Joe Formichella passed away peacefully Nov. 2nd and will dearly be missed by family and friends. He truly lived an American life and a full life. He was ninety. Born on the lower east side of Manhattan (Little Italy), he met his wife Rose (married 66 years) when they were small children growing up in the same apartment building. Rose predeceased him in 2015. The Great Depression and the neighborhood was rough. Shining shoes as a young boy to help his family make ends meet helped mold his enormous work ethic which he passed on to his three children: Marguerite (Ken), Nick (Sandi) and Andrew (Anita). Joe joined the Navy when he was only 17, talking his mother into signing a waiver. He served as a Sea-Bee in The Pacific Theatre and was very proud of the work he did constructing bases for troops. When the war was over he returned to civilian life where the economy was improving. A job with the Sanitation Department writing summons was not to his liking so he set out on his own. He started off as a photographer, then bought his own ice cream truck, then worked a potato chip route delivering mostly to delicatessens around NY. Once, while frustrated at how long it took to get his order checked in, he thought about what his time was worth. Dropping a $10 bill on the floor he asked the deli owner if the bill was his. After that he was always checked in right away: "Somebody check in his order, he's a great guy!" Joe was a major influence to the start-up business known today as The Bagelry, offering inspiration and common sense advice. Joe and Rose were most proud of their children and six grandchildren who were the light of their life. They lived their retirement years in Bellingham and loved the Northwest while adding their own style of character. And they truly were characters. There will be a Catholic Mass on Monday, Nov. 7th at 10:30 AM at The Church of The Assumption. Burial will be at Bayview Cemetery at 1:30 PM. To share your memories of Joe, visit molesfarewelltributes.com.
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Published in Bellingham Herald on Nov. 6, 2016