Joseph R. Fillion, 88, of Tampa, Fla., died May 20, 2013. Born in Saint-Sylvestre, Canada in 1924, Joe became a naturalized U.S. citizen at 18. He grew up in St. Johnsbury, Vt. and spent many summers at Mt. Washington Cog Railroad, New Hampshire where his father, Allen, was an engineer for over 30 years.
He attended St. Johnsbury Academy where he excelled in baseball, basketball, and football. Joe played semi-pro basketball before serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII. After his service, he attended Lyndon State College where he met the love of his life, Mary Alice (Molly) String, and embarked on a 64-year journey. In 1954, Joe and family moved to Tampa, Fla. where he divided his time between coaching his sons in Little League baseball and his 32-year career as quality assurance manager at Ralston Purina Company in Ybor City. After his retirement he and Molly spent their summers at Mt. Washington Cog Railroad before Joe began an 11-year stint at Publix Supermarket where he loved to pack groceries for his many friends.
Joe was a devout Catholic and member of Christ the King Catholic Church for over 50 years. He loved family get-togethers, talking sports, gardening, and working on a sprinkler system that never functioned properly. He loved his devoted friends at Ralston Purina and Publix. He was a consummate Yankees fan, but became a Rays' supporter. Above all, Joe was a loving and devoted husband and father.
He was predeceased by his parents, Allen and Marie, his brother, Maurice, and sister, Laurette. He is survived by his brother, Leo, wife of 64 years, Molly, and three sons and their wives: Mark and Patti, Tom and June, and Dan and Lori. He will be greatly missed by his granddaughter Lt. JG Paula Marie Vance and her husband, John. "Uncle Joe" will also be missed by his nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Metropolitan Ministries of Tampa. Visitation will be Thursday, May 23, 2013 from 5-7 p.m. with funeral services on Friday, May 24, 2013 at 10 a.m., both at Blount & Curry Funeral Home, 605 S. MacDill Ave., Tampa. Please sign the online guestbook at www.BlountCurryMacDill.com.