Joseph Edward Begnal, Sr.


Joe Begnal, Sr..jpg


Loving husband, father, grandfather and local business owner


               WATERBURY- Joseph Edward Begnal, Sr., 97, of Waterbury, passed away at his home on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Anna (Bianco) Begnal for 68 years. Joe was the youngest of eleven children and was predeceased by all of his siblings. 

               Mr. Begnal was born in Waterbury on September 28, 1921 son of the late Thomas and Mary (Pryor) Begnal. He attended Sacred Heart Elementary School, graduated from Leavenworth High School and attended the University of Connecticut. 

               He enlisted in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was a Petty Officer 3rd Class having served in the Asiatic Pacific Campaign. Upon returning, Mr. Begnal worked at Scovill Manufacturing Company as a machinist as well as serving on the executive board of the union and the Scovill Employees Recreation Association. 

               Mr. Begnal owned and operated two restaurants in Waterbury, The Brown Derby and the Crossroads. He was regarded as a prominent figure in many schools, churches, civic organizations and sports. He coached and sponsored baseball and basketball teams and founded the Maroon and Gold Sports Camp. He was also active in local politics serving as Chairman of the Board of Public Works and as a Fire Commissioner. He was founder of the Greater Waterbury Restaurant Association, the Woodtick Road Neighborhood Club, the SHHS Booster Club and the Irish American Democratic Club. 

               Joe also received numerous civic awards from the Anderson Boys Club, the Waterbury Democratic Town Committee, the Sportsman Club, the Olympian Club, and also received the SHHS Cordium Award. Joe was a member of the American Legion, the Knights of Columbus, the VFW, and was a lifetime member of the Waterbury Elks where he was named Honorary Mayor for the Day in 2011. 

               He particularly enjoyed celebrating St Patrick’s Day each year with his family. Joe and Anne also enjoyed traveling with family and friends. He also loved his Thursday afternoon lunches at the Elks with the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) Club. 

               He was the proud father of Anne Marie Cullinan and her husband Ned, Patti Russell and her husband Kevin, Cindy Jackson and her husband Bobby and Joseph Begnal, Jr., and his wife Terry. He also leaves his grandchildren who he cherished and who always knew Gramps was their number one fan, Christopher Cullinan, Courtney Cullinan, Joseph Russell, Ryan Russell, Andrew Jackson, Jennifer Jackson, Jillian Jackson, Breanna Begnal and Joseph Begnal, III. He is also survived by his niece Maureen Reale, and nephews Marty Begnal and Larry Begnal.

               There is also a new generation of great grandchildren who fondly called him O.G. (old gramps), Sara and Jack Cullinan, Bradan Grasso, Eloise and Maelie Russell and Isla Russell. He was a loving father and grandfather who most enjoyed spending time and sharing happy occasions with his loved ones. 

               The Begnal family would like to thank Nurse Betsy, Dr. Phatak and Dr. Borkowski for the care that they provided to Joe. 

               Funeral will be held on Monday March 4, 2019 at 8:30 a.m. from the Murphy Funeral Home, 115 Willow Street to the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, 74 West Main Street for a Mass at 9:30 a.m.  Burial with military honors will follow in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Watertown. Friends may call at the funeral home on Sunday from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m.

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