Joseph Blas

February 9, 1949December 11, 2017
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He joined us on a bright sunny cold day on February 9, 1949 in Brooklyn NY. His mother Rosa and dad Evaristo were blessed with their first son Joseph. Joseph was happy in school only after they appointed him a “SCHOOL CROSSING GUARD”. In his mind, he believed this gave him the authority to boss the kids and parents around. This was the start of a career and life in uniform services. He graduated Automotive High School in 1967 and a year later he was drafted by the US Army. He served in Vietnam to fight for our country and obtained the rank of Sargent. After receiving several awards including the Bronze Star, Army Commendation, Air Medal, sharp shooter awards, etc. he received an honorable discharge in February 1971. Upon his return from Vietnam, like many other veterans, he struggled to find employment. His high school sweetheart Norma Nieves gave him his first employment opportunity as a senior youth counselor and housing coordinator at the USA cadets youth program in Brooklyn. His passion for protecting others led him to apply for 5 years for a public service job in the City government. The NYC Corrections Department was impressed by his assets and special war skills and hired him in 1979. For 27 years he served at Rikers Island in the Mental Health Adolescent Retention center. He received special honor and was highly respected and loved by the officers and staff. Joseph retired from corrections in 1999 and started his new career of community service to his family, friends, and neighbors in Astoria. He was known as the “MAYOR” of Crescent Street and Broadway. In 1999 Mayor Giuliani approved a portion of Crescent Street to be named in his honor. The street sign was presented to him on his 50th birthday. He was recognized as one of NYC’s “BOLDEST”. All in the community knew him, spoke with him constantly, joked and laugh with him, and visited him in Mt. Sinai Hospital. His giving and helping others continued until the Lord called on December 11. Since he was infamous for hitting the lottery, his friends would always say “Hey Joey, give me a number”. So in his honor, play 12-11, the day the Lord called his soldier home.

God Bless and Love to All!

Joseph is survived by his wife Norma Nieves-Blas; sister Gladys Rios and husband Nelson; Nieces Diana Abad and Lizette Rios-Williams and husband Keith; nephew Richard Blas; grandnieces and nephews Vanessa Abad, Desiree Abad, Priscilla Abad, and Adianna Williams, Andre’ Williams, Adrian Williams, and Angelina Williams, Emily Blas, Jaden Blas, and Aiden Blas.

Beloved Husband, Son, Brother, Uncle, and Friend


  • Visitation Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Visitation Thursday, December 14, 2017
  • Visitation Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Visitation Friday, December 15, 2017
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 16, 2017
  • Committal Service Saturday, December 16, 2017

Joseph Blas

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Nancy Aponte

December 20, 2017

A wonderful man, devoted husband and friend. There is another angel in heaven!! Love your cousin Nancy


December 17, 2017

Just read of the passing of Joseph, he lived a vivacious and exciting life. May all cherish their memories of him, and the hope of God's promise of embracing Joe again. May HIS words bring the family comfort, peace and hope for the future. Psalms 103:4,8,17

Leslie Brandon

December 16, 2017

What a blessing to have met such a loving and devoted husband! As recounted by Norma, Joey took his duty as the Chef in the family very seriously and always prepared original dishes to surprise Norma after work. Their love affair and devotion to each other remained steadfast. May G Bless and Protect his soul and retain his memory of love and kindness to all. With deep sadness to the Blas family, may G bless you during the difficult days ahead. Sincerely,
Leslie L. Brandon

December 13, 2017

May God's loving kindness comfort you and help you through this very sad time
Psalms 29:11