1925 - 2020
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Beloved family patriarch passed peacefully into his eternal rest on Monday, July 13, 2020, at the age of 95. He was enjoying the summer afternoon on the back deck of his home in Spring Valley when he slipped away. Joe was the youngest son of Josephine and Apolonaris Yakaitis, who were Lithuanian immigrants living in Albany, NY where he was born and raised. His parents and older siblings, John, Alice, and Frances, all predeceased him, as did niece, Alice Jean Chinik McMahon.The Yakaitis family were devout Catholics and Joe often told the story of his mother who became pregnant with him at age 45. Her doctor advised her to give up the baby, telling her that she could die in childbirth. She refused. When Joe was born on May 22, 1925, his next sibling was 14 years older.Joe's life was full of excitement, intrigue, travel, great food and drink, and most of all love. His life partner was Washington architect Arnold Prima who predeceased him in 2016, following a 52 year relationship. Joe worked for five years following his high school graduation, saving most of his earnings to put himself through Siena College in Albany, from which he graduated in 1951. Following graduation, his first professional job was with the CIA, where he enjoyed an 11 year career, including foreign assignments. He next worked in the White House under President Lyndon Johnson. For the rest of his working career, he held several federal positions. Joe became a resident of West Palm Beach, Florida in 2001. He continued to spend some time in Washington, DC where he maintained a large circle of friends.Joe leaves behind niece, Janice Chinik Milliman of Rochester, NY; and nephews, James Chinik, II (Penelope) of Flowery Branch, GA and Lawrence Yakaitis of Cornville, AZ; great-niece, Elizabeth Milliman Desmond (Capt. US Navy Michael) of Norfolk, VA; and great-nephews, Jeffrey Milliman of Canton, MA, and Anthony Milliman (Michelle) of Rochester, NY; great-niece, Karen McMahon Brackett (Robert) of Gansvoort, NY; and great-nephew, James McMahon (Elizabeth) of Gaithersburg, MD; great-niece, Pamela Chinik (Brian Hinson) of Lilburn, GA; and great-nephew, J. Gregory Chinik (Hye-Joo Kim) of Jacksonville Beach, FL, along with several other next generation nieces and nephews, and a great many friends.Memorial services will be scheduled at a later time when they may safely be conducted, in consideration of the pandemic. These will occur in his former parishes of St. Edward Catholic Church in Palm Beach, FL and Holy Trinity Catholic Church, Washington, DC. Private burial will occur in New Orleans, LA, in the family plot of his late partner Arnold Prima, who came from New Orleans.You are invited to sign the Guestbook at the following link:

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Published in The Washington Post from Aug. 1 to Aug. 7, 2020.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
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2 entries
August 7, 2020
Joe's greetings after mass were always warm and genuine, and he listened to your responses with a lively interest. I will miss seeing him at our Holy Trinity coffee hour, a truly fine man.
Rhoda Nary
August 1, 2020
Karen Offner Bordelon
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