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 • Bedford County
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Joseph F. "Joe" Madeo, Jr
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Birth: Mar. 23, 1919
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Death: May 15, 2012
Bell Buckle
Bedford County
Tennessee, USA

Joseph F. Madeo, Jr, one of marine salvage's iron men and part of the Greatest Generation, recently of Bell Buckle, TN, died May 15, 2012, at the age of 93.

Joe was predeceased by his beloved wife, Ruth (Curley) Madeo, one son, Christopher Madeo, as well as one granddaughter, Susan Martin Piper.

He is survived by six remaining children, Joseph F. Madeo, III (Martha) (Murfreesboro, TN), Maria D. Madeo (Jeff Koob) (Columbia, SC), Martha A. Martin (New Kent, VA), Peter D. Madeo (Christine) (Boonsboro, MD), Margretta E. Morris (Dennis) (Brewster, MA) and Richard G. Madeo (Carol) (Sequim, WA). He is additionally survived by Nona Madeo, wife of son, Christopher, as well as his fourteen grandchildren: Eva Madeo Honeysuckle, Christopher Madeo, Deborah Madeo, Charles Martin, III, Melissa Madeo Sizemore, Christopher Martin, Robert Madeo, Patricia Madeo Bowles, Matthew Morris, Roseanna Morris, Kelly Madeo Schultz, Joseph Madeo, Amara Madeo, and Aggie Madeo Davis and nineteen great-grandchildren.

His life was additionally enriched by several close nephews and cousins, specifically, William Dalton, Timothy Dalton, Philip F. Remare, and Annie D'Ambrosio.

Born in Brooklyn, NY; March 23, 1919, Joe was the son of the late Joseph F. and Illuminatta (Nettie) Madeo. He was educated at local Catholic schools and graduated from Holy Cross High School. He was predeceased by his two brothers, Gregory and Robert, as well as his sister, Anna.

Joe joined the U.S. Navy prior to World War II and served through the Korean Conflict, ending his 30+ year career with the Viet Nam War. He served as yeoman on his first ship, the USS Wesson, in the Pacific from 1942-45. He subsequently shipped out to Korea in 1950, followed by stints as commanding officer on the USS Umpqua, the USS Kiowa, and the USS Escape. His last duty was in Viet Nam, as Commanding Officer of Harbor Clearance Unit-1, the unit responsible for salvage work in the deltas and waterways. He was awarded the Bronze Star as he retired.

Upon retirement from the Navy, Joe worked for Murphy Pacific Marine Salvage, which won the contract to clear the sunken ships, some with live ammunition, left in the Suez Canal during the Arab-Israeli conflict. He was personally recognized by then Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for his timely, safe, and complete salvage operation. He retired once again to become a gentleman farmer, raising beef cattle, hogs and grandchildren on his farm in Bell Buckle. Joe was very active in the Bell Buckle Lions Club and in St. William Catholic Church, where he served many years on the Parish Council.

Joe enjoyed life and was always seeking new challenges; never satisfied with the status quo. He was loved and respected by all who knew him and will be sadly missed by his family and friends. The Iron Man has joined his fellow salvors.

Family will receive friends at Feldhaus Memorial Chapel on Friday, between 4PM and 8PM. A Catholic service to celebrate his life will be held Saturday morning at 10:00 at St. William Church, with burial to follow in the Hazel Cemetery in Bell Buckle.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Destroyer Escort Historical Museum, USS Slater DE766, P.O. Box 1926, Albany, NY 12201- 1926 or online at

Feldhaus Memorial Chapel assisted the family with the arrangements. 
Family links: 
  Mildred Ruth Curley Madeo (1915 - 1989)*
  Christopher Madeo (1944 - 2003)*
*Calculated relationship
Hazel Cemetery
Bell Buckle
Bedford County
Tennessee, USA
Created by: John Flack
Record added: May 17, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 90298389
Joseph F. Joe Madeo, Jr
Added by: John Flack
Joseph F. Joe Madeo, Jr
Added by: Diona Dickerson
Joseph F. Joe Madeo, Jr
Added by: Mary Lou Cook
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I love you Grandpa. You meant the world to me.
- Melissa
 Added: May. 4, 2014
I miss you so much Grandfather.
- Chris Madeo
 Added: Oct. 25, 2013
Uncle Joe, you were much loved. You will be missed.
- Carol S
 Added: May. 17, 2012
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