Retired U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Joseph Louis Dionisi, 93, of Mountain Home, Ark., died on Feb. 28. His life was filled with love — for God, music, teaching, his country, his church and his growing family, whom he inspired through strength, integrity and Christian conviction.
Joe was born on Dec. 23, 1921, in Great Neck, to Andrew and Maria Dionisi. He joined the U.S. Air Force during World War II and served in communications, guiding military airplanes across the Atlantic Ocean. After leaving active duty, he continued to serve in the U.S. Air Force Reserves for many years before retiring as a lieutenant colonel.
After the war, Joe married Dorothy “Jane” Williamson and graduated from New York University with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree, and began a long career in music education. Joe and Jane lived in Stony Brook, where they raised four children and were devoted members of Stony Brook Community Church. He taught in the Port Jefferson school district for 30 years as director of music, band director and coordinator of musical festivals.
In 1978, Joe and Jane retired to Hendersonville, N.C., where he was active at Etowah United Methodist Church as lay speaker, editor of the local and district newsletters, president of the men’s group and director of a brass ensemble and chorale. They moved to Midway, Ark., 12 years ago and joined First United Methodist Church in Mountain Home, where he continued his love of learning through Bible studies.
Joe was preceded in death by Jane, his wife of 60 years, and his brother, Charles. He is survived by two sons, Joseph (Debbie) and Michael (Devon); two daughters, Donna Smith and Patti (Bob) Budolfson; 10 grandchildren, Leah, Meg, Kerri, Brendan, Matthew, Manny, Christian, Brad, Brett and Brent; and five great-grandchildren, Cooper, Sophia, Isabelle, Mason and Cameron.
Arrangements were entrusted to Roller Funeral Home. A memorial service was held at the First United Methodist Church in Mountain Home. Interment was private.
Memorial contributions may be made to the music program or the building fund at First United Methodist Church, 605 West 6th Street, Mountain Home, AR 72653.
An online guest book is available at www.rollerfuneralhomes.com.