Joseph “Joe” E. Rabschnuk, Jr.January 26, 1941 ~ March 13, 2017 (age 76)
Ware - Joseph “Joe” Rabschnuk, Jr., 76, died on March 13, 2017 following a long illness. Joe was surrounded by his children and grandchildren during his final peaceful days in hospice care. Joe grew up in Gilbertville and lived most of his adult life in Ware. From a young age, he was naturally drawn to designing and building things, and this interest found its most satisfying expression in Joe’s long time career as an Adaptive Designer at the Massachusetts State Institution for the Disabled in Belchertown. Joe was especially adept at designing or modifying wheelchairs and furniture for people whose needs could not be met with standard equipment, and their improved quality of life gave his professional life deep purpose. He extended his commitment to helping others into roles as a volunteer EMT and Ski Patrol. In his personal life, Joe enjoyed sports, including golf, tennis, scuba diving in the Caribbean, and his favorite “sport”, Texas hold ‘em. He loved his Boston pro teams, and reveled in witnessing multiple Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins championships. He loved to fix and build things around the home, from working on his 1967 Lincoln Continental to building finely crafted furniture, and had a garage full of tools that could measure up to any task.
Joe is survived by his daughter Christine of Scituate and her partner Rick Carriger; his son Scott of Hingham, his wife Alison, and grandsons Cole and Alex. He is also survived by his sister Joyce Schoonmaker of North Port FL, her husband Neill, and niece Meg Domino, her husband Anthony and their children Nicholas, Alyssa, Jaxon and Michaela, as well as Casey and Alison Teeven, children of his departed niece Caty Teeven. He is also survived by his former wife Julianne of Ware, her sisters Marlene Burns and Liz Hennessey, and his nieces Meaghann and Morgan along with their respective husbands. And Joe held a special place in his heart for his long-time care provider Becky Grout and her boyfriend Kevin Blackmer.
Calling hours for Joe will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 from 4 to 6 PM at the Charbonneau Funeral Home in Ware, after which family and friends are invited to celebrate his life at a reception at Debbie Wong’s restaurant in Ware. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the MSPCA or your local animal shelter in honor of Joe’s feline family Teddy, Punkin and Peanut.