Cover photo for Joel A. Fife's Obituary
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1953 Joel A. Fife 2022

Joel A. Fife

August 1, 1953 — November 4, 2022


Some of the wonderful little things to remember about Joel Fife will be that he loved a shrimp cocktail; a nice glass of a good scotch to be shared with friends; annual vacations to his much-loved Truro where outings even included an ice cream then walking to explore the epitaphs on old gravestones in nearby cemeteries; he absolutely loved Worcester and all of its history but his interest in history extended far beyond including being well-studied on World War II; a friendly and challenging conversation about politics; he loved gladiola’s, perhaps in dedication to the mother he adored and took great care, Gladys; he beat colon cancer twenty years ago and he loved the sounds of a bagpipe; but perhaps the easiest and best thing to remember about Joel Fife…was his smile! 

Joel died peacefully on Friday, November 4, 2022 with his daughters by his side. He was 69.

Joel A. Fife was born on August 1, 1953 in Holden, a son of the late Bennie E. and Gladys E. (Johnston) Fife. His class superlative as a 1971 graduate of Wachusett High School was ‘most argumentative’. Joel went to work for then Norton Company where he remained a faithful employee for over forty-five years. He was a research and development technician and treasured the many life-long friendships that came as a result of his work. He retired four years ago. 

He married West Boylston native, Susan M. Connor on December 28, 1979 in her native parish, Our Lady of Good Counsel. Sue, a hardworking and dedicated young nurse and Joel made Worcester their home. Their home on Burman Avenue was a place to gather for many occasions but Joel was most comfortable just being at home. He meticulously cared for the yard and gardens, enjoyed a dip in the pool, and a comfortable seat in the backyard with a television rigged from inside to watch any of the New England sports games, the Red Sox his most favored. He was blessed with the talent to fix or build most anything and therefore household tasks came easy. In his home they raised two beautiful daughters whom he adored and was ever so proud of their accomplishments. While he was called ‘Grampy’ to his grandchildren, his family might occasionally coin him ‘Grumpy’ but it was just an often-appropriate term of endearment. Family was everything to Joel and the Connor clan was a large part of his world and he was blessed.

In addition to his wife of 42 years, Susan, he leaves his daughters, Elizabeth F. Fife (and her partner Christopher Metcalf) and Diane J. Biagiotti (and son-in-law Richard), all of Worcester; he was the much loved 'Grampy' to Connor and Bridget Biagiotti; his sister, Judith A. Peters of Holden and the late David E. Fife; his in-laws, Jim & Renee Connor of Portola Valley, California, Judy & Kevin  Smith of Holden, Liz & Dan (late) Blash of Auburn, Mary & Dave Comerata of Houston, Texas and Diane & Tom (late) O'Packi of Sterling; as well as many loving nieces & nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember Joel's life by gathering for calling hours from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday, November 13th at Cyprian Keyes Golf Club, 284 East Temple Street, Boylston followed by his Life Celebration at 1 p.m. A reception will follow. Burial is private.  

Those wishing to view the broadcasting (and recording) of the service at 1 p.m. please use this link:

His family offers deepest gratitude to the staff of healthcare workers and co-workers of Sue for their wonderful care and friendship given to Joel and to Sue and the entire family. 

Expressions of sympathy may be made to UMass Memorial Health | Office of Philanthropy | 365 Plantation Street, One Biotech, Worcester, MA  01605 or

Arrangements by James & John Heald of The Joyce Funeral Home, 245 Main Street, Waltham.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joel A. Fife, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Calling Hours

Sunday, November 13, 2022

11:00am - 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Life Celebration

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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