Joseph J. Heald died Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2018, at age 83. He was born July 25, 1934 in Augusta, Maine, the son of Joseph John Harrington and Charlene R. (Tebbetts) Harrington. His father died Jan. 22, 1937 at age 26. His mother was remarried to Almon F. Heald, who adopted Joe when he was 11 years old.
He attended schools in Readfield, Maine and Burlington, graduating from Burlington High School in 1952 and the University of Vermont in 1956. During his high school years, he was elected captain of the band, and a participant of both All-State Band and All New England Band. He was active in his church group serving as president and secretary of the YMCA High School Group. While at college he was a member of Sigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, serving as president his senior year. He also participated in Kake Walk activities as well as many other fraternity functions.
Following graduation in 1956, Joe held positions with General Motors, Leggett & Myers Tobacco Co. and Sherwin Williams Paints (credit manager) in Manchester N.H. After taking the civil service exam, Joe accepted a position with the U.S. Social Security Administration on Feb. 13, 1961 in Hartford, Conn. In September 1962, having an opportunity to return to Burlington, he transferred there and remained at the Burlington office until his retirement Nov. 30, 1990.
Joe was married to Pamela Jean Preston on April 13, 1974. They honeymooned in Hawaii and enjoyed a wonderful cruise in the Caribbean as well as trips to New York City for shows. They enjoyed numerous trips to casinos in Connecticut and New York. Joe always said “we should have just mailed them a check.” Joe and Pam spent many good times and years together.
Joe was active in his community, serving on the board of the then-Community Chest and also was chairman of the Combined Federal Campaign for federal agencies. As well as being active with the then-Fanny Allen Hospital (now a branch of the University of Vermont Health Network), Joe was chairman of their annual fund drive 1991-1992 and served on various committees.
He was a 45-year member of the Ethan Allen Club, serving on the board of governors and was the club’s secretary and historian for nearly 37 years. Joe was a life member of BPOE #916, a member of the Fraternal Order of Eagles and the St. John’s Club. He co-authored a book on the history of the Ethan Allen Club. He also did a TV commercial promoting computers during this period of time.
Joe had a wonderful sense of humor and a quick wit. He was quick to respond to comments in any situation. As one of his friends remarked, he was king of the one-liners.
He enjoyed golf (having had a hole-in-one), cribbage, cooking and following UVM basketball and hockey; he began attending and supporting hockey since its beginning in 1963 – more than 50 years. He was an avid New York Giants fan, having attended several games at Giant Stadium. This love of the Giants began in the 1950s when their training camp was at St. Michael’s College. Other interests included collecting old and different cribbage boards and collecting autographs from notable people; among them was a book about the seven original astronauts signed by all seven: Ella Fitzgerald, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Lt. Col. Matt Urban, Congressional Medal of Honor winner. He had the privilege of meeting all except Arnold Palmer and the astronauts.
Joe’s greatest times were spent in the company of his family, friends and neighbors, many wonderful moments and memories that have lasted forever. He was blessed to be with these wonderful people. Only the fear of incrimination keeps him from naming names.
Joe is survived by his wife, Pamela; daughter, Lisa; son Joe and daughter-in- law, Jill; son Jim; two beautiful granddaughters, Jenna and Loralee and their mother, Deb; cousin David Simonds and wife, Lynn, of Florida; cousin Charlene and husband, Joel Goodman, of Florida, sister-in-law, Karen, and husband, Rod Brigham, of Georgia; brother-in-law, William Preston, and wife, Marcia, of Georgia; many nieces, nephews and his loving golden retrievers Abbie and Katie. He was predeceased by his parents, his brother Paul, aunts Helena Bessette (Florida), and Annette and husband Roger Audette.
Joe’s wishes were that the dialysis staff at the St. Albans Unit be recognized and thanked for their caring and thoughtfulness. They meant a lot to him. He visited them monthly until his death. Also, his thanks to the transplant team and the people at the transplant unit who so caringly looked after him following his transplant. Joe had wonderful care from his primary physicians Dr. John Saia, Dr. Monica Romanko, Dr. Nellie Wirsing and most recently Dr. Anne Morris.
Visiting hours were held Sunday, Feb. 11 at Minor Funeral Home, Route 7 in Milton. A funeral service was held Monday, Feb. 12 at the United Church of Milton with the Rev. Jeffrey Cornwell officiating. Burial will be private and held in the spring.
Joe was on renal dialysis for two and a half years prior to receiving a kidney transplant. Knowing firsthand the importance of organ donation, he asks that those wishing to make donations in his memory do so to the Transplant Support Fund, University of Vermont Transplant Department, 1 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401.
Online condolences may be made at www.minorfh.com.