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Joseph Anthony Baris
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Mr. Joseph Anthony Baris, 94, went to his eternal home to join his beloved wife and partner, Esther “Poggy”, on Saturday, September 23, 2017. He was a resident at Utica Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Joe was born in Utica on September 1, 1923, a son of the late Michael and Filomena (Corelli) Baris. He was educated in local schools and was a graduate of TR Proctor High School.

He began his college education at Rider College in New Jersey, upon graduation from high school, but was drafted into the war 2 years into his education. During WWII, Joe served in the US Army assigned to the 66th Infantry Black Panther Division and was then transferred at the end of the war to the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division. In England, he was in the convoy when the SS Leopold was sunk on December 24, 1944, a day he never forgot for the rest of his life. This day he recounted vividly at his 94th birthday celebration, always remembering all those who had lost their lives on that fateful day. Joe was on the SS Cheshire, which ported in Cherbourg, France. Their final mission was containing the German Army at the St. Nasaire and Lorient pockets. He continued to serve with the Occupation Force after V-E Day. Joe was awarded the European Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge; a medal he wore daily. Recently, Joe was featured in a documentary entitled “Letters Home”, highlighting his service in WWII, as a representative of the Greatest Generation.

Following the war, Joe returned to Rider College and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Accounting. He was employed as an accountant with Tar Asphalt Co. for 28 years, and upon their closing, worked another ten years for Eastern Rock Inc., retiring in 1988.

On September 15, 1956, Joe was joined in marriage to the former Esther A. “Poggy” Capotorto. Joe and Poggy shared a truly special marriage filled with love and devotion to each other for over fifty-two years. Family was the center of their life and their happiest memories were spent with their children and grandchildren. His beloved Poggy passed away on July 16, 2009, but it is comforting to know they are now together forever.

Joe was a diehard Yankee fan since 1936, when they signed Joe DiMaggio. He continued to love sports throughout his lifetime and every Sunday after his wife’s passing he would watch sports (baseball, football, golf, etc.) sitting with family recalling and discussing every score and statistic from the past right on through the present. He was also a lover of music and listened to his music on a daily basis, with great joy. Joe delighted in the joys of others, especially following the activities of his grandchildren throughout their growing years on into their adulthood. He always expressed to them the need to have confidence, whereby the possibilities for fulfillment would be unlimited.

Joe was a lifetime communicant of St. Anthony of Padua church. He was a man of deep faith and continued to be a regular communicant of Mass right up until his passing. Rarely could he be seen without being in possession of a Rosary in his hand or in his pocket. He loved his family and was a representative of strength, perseverance and guidance, with always a peaceful listening ear and heart. He will be sorely missed by the many who knew and loved him.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Maryanne and Dwight “Buzz” Putnam Jr.; two sons and daughters-in-law, Joseph and Eileen Baris, James and Colleen Baris and six grandchildren; Christopher Putnam and Timothy Putnam, Matthew Baris and Paige Baris, Helena (Baris) Welty and Cassidy Baris, and also many nieces and nephews, especially John, Isabelle and Kelly Kostera, who visited him on a regular basis and whom he always enjoyed seeing so much. He was predeceased by his sister, Madeline Baris; and three brothers, Thomas, Philip, and Anthony Baris. He was also predeceased by all of Poggy’s family (Capotorto) whom he loved and cherished as his own.

The family would like to thank some special people who Joe grew to know during his stay at Utica Rehab, especially Allison, Shelly, Beth, Stacey, Colleen, Mary, LaQueena, Nancy and Father Joseph Moskal. Joe’s warmth, compassion and genuine interest in others made him a beloved member at his “home away from home”.

His Mass of Christian Burial with Military Honors will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Anthony & St. Agnes Church, with interment in Calvary Cemetery. Relatives and friends may call prior to mass on Tuesday from 9 to 10:30 a.m. at The Matt Funeral Home, 700 Rutger St., corner of Mohawk St., Utica. Those wishing to do so may make contributions to St. Anthony/St. Agnes church. Mass cards will also be available.

“Your life was a blessing, your memory we will treasure, you are loved beyond words and will be missed beyond measure… until we meet again, love you.”

For directions to the funeral home, click the link above.
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Prayers for your Family at this difficult time.. God bless, Michele Simmen

Written by Michele Simmen
2017-09-25 5:47:32 PM

So very sorry for your loss. Your dad was a true man of honor, wisdom, and love. HIs stories were endless with many laughs. He will be truly missed. God bless you all.

Written by Denise and Phil Beck
2017-09-26 10:12:12 AM

So sorry for your loss, we remember your Dad always with a smile and such a great sense of humor, always words of encouragement - "they don't make 'em like that anymore".

Written by Connie,Joe and Joey Betar
2017-09-26 12:38:14 AM

Dear Maryanne and Family, we are all so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. Know that our prayers and sympathy remain with you all. Joe was a great guy and always at the service in chapel. We will remember him aloud in prayers tomorrow at the service. God rest his soul and bring you comfort and peace. Mary Hosey

Written by Mary Hosey
2017-09-26 1:20:46 AM

Marianne and Buzz, I am so sorry to hear today of your loss. May his beautiful soul rest in peace. The Massoud family has you in our thoughts and prayers. Love and Friendship Always.

Written by Cathy Massoud
2017-09-26 7:18:09 PM

Mr. Baris rest in peace. Enjoy Poggy and all your loved ones awaiting your arrival. I love you both.

Written by Julie Frisillo
2017-09-27 3:31:46 AM