They don’t make pols like Joseph J. Garamella anymore. For anyone who knew him, all you had to say was Joe John. That was enough. Everyone knew who you meant. In the 20-year period from 1971 through 1991, Republican mayors–Nick Panuzio, Lenny Paoletta and Mary Moran–occupied the mayor’s office for 10 of those years. Republican political operative Garamella was in the thick of their elections, and others. He turned 90 years old just a few weeks ago. He died on Saturday. His obituary follows.
Garamella, Joseph J.
Joseph J. Garamella, entered into eternal rest on Saturday, March 5, 2016 surrounded by his loving family. Born in Manhattan, NY, on February 12, 1926 he was the son of the late Antonio and Lena (Cammorata) Garamella, and was a Bridgeport resident for the majority of his life. He leaves behind several nieces and nephews who he also loved and cared about deeply, as well as several close and cherished friends, especially “Stu” and “Murph”. In addition to his parents, he is predeceased by eleven siblings, who included five brothers, Michael “Mike”, Salvatore “Sal”, Anthony “Tony”, Jack, and V. James “Jimmy”, and six sisters, Maizie, Mae, Frances, Lea, Anne, and Rita. If Joe John’s life could be measured by the number of his successes and accomplishments, it would be (and is) an amazing grand total to be noted and honored. After returning home from serving in the U.S. Army, he started his own driving school in the late 50’s, helping to put countless skilled drivers on the road, some of whom were his own family members. Following the driving school, he changed gears and would become an enterprising, commercial, real estate broker throughout CT and some out-of-state areas as well. He created many cohesive business relationships during this time, and was respected for his reputable service, valuable advice, insight, and keen interest in the city of Bridgeport. Notwithstanding to his credits were his former memberships for a period of time with the Bpt. Chamber and Jr. Chamber of Commerce, selection to the Bpt. Zoning Committee, his role serving as Air Marshall for the P.T. Barnum Festival, and special recognition for his direction and implementation of prominently successful fund raisers for Holy Rosary Church. Joe John involved himself with politics extensively, always giving his support, guidance, and mentoring when the need arose, not only within the city, but also to surrounding communities. It was perhaps an area in which he enjoyed himself the most, and where many lively political conversations were exchanged. A sense of humor and joking were a part of his personality and daily routine, and anyone in his company was sure to encounter a funny, quick-witted, remark, that was bound to bring laughter. “Dancing, singing, and laughing are the best medicines in life”, he once said. Whether being light-hearted or serious, he managed to keep order in all that he did. One of his greatest challenges without a doubt was dealing with Parkinson’s Disease in the last several years. Friends are invited to attend the funeral on Wednesday, March 9, 2016 at 9:30 AM DIRECTLY in St. Augustine Cathedral, 359 Washington Ave., Bridgeport with a Mass of the Christian Burial. Interment will follow in St. Michael Cemetery, Stratford. Friends may call on Tuesday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM in the Parente-Lauro Funeral Home, 559 Washington Ave., Bridgeport. To sign an online guest book or to send private condolences please visit www.parentelauro.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made on line to Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, support.pdf.org/ or by check to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018, or to the St. Jude Foundation, or Make-A-Wish Foundation, which were a few of his favorite charities.