Joseph I. Cleary Jr.
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of Pepperell; 88
PEPPERELL -- Joseph I. Cleary Jr., 88, of Pepperell, died Saturday, February 23, 2013, at the Community Hospice House in Merrimack, NH, after a long-fought battle with cancer.
Joseph was born in West Groton on July 26, 1924, to Mildred (Blood) Cleary and Joseph I. Cleary Sr. He graduated from Groton High School in 1942, and from there he went on to serve three years in the Navy during World War II. After his service, he completed a program at Bentley School of Accounting and Finance. In subsequent years, Joe earned a bachelor's degree from Northeastern University; he also worked as an engineer for Ford Motor Company in Somerville, MA, while simultaneously earning his M.B.A. from Northeastern.
In late 1957 Joe became a co-owner of Townsend Ford; buying out his partner, Sherman Gates, in 1962 to become sole owner. For 40 years Joe owned and operated Townsend Ford -- and "had a great time doing it!" He left the business in 2001. (Joe never really considered himself "retired." Ask anyone he met after 2001 half of them will tell you he sold 'em a car!)
In addition to running the dealership, Joe loved Lake Winnipesaukee, his antique cars, a good gin and tonic, his friends, and of course his family.
Joe leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Betty H. (Pillsbury) Cleary; his children, Maureen Cleary of Lunenburg, Thomas Cleary of Pepperell, Michael Cleary of Durham, NH, and Kathleen Cleary of Pepperell; his sister Jane Croteau of West Groton; his sister-in-law Mary Jane "Mamie" Pillsbury of Pepperell; and five grandchildren, Kristin Cartee, Abigail Cartee, Joseph Cleary, Kelly Cleary, and Madison Cleary.
He was predeceased by his brother Robert "Rocky" Cleary and his infant grandson, Jamie Cartee. His brother Richard Cleary died shortly after Joe on Sunday, February 24th.
CLEARY -- A funeral Mass will be celebrated 10 AM Friday, March 1st at Our Lady of Grace Parish worshipping at St. Joseph's Church, 28 Tarbell Street, Pepperell. Burial will be in Groton Cemetery.
Calling hours are 4-7 Thursday at the T.J. Anderson &Son Funeral Home, 250 Main Street (Rte 119) Townsend Center. Please see www.andersonfuneral.com for additional information.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Community Hospice House, 210 Naticook Rd., Merrimack, NH, 03054.
Published in Sentinel & Enterprise on Feb. 26, 2013