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Joseph Mose Cafiero, Jr. died in Savannah, GA on March 21, 2023 after a long illness. He was born on August 16, 1937, the son of the late Joseph Mose Cafiero and Margaret Milwee Durham Cafiero. In addition to his parents, Joseph was predeceased by his wife of 43 years, Helen “Aline” Heitmann Cafiero.
Joseph was educated in parochial schools, Benedictine Military Academy, and Armstrong College. He served in the United States Air National Guard for six years with the 117th Aircraft Control and Warning Flight.
He was active in the international shipping industry for 45 years with the Strachan Shipping Company and held executive positions with Hanson and Tideman, Inc. in Houston, TX; Southeastern Maritime Company in Jacksonville, FL and Savannah, GA; and Smith & Kelly Company in Savannah, GA. He travelled extensively in the United States and in Europe, Italy, South America, and Africa.
Cafiero was appointed Italian Consulate in Savannah, GA in 1976 by the Italian government and served in this capacity for 32 years. His grandfather was also appointed to this position in 1906 and his father in 1936, continuing the Italian Consular Agency in Savannah for over 100 years.
He was active in musical circles for over 40 years, both in the United States and in Italy. During his life, he was a tenor soloist for in the choir of the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist and was an often sought musician for private events.
Cafiero was a former member of The Savannah Italian Club, The Italian Maritime Society of Savannah, The Whitehall Club of New York, The Downtown Athletic Club of New York, The Plimsol Club, The Savannah Golf Club, and the LaVida Country Club.
He is survived by his daughter, Joy Liana Cafiero Syring.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 23, 2023 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at The Cathedral Basilica of Saint John the Baptist on Friday, March 24, 2023 at 2:00 p.m. with interment to follow in Bonaventure Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Alzheimer’s Foundation of America, Humane Society of Greater Savannah, or similar charity of your choice.
It was my privilege to have worked with Joe in the maritime industry for a number of years and to have known him for many. He always sang the National Anthem to open the annual Charleston Trade Conference and to this day I have never heard anyone do it better! He was was the consummate southern gentleman who will be sorely missed by his peers. My prayers go out to Joe’s family. Sincerely, Brooks Youmans
- Brooks Youmans, Peachtree City, Ga.
I met Joe around 2005 when he was walking his dog, Chivas, in the neighborhood. I had a dog. Bonaventure, an 8 week old that I found in the cemetery in 2000 and our dogs hit it off. Joe's wife Aline had passed away 2 years earlier and I was looking out after my father, Marvin. Joe would knock on my door and we would reminisce about Savannah and different goings on in the day's news. I heard wonderful stories about family traditions and growing up in Savannah and the shipping industry. He loved his Italian heritage and the Catholic Church. He was extremely proud that he held the same title as his grandfather some century earlier as part of the Italian Consulate. He would tell me about being woken up in the middle of the night with some problems from an Italian ship docked in port. He would meet Italian ships at all hours and was proud of it. Joe was Blessed with a gifted voice and was constantly being asked to sing by individuals and organizations for a wedding, a funeral or the national anthem. He was honored by each of those invitations, I saw that in his face and heard it in his voice as he kept me informed of his vocal bookings. Joe was part of the Patty Schreck Cathedral choir along with Jim Fogarty, a close friend of mine and Marc Friday, a fellow BC classmate. So I was always up to date on the choir from 3 distinct perspectives! There is not much Joe and I did not talk about over the several hundred conversations we shared. He now joins his parents, his grandparents and his good friend Joe Ebberwein plus many others waiting on him. Thank you Joseph Mose Cafiero for walking Kensington Park and thanks for the memories.
- Harvey Rosenzweig, Sav'h , GA
I sang with Joe many years with Patty Schreck. He had the voice of an angel?We were not related, even though we are both Cafiero's; but still called each other cousin! May he rest in peace!
- Adele Cafiero Collins , Savannah, Georgia
Your dad made an impression on me as a child. There's no greater praise I can offer than that he was a good man. You're in our thoughts.
- Michael and Shari Ulman, Savannah, GA
Sorry to see my old friend has passed away. Joe was a great guy and will be missed by many. Rest in Peace old buddy!
- Bob White, Greensboro , Ga
To the Cafeiro family, I first met Joe (or Joey as he was called) in 1946 when we were 3rd grade classmates at Sacred Heart School on 38th and Abercorn Streets. In the six years we were there, all of us were a pretty tight knit group, as classes were not to large and the play yard was small, therefore, we all hung out together. Then it was on to St Vincent’s and BC. I didn’t hang out in town very often as I lived on Isle of Hope and transportation was an issue. Of course we didn’t have vehicles to drive until we were almost finished with high school. We lost touch during those years. I’m so sorry we never reconnected. Joey was a super guy and through the grapevine I kept up with most of our old classmates. So many are not with us anymore. I was saddened today when I read of Joey’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family during the difficult time. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. Rest in Peace old friend, until we meet again.
- Carolyn Yokum Beebe, Savannah, GA
Joe was indeed a fine person and a true steamship man, sadly one of the last of the true old school waterfront gentlemen that brought, or I should really say "allowed" me into our industry back in 1972. He will be missed and the shipping industry in Savannah will never be the same. RIP Joe. Jack Fitzgerald, Twin Forks Farm, Nevils, GA USA
- Jack Fitzgerald - Twin Forks Farm, Nevils, GA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Thu, March 23, 2023
- Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
7200 Hodgson Memorial Drive (map)
Savannah GA 31406
- Mass of Christian Burial
- 2:00 p.m. on Fri, March 24, 2023
- Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist
222 East Harris Street (map)
SAVANNAH GA 31401
- on Fri, March 24, 2023
- Bonaventure Cemetery
330 Bonaventure Road (map)
Savannah GA 31404