On Thursday, March 16, 2023, Angelo Joseph Paola, Jr., known by family and friends alike as Joe, “packed up to go Home.” Just one day earlier, Joe told his son Mike, “I’m packing up.” Mike gave his father a chuckle and replied, “I don't think they’re releasing you that quick, daddy.” With a calm voice Joe replied, “No, I'm not going home, I'm packing up,” as he pointed to the ceiling. The next morning, surrounded by his family and holding the hand of his dear wife, Joe left the world and went home to his Heavenly Father.
Joe was born on February 20, 1937, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and his family later relocated to Gulfport, Mississippi. There, he would meet his darling wife of 64 years, Shannon. Joe served in the Army National Guard, owned and managed Paola Fence Company with his late father, and served as a fireman for the City of Gulfport Fire Department, and ended his working career as a deputy in maintenance for the Harrison County Sheriff's Department.
Joe was a horseman, avid bird hunter, fisherman, and in his earlier years enjoyed rounds of golf. After his passing, a grieving friend reminisced on the good times they had over the years sharing their passion of hunting and fishing while teaching the next generation the importance of the outdoors. “We walked many miles, and saw many gulf sunrises and sunsets over the years,” the friend recalled.
If you had the privilege to know Joe, you knew he was filled with wit and grit. His tough exterior was outshined by his heart of gold and could radiate a room with laughter and kindness. Outside of his family and friends, he adored his dog, horses, and farm. He and his wife Shannon were heavily involved in horse showing, 4-H and rodeo. They spent many years teaching riding lessons and helping the youth in showmanship. “The first time I met him, he was riding down the beach on his horse,” Shannon said, smiling through her tears. “He was my knight in shining armor.”
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Angelo Joseph Paola, Sr., and Jeanette Paola.
He is survived by his loving wife Shannon Paola; three children, Michael Joseph Paola, Terrie Lynn Anderson, and Dan Vincent Paola; eight grandchildren, Cody Anderson, Mandi Anderson, Heath Paola, Lindsey Simmons, Taylor Touchstone, Erin Paola, Layla Paola, and Brice Paola; four great-grandchildren, Haysten Paola, Huntleigh Simmons, Hanity Simmons, Bowen Duprey; two siblings, Rose Marie Lamey, and Nathan Thomas Paola; and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would like to send their deepest appreciation to the Med/Surg Staff and PCU Staff at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport for their amazing care of this beloved man.
Visitation will be from 1:00-2:00pm, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at Riemann Family Funeral Home, 11280 Three Rivers Road, Gulfport. Funeral service will begin at 2:00pm, with interment to follow at Evergreen Cemetery.