PROSPECT — Mr. Joseph DePalma, 54, of Prospect, passed away peacefully on Sunday, Aug. 14, 2016 surrounded by family and friends. He was the husband of the late Karen (Daley) DePalma.
Mr. DePalma was born in the Bronx, N.Y., on Aug. 14, 1962, the son of Erminia (Maneggia) DePalma of Charlestown, R.I., and the late Anthony John DePalma. He graduated from Central Connecticut State University with a Bachelor of Arts and a Masters in art education. An inspirational art teacher at Rogers Park Middle School in Danbury for over 30 years, he was also a communicant of St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church in Prospect. In 2006, he was awarded Teacher of the Year for his dedication to his students. Since his wife, Karen, was a member of Brave at Heart, a cancer survivors group, he designed their logo and decorated their Relay for Life site. His passion for art extended beyond the classroom as he was known for his drama set designs and for decorating the school. He was passionate about gardening and landscaping and it showed in the beauty of his home and gardens. He touched the lives of many people, especially his beloved students, with his thoughtfulness and generosity. Mr. DePalma was an inspiration to all during his battle with cancer, and maintained the attitude that he was living with cancer and not dying with it.
In addition to his mother, Mr. DePalma is survived by a son, Joshua Thomas DePalma of Prospect; a daughter, Jessica Patrice DePalma of Prospect; a sister, Andrea Florkowski and her husband, Roger, of Clover, S.C.; two brothers, John Anthony DePalma and his wife, Patricia, of Sarasota, Fla., and Stephen DePalma and his wife, Diane, of Danbury; two nieces, Ashlee and Renee; and three nephews, John, Michael and Ryan.
A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2016 at 10 a.m. at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church, 4 Union City Road, Prospect. Family and friends are asked to please meet directly at the church. Calling hours will be held at the church on Wednesday, Aug, 17, 2016 from 4 to 8 p.m. Private burial will be at St James Cemetery in Naugatuck. The Prospect Memorial Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Road, Prospect is in charge of arrangements.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, 1075 Chase Parkway, Waterbury, CT 06708.
To place online condolences, visit www.prospectmemorial.com.