Joe Mondello- One Of Gloucester’s Most Beloved Citizens Obituary

Gloucester – Joseph J. Mondello, 96, of Gloucester, MA, beloved husband of the late Virginia (Murray) Mondello, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at Brightview Senior Living in Danvers, passing peacefully with family by his side. Born in the family home on Mondello Square on November 20, 1926, to the late Francesco and Francesca (Carbonaro) Mondello, originally of Messina, Sicily, Joe remained a lifelong resident until 2022. The last surviving member of 15 children, Joe spent his entire life in devotion to his family, his faith, and his country.
Joe attended Gloucester High School until he enlisted in the US Navy at age 17 and served as a gunman aboard the USS Denver during World War II. He fought mainly in the Pacific and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal, Navy Occupation SVC Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, American Campaign Medal and the Philippine Liberation Ribbon. After returning home from war, he married Virginia, “Ginny”, his wife of 67 years, and together they raised three sons and two daughters.
Known as Joe the Cobbler to the Gloucester community, our dear patriarch will be fondly remembered as a gregarious and humble pillar of Cape Ann. His career spanned 7 decades at Mondello Shoe Repair on Pleasant Street until he retired at the age of 93. For his traditional work ethic and customer service, he earned the Small Businessman of the Year Award in 2001, a title he never coveted but certainly deserved. All who knew him loved him not only for his friendly demeanor, but also for his quality workmanship on shoes, accessories, luggage, skate-sharpening and more. His shop walls were decorated with family photos, pictures from the Navy, and other memorabilia that sparked many conversations with his customers. He left an indelible impression on so many as he spent his days whistling while he worked, imparting classic one-liners and recounting numerous tales of his time in the Navy. Customers would stop by for the service, stay for the stories and often leave with “no charge”, especially for those he knew couldn’t afford the repairs. The extent of his generosity will never be known.
For close to 10 years, Joe also worked part-time at Rose Marine applying his mechanical skills where needed. He volunteered in various roles: at St. Peter’s and St. Anthony’s churches as a sexton, as bus driver and manager for the St. Peter’s Bagpipe Band, and as a member of the International Dory Racing Committee. Joe enjoyed traveling with his family, including camping trips to New Hampshire, to Nova Scotia for the dory boat races, to Disney World and on Caribbean cruises. He was an avid gardener and loved sharing his vegetables. Some of his favorite pastimes included enjoying a glass of scotch or red wine as well as fellowship at the Gloucester Elks and driving around the backshore and to the State Pier to check on the many fishermen in his family. He and Ginny offered Friday night sleepovers for their grandchildren and hosted Sunday dinners after mass. Their door was always open to family, friends, and neighbors.
Joe is survived by his children, Joseph Mondello Jr. and wife, Jacquie (Nickerson), Peter Mondello and wife, Allison (Creed), Michael Mondello and partner, Ron Kosciak, Cynthia Bolcome and husband, Martin, Ann Capillo and husband James; grandchildren Jonathan Mondello, Tracy Mondello, Carol Mondello, Laura Mondello-Hofacre and husband, Johnathan, Haley Klemczuk and husband Robert, Mary O’Hanley and husband, Michael, Katherine Bolcome-Owen and husband Michael, Nathaniel Bolcome and wife Kathryn (Sartwell), David Bolcome and wife Hannah (Lodi); great-grandchildren, Isabelle Mondello, James Roderick, Kyle Williamson, Angel Williamson-Salois,
Michael, Nichole and Rachelle Lane, Mia Contilli, Brooke Romeo, Peter and Atlas Hofacre, Jackson Martin, Mack Klemczuk, Adelyn and Aubrey O’Hanley, River and Mary Kathryn Bolcome, Belinha Bolcome; great-great grandson Octavius Lane; sisters-in-law Maureen Murray and Gail Mondello. He also leaves behind numerous nieces and nephews, as well as his close friend, David Bowling.
In addition to his parents and wife, Joe was predeceased by his 14 brothers and sisters, grandsons Jamie and Joey Roderick, and great-granddaughter Ginnymarie Hofacre.

Visiting hours for Joe will be held on Thursday, January 19, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester. Extended family and friends are cordially invited to attend. His funeral Mass will be held at St. Ann’s Church (Holy Family Parish) 60 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, on Friday January 20, at 11 a.m. and the burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery. The family respectfully requests that those that are not feeling well refrain from attending the services. Contributions may be made in Joe’s name to Care Dimensions of Danvers or the Cape Ann Veterans Services. For online condolences, please visit http://www.greelyfuneralhomecom.

To send flowers to the family of Joseph J. Mondello, please visit Tribute Store.

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