Joseph Messina

March 25, 2022

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               Joseph C. Messina of Watertown, MA, passed away on Friday, March 25, 2022 at the age of 74 after complications following a heart attack.  He was born in Waltham, MA to John and Caroline (Nardone) Messina. He is survived by his wife, Diane. Loving father of Kathryn (Messina) Kimball of Lynnfield, MA, Sharon Messina and her husband Paul Halcrow of Sydney, Australia, Stephanie Messina of Auburn, MA. Stepfather of Kristen Clay and her husband Stephen of Marblehead, MA and Katelyn Prosnitz and her husband Brian of Lincoln, RI. Cherished grandfather to John “Jack” and Christina Kimball, Rex Messina Halcrow, Timothy Clay and Ryan Clay, Addison and Zachary Prosnitz.  Dear brother of Robert of Frisco, TX, Stephen of Watertown, MA, Vincent of Westford, MA, Mary Lou Walck of Sayre, PA, Mark of Aurora, CO and the late John Jr. and Paul Messina. He also leaves behind many cousins, nieces, and nephews with whom he was very close.

               Joe graduated from Watertown High School in 1965 and founded J&S Carpet in Belmont, MA with his brother, Steve. He served honorably for 6 years in the Massachusetts National Guard, assigned to the Honest John Rocket Battalion reaching the rank of Spec 4. He earned a Criminal Justice degree from Quinsigamond Community College. Joe retired after 34 years of service as a police officer (2 years in Watertown, 32 years in Auburn). He continued service as a federal court officer in Worcester and Boston for 14 years. Additionally, he was elected as an Auburn Town Meeting Member for 20 years, private investigator for 20 years, and constable for 3 years.

               Joe was a pillar in the communities he served and was always the one to bring people together and make time for his many loved ones and friends. As a charter member of the Auburn Police Association, he began the tradition for the department’s annual trip to DC to the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial since its inception in 1995, bussing members of his department down, and eventually attending with Sharon or Diane each year. It was a very special time for him to honor his fallen friends and keep their legacies alive, a duty he took very seriously. He was someone who “never met a day he didn’t like” and brought his thoughtful demeanor to his job every day. He loved to help people and it was central to who he was. He was perhaps most proud of his three daughters whom he loved deeply. He was quick to share a story about them if you ever saw him out in town and you would be hard pressed to find three girls who could love their father more. He also had a special relationship with his grandson, Jack – a trusted co-pilot for many adventures.

              Joe and Diane were married in 1999. They spent time traveling and enjoying visits with family and friends. Their favorite places to go included Cape Cod, Naples, FL, Washington, DC, New Hampshire, Vermont, and California. Joe and Diane shared a deep love and friendship that carried them through the brief illness leading to his death. Diane was by his side every step of the way and he passed surrounded with the love he gave so freely in this life reflecting back at him – surrounded by family.

              He is someone who will be remembered by many for his care, generosity, sense of humor, and infectious laugh. He is someone who saved, touched, and profoundly changed the lives of so many and he will be sorely missed and forever appreciated.

            Family and friends are welcome to come celebrate Joe’s life by gathering for visiting hours in the Nardone Funeral Home, 373 Main St. on Sunday April 3, 2022 from 2-6 PM and again on Monday April 4, 2022 at 8 AM followed by a 9 AM Funeral Mass in St. Patrick’s Church, 212 Main St. Watertown. Burial with Military Honors in Ridgelawn Cemetery.

            In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Joe’s name to One Summit, Inc (, 4 High Street, North Andover, MA 01845 an organization builds resilience in kids battling cancer through experiential learning with Navy SEALs, storytelling and community engagement.


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