Devoted husband, proud father and uncle, loyal brother and friend, trustworthy godfather and brother-in-law, and doting grandfather of Trumbull, CT passed away surrounded by his wife Louise and daughters at the age of 90 on Saturday, April 30, 2022. He was a proud and loving father who attended his daughters' games, performances, school honors, and graduations, and he was blessed in the last 18 months of his life with a granddaughter whom he adored. Joseph's family and community knew him to be a kind person with a warm smile, dedication to his family and service to his community, and an odd sense of humor.
Born to Onnig and Arshaloos (Devletian) Kalemkerian, Armenian Genocide survivors and immigrants who created a new life in New York, NY, he grew up in the Inwood neighborhood of Manhattan where he helped out in his father's grocery store (John's Grocery). Joseph was a devout Christian and an ordained deacon in the Armenian church and mentored youth and taught countless young adults Armenian rites and a devoted husband who supported his wife's calling to the Episcopal priesthood, while later in life he attended both Armenian and Episcopal services as a member of St. Gregory's in White Plains, NY and St. Paul's in Norwalk, CT.
After attending School of Industrial Art high school and studying art at SUNY Brooklyn, Joseph served in the United States Army in El Paso, Texas from 1952 to 1954. With his training in graphic arts, he worked in layout and printing production at Barton Press in West Orange, NJ for 25 years until 1997. Joseph loved conversation about traffic and roads, so in his retirement he worked part-time at the AAA, where he enjoyed telling people how to get where they wanted to go, and he also volunteered faithfully at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Bridgeport, CT and the Trumbull, CT library.
His parents never forgot the opportunities that US citizenship bestowed on them, and Joseph was a regular voter who actively followed civics and politics and religiously read the New York Times and the New Yorker. He loved to travel and visit national parks and US historical sites, and was an ardent Giants fan who held season tickets for over 50 years with his best friend. He was a lover of art and museums, an opera aficionado, an American history buff, and an avid supermarket shopper. Later in life Joseph rekindled his artistic talents, taking painting classes and presenting in several art shows.
Joseph was preceded in death by his mother, father, and brother Peter, and is survived by his wife of 50 years Louise, daughters Sarah Kalemkerian (Jason Munive) and Mary Kalemkerian, granddaughter Isabella Jane, granddog Aurora, and nieces and nephews Lori, John, Gregory, Nina, Lucine, Gayané, and Aren. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Joseph's memory to the Near East Foundation or the Connecticut Food Bank.