Joseph J. McEntee

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McEntee, Joseph J. Lt. Colonel Joseph J. McEntee, Jr. born May 19, 1923 to Joseph James McEntee and Suzanne DuBort in The Bronx, New York City, died on his wife's birthday, March 26 2014. Jane McEntee (nee Brady) died in 2011. Joe met Jane through Jane's brother, Harold, and they subsequently married in 1950. Joe is survived by his sister, Suzanne Cutherbertson of Sealy, Texas, and by numerous and loving nieces, nephews and the most loyal of friends from their years overseas and at home. Earlier education included graduating from Our Lady of Mercy in 1938. He attended Fordham Preparatory School, graduating in 1942. At 19 years of age, he enlisted into active duty within the US Army Air Corps until his Honorable Discharge in February 1946 as a Sergeant. After serving his country in WWII, he returned home and obtained his Bachelor of Science from New York University in 1949. From May 1952 he was with the United States Air Force until his Honorable Discharge as Captain in May 1958. He then spent the rest of his military career with Air Force Intelligence when he retired on July 1, 1980. Among his many medals and decorations: the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal Army for the period of November 30, 1942 through February 24, 1946, Korean Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with six Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal with one Service Star, Vietnam Service Medal with four Service Stars, WWII Victory Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal (Lebanon), Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with two Oak Leaf Clusters and Valor, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal. After retiring from the Air Force in 1980, he attended The American University in Washington, DC where he graduated with a Master of Arts degree in Literature. His path then took him to Embrey-Riddle Aeronautical University where he was a Dean from 1983 until 2003. Embrey-Riddle gave him the Certificate of Appreciation and Joe was made a Senator of the university with this formal, yet personal message, "The Faculty of the Extended Campus hereby extend their appreciation to Joe McEntee for his long-term support of Faculty issues and concerns, as well as his friendship, insight, sage advice and ability to insert humor into stressful situations." Joe and Jane lived in and loved living in various countries such as Germany, Lebanon, and Turkey before returning home where they settled in Arlington, VA. Going to their home was truly delightful. Close friends were family and were welcomed to their table at all special occasion. Jane's panache was palpable to all those who were entertained overseas and here in the states. Joe's love of Jane's good cooking could only be topped by his love of music. He was a jazz aficionado with a music collection that included Bessie Smith, Peggy Lee, Sinatra, Basie, Goodman and his favorite, Oscar Peterson. Joe also had a progressive ear and would entertain his nieces and nephews with a splash of Lou Rawls, Luther Vandross and Calypso. Music and fine literature had tough competition, as Joe loved sports. The New York Yankees, The Washington Redskins and The Nationals were close to his heart to name a few. These last few years, Jane and Joe lived at Ingleside of King Farm Blvd, Rockville, MD. There was not one staff member who could not help from making a heart-warming remark whenever company visited. Joseph was able to accept love from those who worked with him and provided care and he in return gave love through his affable nature. As one dear friend from the 1950's stated, "When you think of Joe you always smile; he was a joy to be around. We have lost a good guy." Similarly, one of Joe's nephews remarked that he was the antithesis to the stereotypical ugly American; he was the consummate beautiful, classy American whether he stood in Washington or Istanbul. A Mass will be offered on Friday, August 8, 2014, Fort Myer Old Post Chapel at 12:45pm. Friends are encouraged to arrive at least 30mins prior, using the Hatfield Gate entrance. Interment, will Full Military Honors, to follow in Arlington National Cemetery.

Published in Washington Times on Aug. 5, 2014
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