Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Joseph “Joe” Elliott Longworth, USAF (Retired)December 29, 1935 – January 24, 2016
Joseph “Joe” Elliott Longworth, 80, a former longtime resident of Springfield and currently a resident of the Fairview section of Chicopee, passed away peacefully on Sunday, January 24, 2016 at Mercy Medical Center in Springfield.
He is survived by his wife, Françoise; his two sons, Eric Kauffmann and Thierry Longworth; his daughter, Valerie Longworth Bourdon and her husband, Alain Bourdon; his daughter, Patricia Longworth Modjeski and her husband, Daniel “Aaron” Modjeski. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Jason, Matthew and Jessie Kauffman and Nicole and Joseph Longworth; and his sisters-in-law, Jeannette Berg and Collette Kauffmann.
Joseph was a loving husband, father and friend who enjoyed golfing with fellow firefighters. He was also a skilled table tennis player who participated in a variety of tournaments through the years, including the local and National Senior Games.
Joseph began his career as an Air Force Firefighter in 1954 and served at bases in locations as diverse as Bermuda and Alaska. He was stationed in France when he met his wife Françoise. In 1963, Joseph was a firefighter and rescueman aboard the Kamen HH-43B Helicopter while stationed at Toul-Rosieres Air Base, France. Joseph transferred to Westover Air Force Base in January of 1965. At that time, the 72 man fire department was not only charged with protecting the B-52 bombers, KC-135 fuel tankers and dozens of military buildings, but 1,500 units of family housing as well. In September 1974, he retired from the military when Westover became an Air Force Reserve Base. He returned a month later and was assigned to the base as Civilian Fire Prevention Inspector. Joseph was named Assistant Fire Chief in May 1981 and began to serve as Fire Chief in December 1991. In later years, his responsibilities shifted to include backup support for neighboring communities and firefighter training. During his tenure, he was most proud of Westover Fire Department’s expansion into emergency medical care, hazardous materials cleanup and confined space rescue training before his retirement in 1994.
Joseph was a man of honor who served as the epitome of perseverance, dedication and devotion. He will never be forgotten.
His family would like to especially thank Mercy Medical Center for their loving care and support. Family, friends and others whose lives Joseph touched are invited to attend visiting hours on Thursday, January 28, 2016 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the St. Pierre – Phaneuf Fairview Chapels, (413-533-3307), 506 Britton Street, Chicopee, MA 01020. The parking lot is located in the rear of the funeral home.
The Celebration of his Life Service will be held on Friday morning, January 29, 2016 beginning at 9 a.m. at the funeral home followed by a Committal Service with United States Air Force and Westover Fire Department Military Honors at 11 a.m. in the Chapel at the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, 1390 Main Street, Agawam, MA 01001.
His family has requested that memorial donations be made in his memory to the Federal Firefighters Benevolent Association, 100 Jenkins Street, Chicopee, MA 01022. For more details, please visit: www.stpierrephaneuf.com
~ GUEST BOOK ~
March 13, 2016I would like to say something about Chief Joseph Longworth. I worked for Joe in the late 60’s at Westover while serving in the Air Force. A better supervisor and nicer guy you would never meet. Although it doesn’t surprise me that he became chief, it is so nice to know that he did. I have not seen Joe since I left the Air Force, but will always have very fond memories of him May you rest in peace Joe. My condolences to Joe’s family and friends.~Greg Taylor, Brooklyn, New York
March 03, 2016Pattie, Our hearts were broken for you upon hearing of your tremendous loss. Please accept our condolences at this extremely difficult time. We pray that you will find comfort in remembering how proud he was of you and how much he loved you. We are thinking of you and wish you peace in your heart.~The Przybylo Family
February 06, 2016I worked with Joe at Westover AFB in the 1970’s. I worked at the Base Fire Dept. as a Crew Chief. Joe was a great friend and a dedicated Fire Fighter. I was glad when he became the Base Fire Chief at Westover. He will always be remembered and greatly missed.~Wayne Thompson, League City, Texas
January 30, 2016Joe, You were always a gentleman and a good friend. Your advice meant a lot to me. I will always remember you.~Gary Cassanelli, Stonington, Connecticut
January 29, 2016“Mon oncle d’Amérique”, mon oncle Joe, tu laisses un souvenir impérissable dans ma mémoire. Ta bonté, ton sourire, ton charisme, ton calme et tes hamburgers exceptionnels.Tout mon amour t’accompagne à jamais.~SIMON Nadège, PERPIGNAN
January 28, 2016Condolences to the Longworth family.~Wanda Vazquez, Holyoke, Massachusetts
January 27, 2016My Friend, You will be missed by many. You were a man no one could forget. Godspeed, Joe~Don Cloutier, Belchertown, Massachusetts
January 27, 2016My sincerest sympathies to you Pattie and your family. Praying for prayers and peace to you all in this difficult time.~Wil Moses, Kensington, Connecticut
January 27, 2016Words cannot express how amazing and kind this man was, I was very lucky to be his neighbor and he always was such a happy soul he called my daughter his Granddaughter….He will be greatly missed but I do know he is flying high with the Angels now. Love you forever and always Joseph~Desiree Turconi, Chicopee, Massachusetts