I was greeted with his warm smile, good questions and listening ear. I loved that time with him. I was reminded again what a thoughtful, kind and loving person he was. He is so loved and missed.
Posted by sharon oconnor on June 5, 2021
My brother -in-law, Joe, was a special person dedicated to the family. Joe made a beautiful wedding quilt for Michael and I in 1977. A wonderful gesture that showed the kind and thoughtful man that Joe was. The quilt is still with us almost 44 years later and will continue to be a precious reminder of Joe and all the love he brought to those around him.
Posted by Maureen M Corbett on June 4, 2021
Happy 33rd Anniversary to my Beloved Joseph! I will post a few photos for you Honey. I am crying as much as I am writing right now. They are good tears. As Marvel's Vision said, "What is grief, if not love persevering?" I have faith you are feeling the immense love from everyone who is expressing it here and otherwise to me and Meara, in appreciation of all you are and will be, in our hearts forever.

Here are quotes about you from 2 letters I wrote to my friend Clare when I was 23 years old, 4 months after I met you Joseph, that she found and shared with me yesterday: "We've been dating since November and have really fallen STONE IN LOVE. Neither of us can believe that somebody didn't snatch the other up at some earlier point...He's also just a wonderful human being--very bright, feeling, mature, independent, feminist, forward thinking, & well rounded. An excellent listener....I'm VERY blessed...It's a cycle of goodness."

Joseph, you told me, earlier on the day you died, that you guessed you would be 90% better the next day, 100% the next. You were undyingly optimistic. I believe you are 100% now.

After you died, at your place at the kitchen table, I found 4 instructions you had written in your notebook to yourself:

*Pedal off the Metal*
Some things can wait.
Some things need to be first.
Better estimate time; set clock.
Have fun but set a clock.

Well my dear, I want you to be first now. Everything can wait. You don't have to estimate your time better now, and you don't have to set a clock for fun. I hope your spirit is resting, reading, learning, and enjoying, in beautiful ease. You are loved, so deeply, by all of us.

Your pal,
Maureen
Posted by Cindy Bear on June 1, 2021
Joe and Maureen were the first of the O'Connor clan I met when Charles and I began dating and Charles let me know that his brother Joe was one of the most important and beloved people in his life. The conversations Joe and I shared through the years ranged from Florida history to contemporary politics to the local art scene and I always left time with Joe having learned something new. What I will miss most though is his quick smile, his inquisitive nature, and the many ways he shared his love for Meara, Maureen, and family.
Posted by Quentin Ball on May 27, 2021
When I asked Joe about where to look for a home in the Tampa area, he provided a comprehensive list with the pros and cons of each area. From what I’ve learned, this was typical Joe. He was definitely one of the good guys.
Posted by Scott Price on May 27, 2021
I had the pleasure of working with Joe the last few years and appreciated his authenticity and humble hard working nature he possessed. I am very sorry for his family's loss and will keep you in our thoughts and prayers. Scott Price -A-LIGN
Posted by Charles O'Connor on May 26, 2021
My dear brother Joseph died on Sunday night of an aortic dissection, 64 years old. It happened very quickly without possible intervention. The rest of the family had just returned from our oldest brother's funeral (who was my idol growing up, and I loved him dearly), and we lost another brother 2 years ago. I miss Joe terribly, and texted him love and support a few hours before.
We shared so many laughs and adventures - I was 3 years older and taught him math and reading after returning home from grade school every day. We spent 5 weeks bicycle camping in Ireland and Great Britain, earned Eagle Scout awards in Boy Scouts, were altar boys together, and shared a love of photography, irony, science, chess, computers, reading, humor, and the natural world. Joe had a phenomenally incisive -retentive mind and was one of the smartest, yet thoughtful people I knew. I feel so lucky to have shared time with him and his family, but will be grieving for a very long time.
Posted by Alastair Baillie on May 26, 2021
Every time I picture Joe he is smiling or offering to help out in some way and always with such a calm and gentle demeanor. I got to see a lot of him during the Sunflower years when our girls were playing hard in the yard!
So sorry he’s gone so soon, so sorry for the loss to Maureen and his beloved Meara.
Alastair
Posted by Elizabeth Forys on May 26, 2021
I knew Joe as a fellow parent (our daughters are friends), a friend to me and more recently we served together on the Board of the IB Boosters - just one of many places Joe gave his time to. Joe was always thoughtful, kind, and helpful to me. He was a joy to speak with as he was always intellectually curious, open minded, and he had a great sense of humor. On the Board of the IB Boosters Joe was always helpful and giving of his time and knowledge. I just got an email from him a few months ago, over a year since Meara graduated, asking if we needed his help migrating one of our websites. I miss him. Beth Forys
Posted by Anne Hirsch on May 26, 2021
I knew Joe as Maureen and Joe's midwife. He was truly a gentle soul. He was the epitome of kind - one of the very kindest people I have ever known. He will be missed. His presence will forever bless those who had the privilege to know him.
Posted by Patricia Reynolds on May 25, 2021
Joe will always be remembered as my Beloved Brother who was genuine with his Kindness and Caring ways. Joe was the true definition of the phrase,
"A Gentle Man" because his demeanor, words and actions could be counted on to be Gentle and Calm in all situations. Our World is a Better Place with the  Gentle Souls like Joe who will Always be thought of with Appreciation and Deep Love. I am Blessed and Honored to be his sister. Trish Reynolds

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