03/12/1944 - 03/23/2024

TRODELLO, JOSEPH 80 of Fitchburg, MA and Chandler, AZ, passed away surrounded by his loving family on March 23, 2024. Born in Cambridge, MA, Joe was the son of the late Angelo Joseph and Frances (Grippo) Trodello. He was a lifelong educator certified in math, science, and special education, known for his generous spirit and playful wit.

Always active and sociable, Joe’s local gym friends affectionately referred to him as The Mayor, The Ambassador, and The Celebrity. He also dominated the pickleball court long before it became trendy. He was a staunch defender of New England sports teams, often reminiscing about great players from the 50s and 60s.

He was endlessly curious and thrived on friendly competition: trivia nights with his Mass Attack team, family card games, daily puzzles. When his children were young, he learned magic tricks and sleight of hand; in mid-life, he became an early adopter of home PC programming; and, well into his 70s, self-taught piano. He was a perpetual hobbyist, always tinkering, and he was fascinated with creativity and the natural world.

His quest to try new things also led him to Fitchburg Access Television (FATV) where he directed, produced, and edited numerous live and in-studio shows, served as camera and audio operator, and regularly announced televised sporting events. Joe produced several shows with his daughter Angela, including the long-running Hockey Night in Fitchburg, which is now an institution of FATV’s sports coverage. They also created senior class videos for their high school alma mater, launching a special tradition that still stands today. Joe was awarded FATV’s prestigious Boulder Award in 1998 for his outstanding contributions to civic life through the use of public communications.

Joe graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1961, and later earned both a bachelor’s and master’s degree from Fitchburg State University. He proudly served in the US Navy from 1967-1971 as a communications operator on P-3 aircraft with a specialty in radio electronics.

Over the years, Joe taught in central Massachusetts at St. Anthony’s Parochial School, JobCorps, and Education Collaborative of Boston before retiring from Lunenburg High School in 2008. He also owned and operated Gardner House of Pizza from 1976 -1986.

Perhaps more than anything, Joe enjoyed making people laugh with his witticisms, self-deprecating humor, and quick quips. He drew energy from people – students, colleagues, customers, acquaintances – and touched them more deeply than he knew. He loved his family fiercely.

Joe leaves his wife of nearly 55 years, Ann (Mandilas), his children Stephanie Trodello (Marina del Rey, CA), Angela Trodello (Phoenix, AZ), and Dr. Cameron Trodello (Laguna Hills, CA), sister Sandra Steeves (Laguna Niguel, CA), nieces and nephews, and close friends. He was predeceased by his infant brother Angelo and sisters Frances Lasorsa and VitaMarie Torres.

Friends are invited to attend a military funeral honors and committal service at the Massachusetts Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Winchendon, MA, on May 7 at 3 pm, followed by a reception at the Old Mill in Westminster, MA. A memorial tribute was held on April 7, at Gilbert Memorial Park in Gilbert, AZ.

If desired, contributions in Joe’s memory may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105, or stjude.org.




  • Susan Perry Luxton

    Dear Ann, Stephanie,Angela, and Cameron,
    I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of our beloved Joe.
    My cousin Joe was one of the funniest people I have ever met. He had a big heart and kind witty manner. Although I saw him infrequently it was always a joy to be in his company.
    He and Billy Grippo were a great comedy team back in the day. Many fond memories.
    My husband and I send our condolences to you and your family.
    Love ,
    Cousin Susan Perry Luxton
    and Charlie Luxton

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