Joel L. Taft, 78

Jul 15, 2020

Joel L. Taft, 78, of Wareham, formerly of Webster, Tiverton, RI and Fort Myers, FL died Tuesday, July 14 at Tobey Hospital after a brief illness. He leaves behind his beloved wife of 56 years, Ursula F. Taft (Bonczek), and his beloved daughter, Jill A. Taft.  Joel’s son Jacob S. Taft predeceased him in 2007.

Joel was born in Milford on February 23, 1942 to Norman Mortimer Taft and Ruth Lapworth Taft and grew up in Grafton spending his childhood on the family homestead on George Hill Road with his grandparents, Rose and Arthur. After graduating from Grafton Junior-Senior High School, Joel joined the United States Marine Corps and was an active member of the Reserves from 1962 until his honorable discharge in September 1968. Joel held a life-long love of the Corps and was proud and honored to serve his country. 

Joel and Ursula were married on June 6, 1964 and made their home together in Webster, Joel earned an Associate Degree in Electrical Engineering and became a lineman with the Massachusetts Electric Co. Joel remained with the electric utility for his entire career, advancing from lineman upward through numerous management positions with Mass. Electric, Narragansett Electric and finally, National Grid. Joel retired from the National Grid Co., in 2003 after 43 years of loyal service. 

In retirement, Joel and Ursula lived many happy years in Bristol and Tiverton, RI. Eventually, desiring some warm weather and sunshine, Joel and Ursula relocated to Florida, residing first in Miami and then finally, in Fort Myers. Joel enjoyed tending to his property with its many tropical plants, completing innumerable home-improvement projects and enjoying time in the pool. Finally, recognizing the need in their later years to be nearer to their daughter Jill, Joel and Ursula relocated to Wareham.

Joel loved Cape Cod, especially the austere beauty of the sand dunes of North Truro and Provincetown along with the beaches of the outer Cape and Cape Cod Bay. The family enjoyed many summer vacations in these beautiful areas. Always an animal lover, Joel doted on his dogs Razz-Bear, Rosie-May, Nico and Maisey-May and took great joy in their companionship. Joel and his dogs Nico and Maisey were a familiar sight at the apartment complex where he and Ursula lived, and his friendly wave and kind words for all will be missed by his many neighbors.

In addition to his wife and daughter, Joel leaves his brothers Richard Dickinson and wife Marie of Clinton, Norman Taft of Easthampton, and George Taft and wife Paula of Grafton. 

Joel will be cremated and the family will have a celebration of his life at a future time when it is safe for family and friends to gather, so we can laugh and love and reminisce about Joel in the manner deserving of a wonderful husband, father and friend. In the meantime, we will miss him greatly.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any gifts in condolence of Joel’s passing be made in his memory to the Massachusetts Maritime Academy Lady Buccaneer Scholarship Fund, Office of Advancement, 101 Academy Dr., Buzzards Bay, MA 02532 and/or the ASPCA, PO Box 96929, Washington, DC 20090-6929.

Arrangements by Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Wareham.  To leave a message of condolence visit: