In Memory

Joseph Guccione

Joseph Guccione

Joseph Q. Guccione, 62, of Duxbury, died at home on November third,2009, of complications of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS, commonly called Lou Gehrig's Disease.
The son of Geraldine Mendenhall Guccione and the late Quentin Guccione, DDS of Needham, Joe was a graduate of Bentley University with a degree in accounting. He leaves a legacy of nearly forty years in fund accounting and financial management for independent schools.
Joe's early career included positions with the Massachusetts Division of the American Heart Association and its Boston Chapter; Family Services of Greater Boston; The United Way of Mass Bay and eventually Cardinal Cushing Industries of Hanover, one of the largest special needs organizations in New England.
In l993 the family became Duxbury summer residents when Joe was appointed Director of Finance and Operations for the Winchester Thurston School in Pittsburgh, a position he subsequently held at The Kent Place School, Summit New Jersey, beginning in 1997. He came full circle and returned to Boston as Chief Financial Officer for The Winsor School until his illness forced an early retirement in 2008. He was a board member of the National Business Officers Association and member of the Bentley University Executive Club.
Joe was an avid sportsman and community volunteer. In the mid-seventies he spent weekends as a skydiving Jumpmaster/instructor at Parachutes Inc., Orange, MA. While chairman of the Duxbury Yacht Club's Waterfront Committee and New England Optimist Dinghy Association, he and his wife were instrumental in introducing the boats to Duxbury and organizing the town's first New England Opti regatta. During his tenure at Winchester Thurston he rowed competitively with the Masters Division of Three Rivers Rowing Association, served as a member of its broad of directors and assisted the school's rowing program. Whether clamming, fishing, sailing or walking the beach, Joe was most at home on the water. During the two years of his illness he found refuge and solace in his beloved Duxbury Bay.
Additional volunteer work includes the US Rowing Association; the Catboat Association; Duxbury Rural and Historical Society, Duxbury Art Association, The Art Complex Museum and St. John's Episcopal Church.
He leaves his wife Leslie Davis Guccione; his sons Christopher J. and wife Lisa (McCauley) of Holliston, Taylor N. of Duxbury and Mammoth Lakes, CA; his daughter Amy MacMillan and husband Robert of Newport, RI., and four grandchildren. He was also the brother of Rosemarie Winters of Central, SC, Karen Czubik of Franklin and Gary A. Guccione of Millis.
In hopes that he could further research and understanding of ALS, he donated his brain tissue and spinal cord to the Brain Tissue Center of Harvard Medical School/Massachusetts General Hospital.
A memorial service will be held at the Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, Duxbury, on November 10.
Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made in his name to The Town of Duxbury's King Caesar Fund for medical emergency financial assistance; the ALS Association, MA chapter; or Cranberry Hospice of Jordan Hospital

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09/24/15 04:54 PM #1    

David Downs

I met Joe in Junior High School. We had several classes together during our high school years.

I had a Vespa motor scooter and was able to travel across town to visit Joe. Often, he’d ride places with me. One day when I stopped at a stop sign, Joe stood to pull his pants up. I drove out from under him – not knowing that he’d stood up!

Joe, Don Ward, Dave Sundberg and I joined DeMolay. Joe continued through the chairs and eventually became the Grand Master.

In English, Mr. Harrington would have us read a book a month for a long term assignment. We’d take a test on each book at the end of the month. During the night before our test, Joe and I would each read a separate chapter in the assigned book. Then, we’d phone each other and exchange information about our chapters. We’d repeat the process until we finished the book. Although we made a good team, we’d never receive a 100% on our tests. Each of us would always forget to tell the other some detail contained in our chapters.

Like all of us, Joe was expected to do work around the house. It always seemed to me that Joe, at the insistence of his dad, would have to mow the lawn every four days or so. No golf course had grass to compare with the Guccione’s lawn!

Joe’s dad bought a reel to reel tape recorder that Joe and the rest of us had a lot of fun with in our college days. Don Ward showed us his improv abilities and had Joe and the rest of us in stitches.

After graduation, Joe and I kept in touch for several years. We both worked as 7up delivery salesmen for a while.

As the years passed, I lost touch with Joe, his family and the rest of my high school friends. It was just about eight years ago that we renewed our friendship.

When I visited with Joe and his wife, Leslie, Joe mentioned his swallowing difficulty. As the months passed, it became apparent that Joe had ALS.

Joe, Don and I were able to visit Needham, Newport and Plymouth before Joe’s illness put an end to our excursions. Although it became more difficult for Joe to have visitors, both Leslie, his wife, and Joe were always upbeat and positive. Don and I always enjoyed our visits with Joe.

 For two years, Joe bravely and quietly fought his disease.  During that time I never heard him complain!

I’m thankful that Don and I had the opportunity to renew our friendship with Joe and have some more good times with him. So long as we live, he too will live in our memories.

Dave Downs 

09/25/15 11:51 AM #2    

Nancy Beaton

David, thank you for sharing this.  It is wonderful to see all the great stories from our lives in NHS and beyond.

09/25/15 07:57 PM #3    

Virginia Day (Barbera)

Beautiful memories Dave.

09/27/15 05:43 PM #4    

Jeanne Mahoney (Leffers)

Thank you for sharing this Dave.  It was nice to see you at our NHS tour on Saturday.  Jeanne

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