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Consigli Ruggerio Funeral Home

Joseph R. Manella, 101,

          Joseph R. Manella, 101, of Milford, passed away Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at Atria Draper Place in Hopedale.  He was married to Anne (Palumbo) Manella for 52 years.  He was born in Milford and was one of six children of the late Matteo and Angelina (Parente) Manella. Joseph lived in Milford his entire life and was a graduate of Milford High School class of 1936. He later earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in education from Boston University.

    Joseph served in the Army Air Corps during World War II as a Bombardier in the Pacific Theater where his plane was shot down.  He was a prisoner of war at the notorious Changi Jail in Singapore for over two years before liberation by his fellow Americans.  After returning to civilian life he worked as a tool and die maker while pursuing his education under the GI Bill. He then became a teacher and administrator in the Milford Public Schools until 1978 and continued to serve his country in the US Air Force Reserve where he earned the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.  He began his second career in 1978 as a Deacon in the Catholic Church and served in the Worcester Diocese as well as Sacred Heart parishes in Hopedale and Milford.  He was active in many civic and veteran organizations including American Legion Post 59, the Italian American Veterans, the Kiwanis Club, where he was a past president, and the Knights of Columbus. 

     Joseph is survived by his children Carole Cotter-Acebal of Florida, Angela Kantor and Julie Gunduz of Hopedale, Josefa Kolodzieczyk of Florida and Matthew Manella of Mendon as well as seven grandchildren and three great grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife Anne, three brothers, James, Michael and Alfred Manella, and two sisters, Jennie Tessicini and Mary Romiglio. 

     A Requiem Mass will be held at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Milford at 10 am on Monday, July 6, 2020 followed by burial at the Sacred Heart Cemetery.  Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Consigli-Ruggerio Funeral Home 46 Water St Milford Ma. There are no calling hours.

     In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to the Disabled American Veterans ( or 877-426-2838) or Wounded Warrior Project ( or 877-832-699

Guest Book

I had Mr Manella for a Teacher in 4 grade at the Olive st. School. I liked him as I got hurt on a field trip and he took such good care of me. Also met His wife while working at Waters in the Cafe. My thoughts and prayers are with the Family.
Beverly Earl Jones

My condolences Carole, Julie, Angela, Josepi, and Matt on your father’s passing. Many in Milford, Hopedale, and Worcester will miss him; I will miss him greatly too. Joseph R. Manella was indeed a great and exceptional person. Rarely does a person so faithfully live, and serve as a dynamic example, those things which he daily cherished. Almost 4 years ago, as one of his Home Instead Senior Caregivers, I learned that such values and priorities were evident in him even as a young boy. Your family nicely captured his ideals and life in the display case outside his suite at Atria. The information and memorabilia displayed were nicely depicted by your descriptive labels: FAITH, FAMILY, SERVICE. Your father’s life touched many others in countless ways. Others were strengthened and learned from his kindness, love, courage, mentoring, bravery, religious beliefs, service to others, dedication, teaching others, duty to country, love of his family and community, and his faithfulness to God. Your father, and his peers, l taught me about the “great generation;” indeed, they were made with “the right stuff.” Thanks Deacon Joe for everything that you gave to us. Your life and our memories of you will never be forgotten!
Lou Banderet

Julie and Ferdi and family, Please accept our sincere sympathy on the loss of your dear dad. He was truly one of Milford’s heroes....serving our country, educating our children and doing the Lord’s work. of the Greatest Generation, our community was so fortunate to have him. Rest In Peace, Mr, Manella✝️ Terrie & Paul Sharp
Terrie Sharp

Dear Julie and family, My deepest sympathy on the loss of your father. An extraordinary well lived. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. God bless Mr. Manella ✝️🙏💜
Mary Delfanti

Julie and Ferdi and family, Please accept our sincere sympathy on the loss of your dear dad. He was truly one of Milford’s heroes....serving our country, educating our children and doing the Lord’s work. of the Greatest Generation, our community was so fortunate to have him. Rest In Peace, Mr, Manella✝️ Terrie & Paul Sharp
Terrie Sharp

Julie, Ferdi and Family. Sally and I send our sincerest condolences for the loss of dear Joe. His presence displayed one of dignity and strength, as he worked as an educator and servant of the church. May he Rest in Peace.
Michael Brita

It was a pleasure to take care of you via Home Instead Senior Care . I’m so glad I had the chance to meet you and take you to an Easter service where you lived You are home now . Love and Peace Janet Weinberg
Janet Weinberg

The Larongas always considered Joe to be extended family and respected all of his accomplishments in life. I had the opportunity to see Joe more frequently in his later years and always enjoyed the stories he relayed of the times he and my dad shared. May you rest in peace, Joe. Maryann Laronga Pattin
Maryann Laronga Pattin

Carole and family. I always liked your dad. A no nonsense guy. he will be missed by all that knew him. Bob Minichiello and Family
Bob Minichiello Sr.

Joe had longtime family ties to the Laronga family--my father's childhood friend, best man at my father's wedding, and godfather to me, my father's first son. Be forever proud that your dad 's service to our country was exemplary of The Greatest Generation.
Bob Laronga

Julie, I am very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. He was blessed with a long life. A true American hero. I wish that I could be there for you and Ferdi. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Love you.
Michael Turner

Rest In Peace good and faithful servant. Blessings to you and to all who knew and loved you. It has been an honor to know you and serve with you as a fellow deacon.
Deacon Anthony R. Surozenski

Goodbye old friend and fellow classmate in the Diaconate. We’ll meet again! Rest in His peace, servant of the Lord!
Deacon Bill and Lu Ladroga

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