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Harmon Funeral Home

571 Forest Ave, Staten Island, NY

OBITUARY

Joseph Gillen

June 8, 1952August 28, 2020

Retired FDNY fire marshal; Screen Actors Guild member, Joseph Owen Gillen Jr. affectionally known as Buddy, loving husband of Valentina, passed away peacefully on Aug. 28, 2020, after a long illness. A native and lifelong Staten Islander, Joseph was born June 8, 1952, to Shirley (Finley) Gillen and Joseph Owen Gillen Sr. Much of Joseph's life was defined by his sense of service to others. A dedicated firefighter and fire marshal with the FDNY, he was also a first responder on 9/11. Following his retirement from New York's Bravest, Joseph was a volunteer with the Red Cross, providing emergency assistance and disaster relief domestically and internationally. Inspired by his irreverent sense of humor, Joseph pursued a second career as an actor/comedian. In so doing, he accomplished his goal as a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild. Joseph is survived by his beloved wife, Valentina; stepdaughter, Elina Vasitskay and her husband, Kevin; sisters, Candice Bryan, Calann Lundin, Stacey Cuffe, and many nieces and nephews. Funeral arrangements by Harmon Funeral Home, 571 Forest Ave., Staten Island, N.Y. 10310. A memorial service is planned for Sept. 12, 2020. The family will receive callers from 12 noon to 1 p.m., with a Memorial Service beginning at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations in Joseph's name to the New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation.

Services

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, September 12, 2020

  • Prayer Service

    Saturday, September 12, 2020

Memories

Joseph Gillen

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James Kelty

September 1, 2020

I worked with Joe in the FDNY Fire Marshals office for many years. His smile, charm, and laugh lit up the room. Tremendous personality and great work effort made him a pleasure to be around!! Will miss you,but our loss is Heaven's gain. Until we meet again, God bless you and your family. Rest in peace!

James McNulty

August 31, 2020

An Ode To Joe Gillen

Joe Gillen you left your mark
As you traveled life's Road Twixt Light and Dark
Demons pursued your whole life through
But Faith and Friends were there for you
That September from Hell many years ago
Where each day the Morgue was the place you did go.
Death was your constant partner there
And it took many years for those times you could share
But you slowly began to be you again
You even Pissed People off as only you can
But your Heart shown through, it just couldn't hide
We all knew you had it, tucked deep inside
You did Movies and Plays and Standup too
You made us all laugh, because that's what you do
Joe, you really were Just One of a Kind
And you will Forever Rest in Peace in my Mind.

Angelo Augello

August 31, 2020

Dear Joe,
You will be missed greatly. You take a piece of each of us with you. I’m going to miss your satire on FB.
Rest easy Brother , a job well done.♥️
Angelo

Michael Farrell

August 31, 2020

I worked with Joe in BFI
I’m so sorry for your lost
May he Rest In Peace

Bobby Paccione

August 31, 2020

Rest In Peace Joe. May your family and friends be comforted that you had a great career at the FDNY. and I was proud to call you a friend and co-worker. God bless you.
Robert Paccione.

Jaclyn Mullen-Lieberman

August 31, 2020

Joe was my friend from Manhattan Comedy school. I was recalling the story of how our friendship started last night to my husband: I wanted a diet soda but only had a $5.00 bill. Joe said “don’t worry”, broke out a single and bought me the Diet Coke. This was many of the kind acts I witnessed him demonstrate. I was so happy when Joe had the chance to meet my Dad in NYC at one of our comedy shows. I often thought of Joe as a long lost Uncle. When I moved back to LA, we kept in touch cheering one another on. He spoke to me and our classmates often of the love for his wife ❤️ He truly was a person you could count on for a good laugh, good advice and good energy. I was worried a few years back when I hadn’t heard from him but he resurfaced on social media this year and I was happy to reconnect, albeit briefly. He will be missed by so many! Make ‘em laugh up there in heaven Joe. Make ‘em laugh.

Keith O’Mara

August 30, 2020

I worked with Joe for many years in the FDNY. We also volunteered to go to Puerto Rico with the Red Cross as part of a Team of NY City Fire Department Volunteers after Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The DART Team. We worked together on September 11, 2001.
Joe was Smart, Tenacious, and had a Brilliant sense of humor.
We’ll miss You Joe.

Salvatore Salvato

August 30, 2020

Dear Joe Gillen, May the good Lord embrace your arrival in his community of souls. Although our paths never crossed to work together in FDNY Fire Marshals Bureau, I was cognizant of who are members were throught the city's base locations. As the traditional FDNY saying goes "your reputation follows you", as such, your public service to the City of New York and to your fellow FF and FM Brothers will never be forgotten. Condolences to your immediate family, entire family and all friends who loved you. RIP, Sal-Sal

Bobby Puchal

August 30, 2020

Joe was also an actor and comedian . I happened to have been at the Manhattan Comedy Club for Joe's debut Standup Performance , where he actually shared the stage with Comedy Legends Jim Gaffigan and Jerry Sienfield...and Joe did exceptionally well, I'm sure he'll get a few laughs out of the "Big Guy" God Bless you Joe ... may you Forever be in the Light!

Kevin Cunnane

August 29, 2020

Rest in peace Joe, thank you for the memories. You were a class act and a master of things like chop breaking and gallows humor that makes life in the FDNY so unforgettable. My condolences to your family.

FROM THE FAMILY

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