Joel Arnold Kalafa
Joel Arnold Kalafa, of West Hartford died of heart failure On Tuesday, September 5 at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. He was predeceased by the love of his life and wife of 63 years, Marcia Kalafa. Joel was the son of the late Samuel Kalafa and Yetta (Wachtel) Kalafa. He is survived by his brother Milton Kalafa, children Amy Kalafa and her husband Alex Gunuey of Weston, CT, David Kalafa and his wife Carmela Cortese of Middletown, CT; his grandchildren Nicole Cooney and her husband Tynan Cooney and their children Greyson and Gwenevere of Middletown, Sadie Gunuey Wylie and her husband Marco Wylie of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and Emma Gunuey of Providence, RI; nieces Carol Dembe and her husband Stephen Field of Philadelphia, Harriet Dembe and her husband Tom Donnelly of St. James, NY, Linda Ratner and her husband John Tinloy of El Cerrito; and great-nieces and nephews Daniel Warner and his wife Shari Warner of Keene, New Hampshire, Ben Warner of Nashville, Sam Skeen of Boston, Julia and Emma Tinloy of El Cerrito.

Born December 17, 1928 in Hartford, Joel attended Weaver High School, UCONN, Temple Dental School and Tufts Orthodontics School. Joel served in the Air Force as a dentist during the Korean War. After completing his education the family moved to West Hartford where Joel opened an orthodontic practice with his partner Sidney Glassman that produced decades of beautiful smiles for local residents. He later opened a second practice with several partners in Vernon. Joel also served as President of the American Orthodontic Association and taught in UCONN’s orthodontic program.

He was a soft spoken man with great humility and a wry sense of humor. He had many passions in his life: from an early age he loved sailing and motor boating, he was an accomplished jazz pianist and an avid squash and tennis player. Joel was a devoted family man who loved spending time with his grandkids at the New London beach house that he designed himself. He and Marcia had many close friends with whom they enjoyed traveling, dining out and sharing special occasions. Later in life Joel and Marcia spent winters with friends and family in Key Biscayne. His final years were spent at the McAuley where he took up painting and enjoyed making new friends and reuniting with with old classmates.

For 16 years Joel lived with Parkinson's disease. He faced it with dignity, acceptance and an ever present sense of humor that never failed to lighten the mood. The family is deeply grateful to all the wonderful caregivers who gave him comfort, tenderness and a quality of life that was extraordinary. Our thanks to Yvonne, Donna, Lucretia, Ann and all the others.

Weinstein's Mortuary is in charge of funeral arrangements. A graveside burial service will take place on Thursday, September 7 at 1:30 PM in Beth Israel Cemetery, 27 Jackson Street, Avon, Ct. A reception will follow at 2:30 PM in Building A, at the McAuley, 275 Steele Road, West Hartford.

Memorial remembrances may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PO Box 5014 Hagerstown, MD 21241-5014. 1-800-708-7644. Donations may also be made to Jewish Family Services, JFS

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