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Joseph Patrick Caulfield
The Villages, FL - Joseph P. Caulfield ("Joe") died on August 5, 2023 surrounded by family. He was 86 years old.
Born in Philadelphia on February 7, 1937, Joe was raised in humble beginnings on Clearfield Street. The first son of Irish immigrants and one of eight children, Joe led with independence, drive, and care.
Joe attended North Catholic High School in Philadelphia and graduated in 1955. '55 was quite the year for Joe: he graduated high school, joined the Air Force, and married the love of his life, Ann (Dolly) Lilly.
Joe first saw Dolly from across the street in his childhood neighborhood. Joe and Dolly were neighbors turned high school sweethearts. They got married in '55 when Joe was 18 and Dolly was 17, and they were married for 56 years.
Joe and Dolly moved to Darby-Colwyn shortly after they were married. Joe served in the Air Force for four years before pursuing a career in sales and subsequently telecommunications. In '71 Joe and Dolly moved to Boothwyn, where they continued to raise their five children: Joe, Jim, Nancy, Patty, and Bob.
To know Joe was to know love. Joe embodied this love and brought it to all his endeavors: love of life, love of family, love of learning, love of community, love of self, and love of others.
As a child, Joe first put his innate hustle and friendly demeanor to use selling balloons on the street to make a buck. When he went into sales, he started out by selling bibles, going door to door and meeting people in the community in the process. Joe was extremely successful in sales and took those skills into his work in telecommunications.
Joe was a dedicated father, husband, provider, and community member. Joe's children think back fondly on the ways Joe embodied love as a father. They describe him as gentle, present, good humored, handy, creative, committed, and a leader by example.
Joe neither raised his voice nor a finger at his children, or anyone. He led with a steady presence and a guiding hand. He was always there and available-oftentimes the "taxi service," carting the kids and their friends to and from places like the roller skating rink, all of them packed into the back of the family's green 12-seater station wagon. In other ways he was an available ear, a sounding board to prompt his children with reflection questions rather than using a directive approach. They describe his parenting style, along with Dolly's, as a style that prompted the kids' collective reflection on their own choices, which helped foster their own senses of morality and independence.
Joe also led by example in his handiness-his ability to fix things efficiently and with autonomy. The kids remember him remodeling the kitchen when they moved to Boothwyn. Whether it was doing house remodeling, fixing cars, or doing electric reworking and plumbing, Joe was able to do it himself, and he valued this freedom. He passed his love for cars down to Joe, and his knack for remodeling and architectural design down to Jim and Bob.
Joe embodied love through his commitments. Along with his commitment to family, he, along with Dolly, was engaged in the church. The family attended mass every Sunday religiously (no pun intended). When the kids reached their early teens, their eagerness to escape into the day early led them to get up and bike to church before their parents. Joe and Dolly still used their Sundays the same way, making it to the 12 pm mass, and by that time their kids were already in the full swing of playing in the neighborhood.
He was also committed to community. Joe served as a lector at St. John Fisher Church in Chichester. Joe, though reserved at times, was a brilliant public speaker. His loved ones remember him standing in front of the crowd often to read during mass. Joe also brought this leadership into his role as the former commissioner for Upper Chichester. Joe was also a former baseball coach for Darby Little League and stayed involved in the local sports leagues in his neighborhood in Chichester.
Joe was a dedicated grandfather to 16 grandchildren: eight girls and eight boys. Joe was a gentle, fun-loving, and present grandfather. He was always involved and interested in the various hobbies and activities of his grandkids, and attended concerts, dinners, sports games, and academic ceremonies. His grandkids remember him as a steady, wise, and loving force, and the grandparent with the most voluminous hair.
Joe had many hobbies: some lifelong, some new. Joe was an avid reader and chess player. He would spend the mornings and evenings poring over a newspaper or crafting his next move in his postal chess games-often multiple at a time. Joe also loved golfing, poker, and keeping up with current events and politics.
Joe and the family lived in Boothwyn for many years until Dolly passed away in 2012. Soon after he retired, Joe moved to Fox Hill Farms in Glen Mills.
Joe began a rich and fulfilling life in his retirement. He brought his spirit, leadership, creativity, and love for community with him to Fox Hill Farms, where he also picked up many new hobbies. One of his favorite hobbies was singing-Joe sang in the choir at St. Cornelius Church in Chadds Ford and loved to sing karaoke with friends. Some of his favorite music to listen to and sing was by Eddy Arnold, Hank Williams, and George Jones. Joe also served on the board at Fox Hill Farms.
At Fox Hill Farms, Joe immediately built relationships. His desire to find community is what led him to meet Julie Haldas. Julie was an active community member at the time at Fox Hill Farms, and they first met at a group game night. Joe and Julie soon after fell in love and were together for ten years. The spirit of their relationship was centered around love of life, love of artistic endeavors, and love of small adventures. After some time, they moved to The Villages, Florida, where they continued to pursue their interests. Joe and Julie took up glass jewelry making-and were quite successful at it. It was during this time that Joe's musical talent flourished, whether it was singing old country classics with Julie's support or taking organ lessons at the age of 80. Joe and Julie were married in 2022 in Florida, surrounded by close family and friends.
To know Joe was to know love and gentleness, to feel the sun from both sides. May Joe be remembered for his spirit, dedication, vivacity, kindness, loving nature, and commitment to family, friends, and community.
Joe was predeceased by his wife of 56 years Ann (Dolly) (Lilly) Caulfield and his parents James and Margaret (Wallace) Caulfield. He is survived by his siblings Margaret, Patricia, Eileen, Nancy, Kathleen, Bernadette, and Mickey; his beloved children, Joseph Caulfield (Brenda), James Caulfield (Meena), Nancy McMonigle, Patricia Soring (Kurt), Robert Caulfield (Kelly); his 16 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews that he cherished.
Visitation: Friday, September 8, 2023 from 9:30am - 10:15am at St. Cornelius Church at 160 Ridge Rd, Chadds Ford, PA 19317.
Funeral Mass: Friday, September 8, 2023 at 10:30am at St. Cornelius Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Joe's name may be made to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105 or online here: https://www.stjude.org/donate/prospects-tssl.html , or to St. Cornelius Church, 160 Ridge Rd, Chadds Ford, PA.