Joseph J. Deliso Jr. ’65

Joseph John Deliso, Jr., 73, died peacefully, September 24, 2020, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Springfield, he was the son of the late Joseph J. and Jennie (Ambrosino) Deliso, Sr.
After having attended Williston Academy he majored in French and Art History at Columbia University. After leaving Columbia, he travelled extensively, including a memorable trip through Spain and down into Africa, where he hitched across the Sahara and through Mali down to the Ivory Coast. From there he moved first to Italy, where he met Elizabeth Fort, then to France. He and Elizabeth were very good friends for fifteen years, during which time Joseph, by then an established Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, returned to the U.S. to complete two master’s degrees at Columbia. He continued to teach, and produced a well-reviewed English as a foreign language teaching method which was published by Longmans. He and Elizabeth eventually deepened their relationship and settled in Provence, where they married in 1999.
They raised their two children there while building and running a successful inn, called Les Olivettes, in the village of Lourmarin, in Provence. Joseph was a visionary, and his taste and determination proved invaluable in creating an extraordinary, welcoming haven. In his spare time, he enjoyed sculpting bone china, riding his bicycle, harvesting his olives and hanging out with guests, friends and family. He became passionate about the wines of Southern France, and he and Elizabeth shared a taste for French cuisine. French, which Joseph had learned from his beloved Québecoise stepmother, was the family language, and Joseph was an unusually fluent, accent-less French speaker. He cultivated his long-standing friendships with his French friends and Elizabeth’s family. He loved his family deeply. They enjoyed many exciting trips together, across Europe, to the Caribbean and to Africa.
Joseph will be dearly missed by his wife, Elizabeth Fort DeLiso, their children, Claire and Pierre ’13, his brother, Clement ’50, his sister, Virginia and husband Van Govoni, and many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, Pascal, and sister, Rosalie.
Joseph’s life was celebrated in a private service. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration at www.TheAFTD.org or AFTD, 2700 Horizon Dr., Ste 120, King of Prussia, PA 19406.

4 thoughts on “Joseph J. Deliso Jr. ’65”

  1. Joe will be missed.
    During our freshman year, Joe knew I would not be going home to Pennsylvania for Thanksgiving, so he kindly invited me spend Thanksgiving at his home in Longmeadow,I think, with his family.
    His friendship and unselfishness will be as I remember Joe. Such a caring soul!

  2. Sad to hear of Joe’s passing. His college roommate at Columbia, our classmate Jory Berkwits, emailed me re. his death, and I relayed same to the school. “Decent Delise” was a West. Mass. good friend – and clearly a decent fellow who will be missed.
    RIP, Joe, your ’65 classmates, Teak

  3. So sad. Joe and I were very close, and in fact shared an apartment together for a couple of years at Columbia. Like many of us, we lost touch after college. One of the most generous guys I have ever known. RIP my friend

  4. Joe was one of the nicest guys at Williston and a friend. He and I, along with Henry Mitchell, Dave Bourdeau and Mike McNamara would cruise the back roads of Western Ma on a Saturday afternoon in the Thunderbird hard topped convertible his chauffeur dropped off and later retrieved. I tried to be in touch as an adult but looked in the wrong places. His friendship is well remembered.

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