Joseph Dominick, age 98, passed away peacefully on January 2, 2022 at the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke.
Joe was born in Holyoke, son of the late Joseph and Serafina (Gryk) Dominick. Joe was an All-State football player at Holyoke High, who would attend Staunton VA Military Academy. At Staunton, Joe would excel at football and boxing; he was recruited and accepted a football scholarship to Oklahoma State, then A&M.
Drafted into the Army, Joe became a second-generation soldier. During WWII he served in the European Theater with the 75th Infantry, and was extended one year in Germany with the Occupation Force.
Returning home Joe moved to NYC, and with a name change to Joe Dominic began his professional boxing career. Joe would go on to box many heavyweight contenders including Rocky Marciano, and had an exhibition bout with Joe Lewis. A photo of Joe boxing Joe Lewis proudly hung as the center piece behind his bar.
As a Union member of Local 56, the pile drivers/divers union in Allston, MA had Joe working on numerous construction projects in New England, including off shore on the Texas Tower #2 radar platform on Georges Bank.
Joe and his wife Ersula were married for 63 years an owned the Lafayette Café for over four decades. Ersula cooked while Joe held court with his extended family of customers.
Joe supported the Holyoke Boys Club Camp Hawley Summer Camp. He also volunteered to referee Silver Mitten bouts, presented the heavyweight trophy at the Golden Gloves tournament held at the Club, and hosted the banquet following the tournament.
Joe became his wife’s dedicated caretaker in retirement until her passing in 2016.
Joe was predeceased by his brother, John Gryk, and is survived by a daughter, Joann Meigs of Northbrook, IL; a son Mark Dominick and his wife Lynn Belliveau of Granby, MA; two grandchildren, Nathan and his wife Amber Miegs of IL, and Emily Dominick of Charlestown, MA, along with two great-grandchildren, Rowan and Holden Miegs of IL.
The family wishes to thank the staff on 4 West of the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke for the care and compassion they gave to Joe the last two difficult years.
Burial will be private with Committal and Military Honors at the MA Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Agawam. The Barry J. Farrell Funeral Home in Holyoke is handling arrangements. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Joe’s name to Boys & Girls Club of Holyoke Inc., P.O. Box 6256, Holyoke, MA 01041.
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