Joseph Francis Delaney, 82, died peacefully on Monday October 17, 2022 in Ocala, Florida. Born in Kalispell, Montana and raised in Detroit, Joe is the third of five brothers born to the late Dr. James R. Delaney (d.1964) and Agnes Marie (née Ganley, d.1982). He and two brothers, the late Dr. James Raymond Jr. (d. 2017) and John Patrick (d. 2012), are remembered by their surviving brothers, Jerome Aloyisious (Tina) of Wilmington, NC and Terrance William of Grand Cayman, by Joe’s children and grandchildren (named below), as well as a lively extended family of nieces and nephews, their children and grandchildren.
As with his brothers, Joe relished his Irish American heritage and enjoyed Delaney reunions that brought family together.
A Jesuit education at University of Detroit High School and then Xavier University led Joe to a brief time in the seminary, a B.S. in physics and later an M.B.A. from University of Chicago. It also led to his first marriage of 12 years to the late Helene Margaret Delaney (née Reynolds, d.1981) of Evanston, IL and their surviving three children, Thomas James (Fumie) of California, Claire Catherine (Todd Shingler) and William Joseph (Cheryl Lynn), both of Chicago.
Following undergraduate studies Joe spent four years in the Air Force as a Task Scientist in Electronic Technology at the Avionics Lab R&D Division of the Air Force Systems Command. He exited his service as a First Lieutenant at Wright Patterson Air Force base in 1965 with a Commendation Medal for scientific contribution to emerging laser technology, before moving to Northbrook, IL with his first wife Helene and firstborn Tommy.
Joe was an intellectual at heart, a scientist, a logician. His career spanned new product technology and marketing of cutting edge products from early lasers and video cameras, to newly emerging dot matrix printers, semi-conductors and later satellite radomes.
Joe took on by necessity the raising of his three children following his then ex-wife’s decline from debilitating MS. He loved his children and did his best – all anyone can do.
Joe and his second wife-to-be, Lila Gabriel (née Soldani, d.1998), moved together with his kids and Lila’s son Rodney Gabriel from Chicago to Florida in 1978 and lived in Satellite Beach during their long courtship and short marriage.
Joe met his third wife Dora Jane (Dee) Gilliam (née Fisher, d.2020) in Melbourne, Florida and they relocated to Boca Raton in 1987 where they married. They moved to Ocala, FL in 1990 and lived a quiet life there, married for 32 years until Dee’s death from pancreatic cancer. Joe enjoyed golf, boating, the Gators, dogs and his life in Florida.
Joe’s last years were colored by advanced Alzheimer’s disease. Two amazing caretakers, Carmen (Yary) Pagan and Elsa Lopez stepped in to help, and their support gave Joe an extra two years in his home following his wife’s death, enabling him to remain in Florida where he wanted to be. His final months were spent at Hawthorne Health and Rehab in Ocala.
Joe will be remembered most fondly by his three grandchildren, Catherine (17) , Helena (15), and Eamonn Shingler (13) of Chicago, who learned about Alzheimer’s and how to step up for other people through his decline. Prior to that they shared visits to Chicago for grandparents days and soccer games, a couple of fun Michigan family trips with Grandpa Joe and Mimi (Dee) and their uncles, visits to Ocala and the Olive Garden, Scrabble, Toby the dog, and their own fascination with exactly how many cousins and extended family there are from Grandpa Joe’s side of their family.
Eternal rest grant to Joseph Delaney, O Lord, and may all who knew him take comfort in some good memory or life lesson that can be a blessing to each. May perpetual light shine on Joe and May he Rest In Peace.
The 4:30 p.m. vigil mass intentions will be offered for Joe Delaney on Saturday November 12, 2022 at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church in Chicago, with prayers at the altar of Saint Joseph there following.
Please remember him on his birthday October 27, 1939. Condolences can be offered to Joe’s children and brothers via [email protected] In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s memory to support his caregiver and her children – check or Visa/AmEx gift card made out to Carmen Pagan can be sent to Claire Shingler 1907 W Balmoral Ave. Chicago, IL 60640; cash by Venmo to @Todd-Shingler or by Zelle also to Todd at 773 428 4787.