OXFORD – Joseph J. Abdella, 99, died Friday, June 17, 2022, at Brookside Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Webster. He was predeceased by his wife of 72 years, Louise M. (O’Reilly) Abdella who died in 2020. He is survived by three children, Elaine M. Hayward of Webster, Patricia A. Murray and her companion Clifford Huston of Spencer, and Thomas J. Abdella and his wife Mala of Oxford; six grandchildren nine great-grandchildren, and many nephews and nieces. He was predeceased two sisters; two brothers; and a grandson, Brian Hayward. He was born in Utica, NY, son of the late Edward and Anna (Eddo) Abdella, and lived in Worcester before moving to Oxford in 1962. He graduated from North High School in Worcester in 1941.
Mr. Abdella proudly joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1942 and graduated as an aviation electrician before being transferred to gunnery. He was a rear gunner on a dive bomber and completed 56 combat missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with one star, the Air Medal with five stars, the Presidential Unit Citation, the Freedom Medal, and the Philippine Liberation Medal. He was an expert rifleman and achieved the rank of sergeant.
Mr. Abdella worked for Thompson Wire Company in Worcester for 29 years, retiring in 1984. Later, he was a taxicab driver for Yellow Cab in Worcester for 19 years. He was a member of the Marine Corps League and the V.F.W. Post 5663. He coached little league and Babe Ruth baseball in Oxford, and was an umpire for 20 years. He also played in the Jack Benny League. He played in the Oxford Pitch League for over 50 years. Most important in his life was his family.
A funeral Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, at St. Roch’s Church, 332 Main St., Oxford. Those attending are respectfully requested to meet directly at the church. Burial with military honors will be follow at North Cemetery in Oxford. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Veterans Inc., 69 Grove St., Worcester, MA 01605.