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Obituary: Joseph Hooker Twichell

Published in The Day on Nov. 30, 2017

Pawcatuck – Joseph Hooker Twichell, 68, died at his home in Pawcatuck on Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017, with his wife and daughters at his side. Diagnosed with ALS in 2012, Joe faced the disease with courage and dignity.

He is survived by his wife, Anne (Goodrich) Twichell; and his daughters, Laura Twichell (husband, Christopher Grillo) of Waltham, Mass. and Julia Twichell of Newport, R.I. He is also survived by his mother, Ethel R. Twichell of Bedford, Mass.; his grandson, Xavier Grillo; his brother, David C. Twichell Jr. of Falmouth, Mass.; his sisters, Elizabeth T. Goodwin of Altoona, Wis., Anne T. Kimball of Lexington, Mass. and Phoebe T. Peterson of Clifton, Va.; his first wife, Angela Loh; and his many nieces and nephews.

Born in New Haven, Joe was educated at Pomfret School and Claremont McKenna College and received a master’s degree in land use planning from the University of Massachusetts. Seeking skills as an artisan, he attended North Bennet Street School in Boston, ultimately becoming a master furniture maker and conservator. His work was meticulous and reflected a tremendous creativity, resourcefulness and craftsmanship, regardless of the scale of the project. Following several years at the former SPNEA, where he restored museum pieces including the Resolute desk now in the Oval Office of the White House, he started working for himself designing, building and restoring fine furniture. He had an extraordinary appreciation for the qualities of wood and its use in decorative arts.

Throughout his life, Joe and his family spent time each year both in Keene Valley, N.Y. and at Cuttyhunk Island, Mass. Joe was a gifted athlete; he taught his daughters, nieces, and nephews to hike, ski, ice skate and sail, and passed to his daughters a love of the sea. He also coached youth soccer, first in Stow, Mass. and then Bolton, Mass., where he raised his family. He was appointed trustee of both the Cuttyhunk (MA) Yacht Club and Cuttyhunk Historical Society, and more recently, deacon of the United Church of Stonington.

The diagnosis of ALS was a cruel blow for Joe, who engaged passionately with life. He set high standards in all efforts, including work, self-sufficiency, commitment to community, support for neighbors and friends, and most of all, love of family. He was an avid reader and history buff, and for many will best be remembered as an unforgettable conversationalist and storyteller.

The family would like to thank the many kind and generous caregivers who helped Joe through the challenges of ALS over the last three years.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Dec. 12, at United Church in Stonington, 67 Main St., Stonington Borough. A second service will be held at Cuttyhunk in July.

Contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to Compassionate Care ALS (CCALS), P.O. Box 1052, West Falmouth, MA 02574 or to ALS Association, Connecticut Chapter, 4 Oxford Road, Unit E4, Milford, CT 06460.

Gaffney-Dolan Funeral Home, Westerly, is in charge of arrangements.

For online condolences please visit www.gaffneydolanfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Day on Nov. 30, 2017

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