Joseph A. Calabrese

SOUTHBURY — Joseph A. Calabrese, 86, of Southbury passed away Saturday, October 26, 2019, at Masonicare of Wallingford. He was the husband of 66 years to Loretta A. (Crocetto) Calabrese.

Joe was born December 11, 1932, in Waterbury, the son of Luigi and Antonetta (Guerrera) Calabrese. He attended Waterbury schools and joined the Army after graduating from Leavenworth High School.

Joe started his construction career as a mason with his father, Luigi, and grew it into a successful commercial construction firm based in Waterbury. Calabrese Construction was responsible for the construction of numerous building projects in the Greater Waterbury area.

Later in his career he was the owner/operator of two hotels and also developed a large residential subdivision in Watertown along with his son, William.

Joe’s strong work ethic was paramount in his life and he set the pace for all who worked around him.

Throughout his life, Joe was extremely generous to his family and friends. He enjoyed spending time with his good friends Richie Pagano, Lou Brunetti, Jack Gorman, Jerry Shaw and the late Lefty Bourassa. They had many gatherings, vacations on Cape Cod and trips abroad with their wives.

Joe and Loretta also had the bridge club group, the Lainas, Oemckes and the Russos, with whom they enjoyed spending time.

His sense of humor was infectious and his beloved family and friends appreciated his boisterous laugh. His most cherished times were spent at home with his wife and family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The Sunday pasta and meatball dinners, pool parties and Christmas Eve gatherings filled him with joy.

He will be missed and always remembered with great affection.

Joe is survived by his wife, Loretta; his children, Joseph (Rebecca) Calabrese, William (Doreen) Calabrese, Lauren (Jim) Rowntree and Lynn (Mike) Del Prete; his 11 grandchildren, Rachel Calabrese, Ashley Calabrese (Jeffrey Zyjeski), Brett (Melissa) Calabrese, Nicole (Chris) Smolley, Matthew (Alexa) Calabrese, Michael MacDonald, Eric MacDonald, Zachary MacDonald, Loretta Martin, Stephanie Knightly, her fiancée Shaun Nardella and William Knightly; and his four great-grandchildren, Domenic and Rosa Calabrese and Alexander and Ava Smolley. Joe is also survived by his brother, Ralph (Edith) Calabrese.

He was predeceased by his parents, Luigi and Antonetta, and his sisters, Rose Barra and Maddalena Calabrese.

Services for Joe are private.

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.