Joseph H. Kabulis

September 7, 1936 ~ July 24, 2020 (age 83)


Joseph H. Kabulis, 83, of 39 Walton St. went home to the Lord on Friday, July 24, 2020. Survivors include his wife of sixty years, Evelyn (Sisco) Kabulis; three children, Joseph Kabulis, Jr. of Brookfield, CT; Mary Kabulis Tolfa of N. Attleboro, MA; and Jeanne Kabulis of Havertown, PA; six grandchildren, Julia, Kyra, Andrew, Zoe, Kimberly, and Anthony; and one sister, Mary Coleman, of Mahanoy City, PA. Five siblings predeceased him.

A coal miner’s son, Joseph arose from challenging circumstances. Born in Mahanoy Plane, PA on Sept. 7, 1936, the sting of poverty profoundly affected Joseph’s early years. Rather than discourage him, however, his modest childhood and the advice of his brother-in-law inspired him to make the pivotal decision to join the Navy. Upon graduating president of Gilberton High School’s class of 1954, Joseph enlisted with the dream of serving in the Submarine Force. Initially, poor dentition – a consequence of poverty -- threatened to derail this dream. However, a serendipitous encounter with an officer changed his life. Joseph so impressed the officer with his passion for the “Silent Service” that the officer arranged for him to receive the necessary dental work. He served aboard several subs, including the USS Toro, Salmon, Sarda, Becuna, Dogfish, and a sub tender, the Fulton. Joseph also taught SubSchool in New London, CT and served as a Chief Master of Arms at the Newport Naval Base.

After 22 years of dedicated service, Joseph retired from the Navy in 1975. He transitioned to a career as a Master Plumber and Pipefitter. He worked as the plumber for the Westerly Hospital for 32 years until his retirement in 2008.

In addition to his two careers, Joseph was a dutiful son, brother, father, and devoted husband. He could fix anything. In addition to repairing engines, he was an avid gardener; stamp collector; Patriots and Penn State fan; a gifted storyteller; devout Catholic; and regular churchgoer. He enjoyed reading Navy Times, the Penn State Blue White, and viewing WWII documentaries. Joseph was a gentle, quiet, unassuming man, and, although he had traveled widely, an unabashed homebody. Despite his difficult beginnings, he had a warm sense of humor and always retained a childlike sparkle in his eyes.

“There is a port of no return where ships may ride at anchor for a little space. And then some starless night, a cable slips, leaving only an eddy at the mooring place. Gulls veer no longer. Sailors, rest your oars. No tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.” Shipmate Kabulis, rest your oars.

A funeral mass will be held at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of the Immaculate Conception on Wed., July 29, 2020. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations to the Alzheimer’s Assn.

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St. Sebastian Cemetery
111 High St.
Westerly, RI 02891

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