Joe was born to William H. Graessle Sr. (deceased) and Rita F. Graessle. He was the youngest of six children. He was predeceased by his brother William H. Graessle Jr. and is survived by his brothers Frank (Connie) and Michael, sisters Kathleen Martinez (Eduardo) and Mary Stegmuller (Thomas). He is also survived by nieces and nephews Matthew (Amber), Bill, Patrick, Stephen, Ethan (Carly), Zachary (Taylor), Katie, Ashleigh, Haleigh (Jason), Jeanne, Nick, Sarah, and Adrian. Great nieces and nephews, Julian, Lilah, Chloe and soon to be Isla. He is survived by his mother’s twin, Aunt Ruth Floirendo, and many cousins. Joe also left behind his much-loved fur babies Cork and Stella.
Joe attended Princess Anne High School (Go Cavaliers!) and proudly wore his high school ring throughout his life. He was the owner/operator of Master’s Towing and later Jeff´s Towing before becoming ill. Joe was born in Philadelphia and a fan of all things Philly. Eagles, Flyers, Phillies, pretzels, cheesesteaks and hoagies! Joe loved fishing and being on the water. He was the fun Uncle to his nieces and nephews, four wheeling, boating, checking them out of school early to see the Star Wars premieres, attending concerts, sports and performances. He was very proud of the accomplishments of his nieces and nephews and marveled that none of them ever disappointed him.
Joe left this world on his own terms. After being told he was not a candidate for transplant surgery, rather than hide in his room and grieve –Joe threw his farewell tour. He shared love and laughter with his family. Friends he had not seen in 20 years traveled from North Carolina and Florida for brief visits. Family and friends congregated on the lawn of Norfolk Heart Center to wave goodbye, send messages of peace and love (and a Rick Flair WOOOOOOOOOO) and enjoy a hot dog from Perfectly Frank ODU (Joe´s requested final meal). You know you were a friend of Joe´s if he called and said ¨Hey it´s Joe, let me call you right back¨.
A funeral mass will be held on May 22, 2021 10 am at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 154 W Government Ave, Norfolk, VA 23503
In lieu of flowers, please write a notecard of a favorite “Big Joe” memory. He said “if you want to say it, say it. A story from eighth grade or ninth grade, nothing illegal or that would embarrass my mom.”