Joseph R. Walling
Age 92 of Elsmere
Passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, June 13, 2019.
Joe was born in Wilmington to the late Nellie R. Dougherty and James P. Walling Sr. He was a graduate of both St. Elizabeth Grade School and High School. Upon graduation, Joe enlisted in the United States Navy. He was immensely proud of his military service as a Seabee during World War II. Joe was a true patriot who loved and flew his flag until the day he passed.
Joe believed in community service. He was a lifetime parishioner of Corpus Christi R.C. Church, serving as parish trustee and volunteering for various fundraising committees. He was also a dedicated public servant to the Town of Elsmere. He served as the first elected mayor of Elsmere from 1957-1967 and again from 1969-1971. He was a member of the playground committee, a plumbing inspector, Chairman of Public Safety, and was appointed by Gov. Sherman Tribbitt as Chairman of Delaware Alcoholic Beverages Commission from 1973-1978. In honor of his commitment to the Town of Elsmere, the Linden Avenue Park was renamed the Joseph R. Walling Park in 1999. Joe was active in the Democratic Party, serving as committee person and chairman in Elsmere and Mill Creek Hundred. Joe also gave of his time by volunteering his skill as a plumber to Fr. Roberto Balducelli at the St. Anthony of the Hills facility from 1991-2001.
When Joe wasn’t volunteering his time to better his community, he was a master plumber in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He retired from I.D. Griffith as superintendent in 1984, from New Castle County Vo-Tech School District in 1991 as a master plumber, and from Pipefitters and Plumbers Local 74 in 1991.
Joe was known for his world-famous Manhattan recipe, which he always distributed in batches to his friends and family during Christmas.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter, Dianne M. Walling; sisters, Ellen R. Stevenson and Dorothy Kingery; and brothers, John and James P. Jr.
Joe is survived by his wife of 70 years, Sadie R. (Marra) Walling; his daughters, JoAnn Maiorano (George) and Deborah Adams (Sidney David); his grandchildren, Matthew and Stephen Adams, and Jessica, Michael “Sonny” (Staci Callahan) and Domenic Maiorano (Lindsay); and great grandchildren, Carmella “Ella” Adams, and Vincent and Adalyn Maiorano; and his great granddaughter’s mother, Jayme King. He is also survived by his sisters, Theresa Gold of DE and Kathleen Polk of Texas.
The family would like to especially thank the doctors and staff of Bayada Hospice and Cornerstone Health Partners for the compassionate care of Joe. Their kindness and support was a true blessing.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Memorial Mass for Joe on Saturday, July 13, 2019 at 11:00 am at Corpus Christi R.C. Church, 901 New Rd., Elsmere, DE 19805. Friends may call at the church from 9:30am-11:00am. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers Joe asks that you place your vote for Joe Biden in 2020 and the family asks contributions to be made in Joe’s name to St. Margaret of Scotland Parish Building Fund, 2431 Frazer Road, Newark, DE 19702.