SWIRBALUS Dr. Joseph J. of Needham, passed away peacefully at age 82 on November 18, 2015. He was the devoted husband of 54 years of Joan Swirbalus, who passed away on August 14, 2015, the loving father of daughter Cara Rhodes and her husband Steven of Needham, son Joseph Swirbalus and his wife Judith of Westwood, and son Mark Swirbalus and his wife Robin of Medfield, and the proud grandfather of Ryan, Tucker, Nicole, Michael, TJ, Matthew, Emery, Herrick, and Lottie. He is also survived by his brother John Swirbalus of Quincy. Joe was a gentleman in every sense of the word. He was always dignified and positive, with a broad, beaming smile, and utterly selfless. After graduating from Boston Latin School at the young age of 16, and then Boston College and Tufts Dental School, and after serving in the Army Dental Corps during the Korean War, he opened his dental office in South Boston, where he practiced for 45 years and gave more to that community than he would ever admit. He was entirely self-made, but without a trace of ego, and he had an unquenchable thirst for learning. He taught himself the languages of the European countries he would visit, soaking in their cultures. He especially loved Cannes, France, but family was most important to him. The oldest of five children growing up in South Boston, he served as the father figure to his siblings through difficult times. He taught his own children the value of hard work and listening, encouraged them to seize the day (“carpe diem” was one of his favorite expressions), and showed them by example what it means to be a caring and honorable person. He and his wife Joan were destined for each other. She was an extrovert, and he was her quiet, steady rock. He dedicated himself completely to her through her long battle with Parkinson’s disease, never acknowledging his own deteriorating health, and when she passed away three months ago, his last words to her were “I’ll see you soon, Joan.” True to his word, they are now together again. Funeral from the George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home, 1305 Highland Avenue (Exit 19B off 128), NEEDHAM, Tuesday at 9:00 A.M. Funeral Mass in St. Joseph's Church, 1360 Highland Avenue, Needham at 10:00 A.M. Relatives and friends kindly invited. Visiting hours Monday from 5:00 P.M. 8:00 P.M. Interment in St. Mary's Cemetery, Needham. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Joe and Joan's memory to the National Parkinson Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131 or www.parkinson.org. For directions and guestbook, gfdoherty.com. George F. Doherty & Sons Needham 781-444-0687
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George F. Doherty & Sons Funeral Home
1305 Highland Avenue
Needham, MA 02492
Published in Boston Herald from Nov. 19 to Nov. 22, 2015