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Joseph L. Heller, 85, of Largo, Florida, passed away on Wednesday, May 1, 2019, after a courageous five year battle with Dementia. He was born November 13, 1933 in Poughkeepsie, New York, to Faye and George Heller. Joe is survived by his daughter, Leslie Heller Scarcello and grandson, Michael Scarcello of Rhode Island, cousin, Stan Brand (Aline) of Largo, brother-in-law Jim Beakey, of Clearwater, and several nieces and nephews: Susie Brigman (Bobby), Steven Heller (Carol), Scott Heller (Jean), Stuart Heller, Gary Brand, Sandra Smith (John), and Christine Ecker (Dan). He is also survived by grandnephews and grandnieces, Timothy and Mark Brigman, Courteney, Katie, and Susie Heller, and Becky Schell. Joe was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Loretta Beakey, and brother, David Heller.

Joe served proudly as a U.S. Marine Corporal during the Korean Era. He graduated from Poughkeepsie High School and studied at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was also an Information Technology pioneer and professional. Joe was Director of I.T. at Bard College in Annandale-On-Hudson, NY, and also consulted extensively with the State Of New York and a number of small colleges in the U.S. and Caribbean.

Joe retired to Top of the World in Clearwater, FL in 2001. During his retirement, his love for animals led to him performing extensive volunteer work for both Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Coast and the Gold Coast Greyhound Rescue, personally fostering over 100 Greyhounds. He will be remembered for his wonderful sense of humor and will be deeply missed.

A graveside service will be held on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 11:00 am at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg, FL.  Memorial donations may be made to Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions (GCGA), Gulf Coast Chapter, 1261 Starboard Key, Tarpon Springs, FL 34689. Expressions of condolence may be made below.

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  • Nancy W Murasso says:

    Dear Susie, my condolences to you and your family in the loss of your Uncle. May he rest in peace.

  • Bethany Bower says:

    A dear neighbor and a great friend to me and my parents, Joan and Walt Carter. Many fond memories of lawnmower races down Overlook Road in Poughkeepsie and St. John’s Oyster Roasts in Chester, VA. I am hoping the three of them have met up in heaven and enjoying themselves.
    I miss them all very much!!
    Bethany Bower

  • Kathy Storms says:

    Leslie and Michael, I am so sorry for your loss…but he is in peace and no more pain…all my love Kathy

  • Chris Dunn says:

    Leslie and Michael,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Dad seems to have been a wonderful man and you both are proof of that. Semper Fi Sir

  • Bernadette Chlebo says:

    Leslie and Michael,
    I am so very sorry for your loss. Your dad always made me laugh! He is in a better place now.

  • SP Singh says:

    Dear Leslie, Michael and the extended Family of Joe,
    I don’t believe you know me, but I had the honor and privilege of serving your father over the past 10 month as a volunteer at the facility.
    A beautiful man, caring and kind, possessing great sense of humor. His positive attitude, conversing ability imbedded in his stories about growing up in Poughkeepsie.
    His marine Corp days, and him believing that he first met me at Ft. Bragg’s NC, he said he has known me a long time and we had done some great work together.
    Indeed, we had over the past 10 months. He brought tears to my eyes many times. He had the spirit and discipline of a Marine, with kindness and love of an Angel.
    I will miss him,
    I will miss his smile, and his response during our conversations.
    I know, he has moved on, I am so sorry for your loss,
    I pray that God give you all the courage and strength to endure through this period of grief and pain,
    His memories and life of service and joy he brought into the lives of others is what we have to celebrate.
    He lived a life with purpose, and left me with the past 10 months of his inspiring life of kindness and care.
    SP Singh