Joseph J. Daniels

July 12, 1948 - August 1, 2023
Joseph J. Daniels

Gifts & Memorial Donations

Joseph “Jay” Daniels, beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend, passed away on August 1, at his home in Heritage Pines. Jay was a strong man with a warm, loving heart. Handsome, gregarious, and charming, he commanded attention and was always quick to make new acquaintances. It was his loyalty, sense of humor, and kindness, though, that then led to lifelong friendships. With his generous nature and unmatched work ethic, Jay was uniquely special in the frequency and extent to which he would support and help others.

Jay was born on July 12, 1948, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Joseph J. Daniels, Sr., and Marion Spillane Daniels. He was the second of eight children. Jay always reflected fondly on his time in the Cedar Grove house of his youth. He reminisced about playing outside in the field with his siblings until his father’s whistle called them home for dinner, about trips to the Jersey Shore in the ‘56 Pontiac war wagon, and about trips to Becker Farm with his mother, where if he promised to shuck the corn without complaint, he would be given the 20-cent fare to ride the farm’s miniature railroad. Growing up in a family of ten very close members and enjoying many occasions with nearby cousins leant to a loving childhood.

Upon graduation from high school, Jay moved to Maine where he attended Unity College, met his first wife, had a son, and began to hone his skills as a carpenter. Soon, as an independent contractor, he distinguished himself for his craftsmanship, his pride in his work, and his meticulousness. He had exceptional taste and vision, and he knew that precision in the details made all the difference in the final product. Jay was respected as an exceptionally hard worker, and he consistently put long hours into his profession. Still, in his time off, when he could have been enjoying some well-earned relaxation, he, instead, could often be found contributing his artisanal talents to the needs of his loved ones. Indeed, Jay’s handiwork and artistry remain as a beautiful legacy to his expertise and character in many of the homes of his friends and family.

Jay was a wonderful father. He raised his son with deep love, with sound guidance, and with a joyful array of shared experiences. Through explicit instruction and through personal example, he taught that love and family are at the center of everything, that all tasks can be accomplished with appropriate effort, that anything worth doing is worth doing right, and that one should always put the needs of others before one’s own. Together, Jay and his son enjoyed camping and hiking adventures, trips to Foxboro to see the New England Patriots, roller coaster rides at amusement parks, a skydiving plunge from 14,000 feet, many rounds of golf in which the father remained undefeated, cribbage games that were more evenly matched, shared construction projects, countless dinners and conversations, and a breathtaking, luxurious train trip through the Rocky Mountains.

Upon retirement, Jay moved to Florida where he bought a house in Heritage Pines. His first order of business, of course, was to remodel it, adding stylish and clever details that made it distinctly his. Thereafter, it truly became his home. He reveled in the companionship and camaraderie of his neighborhood community. He enjoyed dinner parties, trips to the clubhouse, golf-cart parades on holidays, watching NFL games with friends, playing cards, entertaining guests and his grandchildren, and, on a daily basis, floating contentedly in his backyard pool.

Jay was predeceased by his wife, Bonnie Lynn Daniels. He is survived by his son, Zachary Daniels; by his grandchildren, Gabriel and Kelsey Daniels; by his longtime companion and dear friend, Connie Morse; by his siblings and their spouses, Mary Jo Skutnik, Pete and Carol Daniels, Christine and Pete Kucma, Alicia and Jeff Wheeler, Mark and Irene Daniels, Margaret and Greg Christensen, and Marion Price; and by many beloved nieces and nephews.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, September 16, from 2-4 PM at the Chad E. Poitras Cremation and Funeral Service Chapel, 498 Long Plains Road (Rt. 22) in Buxton, Maine. A repast will follow at the home of Jay’s son.

To honor Jay’s benevolent spirit, contributions on his behalf may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Metropolitan Ministries, hearMEnow, or the DSD Scholarship Fund.

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  • August 14, 2023
    Carrie Daniels-Sanger says:
    Sorry to hear about the passing of Jay. I really enjoyed seeing him as he was always so kind and engaging with me at the DSD and family reunions and he made me feel welcomed and happy to hear about how life was going! I'm sure he'll be missed by you Zach and your children will miss him greatly as well. I'm so sorry to not be able to attend the funerals/celebrations of life as we would love to be there to support you and your family. We'll be thinking of you all!

  • August 14, 2023
    Deb Bradburn says:
    I never met your dad Zach, however, I see him through you! Your looks, your work ethic, your creative side and especially your kindness are just some of the traits he has passed on to you and will stay with you always! Sending hugs to you Becky, Gabe, and Kelsey. 💕💕💕

  • August 14, 2023
    Susan Macri says:
    Dear Zach, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I did not know your father, I do know he raised a wonderful son. My thoughts are with you during what I know will be a difficult time.

  • August 13, 2023
    Thomas D Protheroe says:
    As a quasi-distant part of the family, Jay made me feel closer. I’m sadden by Jay’s passing but unequivocally and definitely honored I had the opportunity to know him. You’ll be missed Jay Daniels!