Joseph R. Palermo

January 23, 1944 ~ June 29, 2020

Joseph R. Palermo, Jr., 76, passed away on Monday, June 29, 2020.  Joe lived his life on his own terms. He wanted you to know that he was a family man from birth, being born into a loud and boisterous Italian family where love and Catholicism were doled out in great measure. Joe loved his wife, Jackie, children, and grandchildren more than anything in the world.  He and Jackie were married almost fifty-six years and raised four children, who survive him – Rock (and wife, Kim), Lance (and wife, Tonia), Ashley (and husband, Nick Goodling), and Alisha.  Joe delighted in his children’s accomplishments and loved his daughters- and son-in-law as if they were his own.   His greatest joy, however, was being a grandfather.  Joe had a special relationship with each of his grandchildren, and aspects of his personality shine through in each of them.  We know that all of his grandchildren – Rachel, Ryan, Sarah, Grayson, Addison, and Reid – will miss their Papa Joe terribly.

Joe was a true entrepreneur and involved community member.  Joe worked so that he could play, and he certainly had a good time.  If he wasn’t working or with his family, you could find him flying his airplane or fishing Toledo Bend.  Joe absolutely loved flying and became a pilot at the age of 17.  He could fly just about anything and constantly challenged himself to obtain more flight certifications – in direct competition with his son, Rock.  Similarly, Joe loved to fish and relished his time with his Toledo Bend friends. 

Joe lived life to the fullest and loved any activity that involved family and friendly competition.  Typically egged on by his children, he participated in any challenge presented.  He hunted, snow skied, golfed, played tennis, water skied, rode motorcycles, went scuba diving, and even “jumped out of a perfectly good airplane,” all to spend time with his kids and grandkids and to hopefully do it better than them.  Joe also spent a great deal of time enjoying good food, and despite eating at some of the best restaurants around the world, he always stated that the best food was in his wife, Jackie’s, kitchen.  Joe knew he hit the culinary jackpot when he married Jackie, and he was always the most satisfied customer in Jackie’s “always open” kitchen.

In addition to his family mentioned above, Joe is survived by his adoring sister, Mary Ann Fiorenza, his loving brother, Tony Palermo, Sr. (and wife, Tina), brothers- and sisters-in-law, Jacqueline Palermo, Johnny Manuel, Phil and Pam Manuel, Gil and Brenda Manuel, Matt and Carey Manuel, and Art Schultz.  Joe is also survived by a host of nieces and nephews and cousins, who will all miss his crazy sense of humor and generosity.  Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Rose and Joe Palermo, his brother, Myron Palermo, and his sisters, Frances Walker and Carolyn Palermo.

Joe loved and mentored so many, adopting so many people into his life. Had Joe written a farewell to all of those whom he called family, we would have taken up an entire page of the newspaper. Joe lived life on his own terms and would encourage everyone to do the same.  He always said, “You only get one life,” and “you can’t take it with you.” 

A celebration of Joe’s life (or death – your choice, he said) will be held at a later date, when we can all gather and share fun stories of Joe together.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you make a charitable donation to the MD Anderson Cancer Center ( or The St. Nicholas Center for Children in Lake Charles, LA (

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  1. I have known Joe since high school, even though I went to school in. vinton. We had some good times then and after we  had a family. His son Rock and mine Jamie played sports together . RIP Joe

  2. Praying for all the family! Ernie, Joe and Tony bowled together and were good friends!  Joe accomplished alot in his life! Good friend !

  3. To the entire Palermo family, I am very sorry for your loss. May God bring you comfort and peace in this very difficult time.

    Kelly Couch-Gotz

  4. Jackpot Joe. My first thought: "A great life lived!" He did it his way, which most of the time was the "right way" Loving husband, father, PaPa and friend. Loyal, fun loving, competitive, most of all a "GREAT HEART!". My life is better having had Joe as a true friend. The world is better having had him here. In the end, that's all any of us can aspire to. Love ya Brother, see you in Heaven. I know you are there now waiting!

  5. My family and I are so sorry for your loss. We want to extend our sincerest condolences to you and your family. We will keep you and your family in our daily thoughts and prayers. May GOD bless ALL

  6. Joe was a rare bird. He lived life to the fullest and he made you feel like you were his best friend. I only got to know him later in life but cannot say enough kind words about him. He is truly going to be missed.

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