Joseph A. Brindisi Sr., 90, passed away on Monday, May 1, 2023, surrounded by his family, at Holy Trinity Nursing Home. Joe was born in Worcester, MA, grew up in the Grafton Hill area of the city, and graduated from Commerce High School in 1950.
Joe leaves four children and a daughter-in-law, five grandchildren and four great grandchildren. He leaves his son Joseph A. Brindisi Jr., of Fiskdale, his daughter Beth Brindisi, her partner Rob Grendell and their son Asher Grendell; Michael Brindisi of Worcester; Elizabeth Brindisi of Worcester, her son Matthew Baldwin and his wife Elise Baldwin and their two daughters Fiona and Vera Baldwin; Thomas M. Brindisi and his wife Joyce Brindisi, their three children, Cara Brindisi, Thomas Brindisi and his son Aohdan Brindisi, John Brindisi and his partner Erin Cossette. He leaves two sisters, Mary Neddo and Rose Ricci, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Joe also leaves the second love of his life, Virginia Salvi of Leominster, Ma., with whom he spent the past 28 years. He was blessed to have Virginia and her children in his life. Joe and Virginia shared many wonderful memories together. Whether it was going dancing every weekend, attending musical events, spending a summer afternoon listening to music in the carport, preparing meals together, or simply sharing time with family and friends, their love for each other was very special.
Joe was predeceased by his wife Elizabeth (Bette) Brindisi; parents Rose and Peter Brindisi; brothers Frank, Domenic, Jerry, Salvatore and Peter; and sister Janette Comeau.
Joe and his wife Bette were high school sweethearts, getting married in 1953, moving to Mill Street in 1962 where they raised their four children. Joe had special memories of the Mill St. years - recounting stories about playing board games in the “breakfast nook” or the family gathered around the television watching their favorite sitcom or practicing that new “disco” drum beat in the cellar; it was always clear he cherished those memories and understood how special they were. He will be missed, but the memories will continue to live in the hearts of his family forever.
After getting married, Joe worked at the David Clark Company, manufacturers of the space suits used in the early Gemini space missions. He would proudly tell the story of how he met and worked closely with Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon! Joe would eventually move on to work at Alden Electronics as a technical publication’s writer for over 29 years, retiring in 1995.
Although Joe took great pride in his day job, it was his side gig as a musician that was his passion. Anyone who knew Joe knows that music was in his blood.! At eleven years old he appeared on radio station WTAG, singing live on the program “The Young Peoples Talent Show,” and again at the age of twelve from the Denholm and McKay building, singing Frank Sinatra’s hit song "Give Me Five Minutes More,” coming in first place! However, it was his drumming that would become his signature instrument, beginning in his early teens, playing in many bands with the best of Worcester’s musicians. Joe eventually joined the band that would span three decades, from the 1960s to the 1980s, “The Townsmen”, with the late Alan Gustafson on keyboard, Don Majeau on guitar, and Jane Morin joining them in the late 70s. After the band broke up in the mid-1980s, Joe immersed himself in the genre of music that was his true passion, Jazz, on an instrument that held his fascination since his teen years, the vibraphone. Joe studied hard, admitting that he “had a lot of catching up to do,” and formed a band performing under the name “Joe Brindisi and the All-Star Quartet,” playing at various gigs right up into his eighties. It was during this time that he had the opportunity to proudly perform songs with his granddaughter Cara Brindisi. With Joe’s passing the music may have stopped, but the memories of him entertaining tens of thousands in the Worcester area for over seventy years will play on forever.
Joe’s funeral service will be held Tuesday, May 16 at 12:00 pm in the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 370 Plantation Street, Worcester, with burial following in Worcester County Memorial Park, Paxton. Friends may call on the family from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm prior to the service in the funeral home. For those who cannot attend in person, please visit www.MercadanteFuneral.com and click on "Services," where the livestream will appear just before the service begins.
The family suggests memorial donations to St. John’s Food For the Poor at www.stjohnsfoodforthepoor.org or at 44 Temple St, Worcester, MA 01604 or to Rose Monahan Hospice Home at 120 Thomas St, Worcester, MA 01608.
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