Joseph (Joe) Michael Fay, 85, of Charlton died in his sleep at home on Sunday, November 5, 2017. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lois; son Russell and his wife Sherri of Auburn; daughter Jennifer and partner Michelle of Westborough; “adopted” daughter Randi Kelly of Maynard; granddaughter Tonya Rose (Bennett) Lajoie and husband Chris of N. Smithfield, RI. Joe is also survived by his sister Margaret (Peggy) Melanson of Naples, FL; nephew Paul Melanson and husband Jack of Provincetown. He was predeceased by his sister Kathy Fay earlier this year, and nephew Michael Melanson.
Joe was born in Everett to Esther (Russell) and Michael J. Fay, originally from Lisloughlin Co. Galway, Ireland. He grew up in Malden with his mother and two sisters, his father having died when Joe was six. His beloved dog Bilko passed in 2008, which left a hole in his heart.
Joe developed a lifelong love for the outdoors while stationed in the Alaska Territory with the Army Security Agency during the Korean War. He was an avid birder, traveling with Lois across the Americas and Europe in a never ending quest for photographs and new adventures. Joe and Lois also took many trips to Ireland to better get to know his Irish relatives and heritage.
Joe loved music of all kinds, and especially introducing new forms to people. While studying at Boston University, he was often at jazz clubs with his best buddies Dave Templeton, Onie O’Neill, Ed Fitzgerald, and Billy Beaton. Family and friends were always off to Symphony Hall or one of countless outdoor folk, jazz, classical, Celtic, and Cajun festivals.
Joe’s intellectual curiosity and love of reading was shared with friends and family in conversation about everything from astronomy to Zydeco. Political discourse and debate was infamous in his circle of friends and family, as well as striving to make the world a better place for every living being through support of social justice and environmental causes.
Joe was a king husband, making sure the coffee and crosswords were waiting for Lois as she woke each day. Joe was a gentle and loving Dad and Grandfather who always had an ear to listen or a story to tell. Joe will be forever in our hearts, especially when we pet a dog, watch a bird, or toast each other with a Guinness. Slainte!
Please consider a donation in his memory to the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Worcester Animal Rescue League, or the Capen Hill Nature Sanctuary in Charlton,MA.
The Robert J. Miller-Charlton Funeral Home, 175 Old Worcester Rd. had the honor to assist Joe’s family with arrangements.
To leave a message or condolence, please visit: RJMillerfunerals.net