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August 24, 2015
Dear Shipmates,

It is with much regret that I announce the passing of one of our most beloved AOM members, Joe Sapien. Ed Oyer notified John Loonam who, in turn notified me.



When AOM was formed, Joe became the first member, holding membership #1. Many may recall his wife, Billie Jean, who passed away December 18, 1997. 


Joe, taken at NMEF, Yorktown, 1979 (see page)

Joe's obituary, from the Newport News Daily Press:

Joe Sapien (CWO-4, US Navy, ret), 74, passed away peacefully at home, Saturday, August 22, 2015, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born January 1, 1941, Joe is preceded in death by his parents, Doroteo and Aurora Grijalve Sapien, wife, Billie Jean Sapien, two daughters, Rebecca O'Connell and Patricia Sapien. 

He is survived by one daughter, Pamela Stika, three sons, Gene Salvage (Brenda), Charles Hollinsworth, and Marshall Salvage, two brothers, Frank and Manny, two sisters, Gloria and Berta, 10 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild, as well as his beloved pets.

Gunner Sapien retired from the US Navy after 27 years of service to his country. He will be remembered for his love of his family, love of country and unwavering patriotism, and his love for animals.

Joe's family and friends will gather at 2:00 pm, Wednesday, August 26, 2015 in Surry United Methodist Church followed by a service celebrating Joe's life at 3:00 pm. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery, Surry. Following the committal service family and friends are invited to return to the family home.

The family expresses special thanks to friends and neighbors, and to the staff of Compassionate Care Hospice for their care and support during Joe's illness.

Friends and family are encouraged to share condolences and remembrances at Arrangements are in the care of Colonial Funeral Home, Surry, Virginia.

For those attending the funeral in the Tidewater area, the church is located north of Smithfield, VA on VA Hwy 10 where it intersects with VA Hwy 31.  

Surry United Methodist Church
357 Colonial Trail E, Surry, VA 23883

For those unable to attend, a message of condolence may be left at the funeral home Guest Book page.