Lt. Col. Joachim (Joe) J. Speciale ’39 died on May 4, 2011 in San Jose after a brief illness. Joe was the husband of the late Shiela Ann Speciale and leaves his four children, Anita Speciale D’Alessio (Joseph), Stephen Speciale, Marina Darrin (David), and Joachim (Joey) Speciale: his sister, Rosalie Speciale; his grandchildren, Andrew Darrin, Katie Darrin, and Ynes Speciale-Pauli and David Pauli of Limburg, Belgium; and also his great granddaughter, Romie Sophia. Joe was a member of the Amici D’Oro Italian-American Club; Santa Clara University Alumni; Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor 22; the Santa Clara "39-rs" and St. Christopher’s Parish in San Jose.  Born in San Jose’s old O’Connor Hospital in 1918 to Anita and Orvis Speciale, Joe graduated from Bellarmine College Preparatory and received his baccalaureate degree in 1939 from Santa Clara University. He was the youngest man to become an ROTC officer at Santa Clara at that time. Upon graduation he was commissioned in the US Army as an artillery officer and stationed at the Presidio of San Francisco and Ft. Ord before World War II, then later assigned to the "Pineapple Pentagon" in Honolulu after the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. During Joe’s career of 20 years in the US 6th Army, he and his family lived in Washington D.C., Germany, San Francisco, and Virginia. He also worked in the National War College and the Pentagon in Logistics with the US Army Quartermaster division on major projects in the 1950’s to maintain a well-prepared military. One of his later assignments was to nuclear guided missile project development, the intent of which was to deter a possible WW3 based on the experiences of 1941. Meantime, Joe completed his law degree while serving in the Army, and after retiring from active duty in 1962 as a Lt. Colonel, he returned home to San Jose. He worked for the County of Santa Clara for many years, retiring as Clerk of the Court of Santa Clara County. After retirement, he helped launch and support the Casa Italiana community at Santa Clara University. Joe met his beloved Shiela in Honolulu in 1946, while she was working for the Department of the Army there. (In fact he was the choir director at the base chapel at Sand Island when she showed up one night for practice.) They shared a life-long love of Hawaii to which they traveled several times during their sixty years together.

08 Nov 2018