Oct. 9, 1940 – July 20, 2015
Col. Joseph “Joe” Sansone died July 20 at home in Polson, Montana. He was 74.
Born in Lockport, he graduated from Lockport High School in 1958 and earned a bachelor and master degree from Niagara University in 1963. He immediately enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and attended Officer Training School. In his first assignment to Jacksonville Air Force Base in Jacksonville, Ark., he met his future wife, Sharon Pollett. Over the next 30 years, they travelled the world with the U.S. Air Force, including tours in Vietnam, Iran, England, Germany, the Pentagon and various locations throughout the U.S. He retired from the Air Force in 1990.
After retiring as a full colonel from the Air Force, Col. Sansone began a career as a teacher of ROTC at the high school level. He taught in Texas, California and 14 years at Aviano Air Force Base in Aviano, Italy. He recently retired to Polson.
He was an accomplished teacher, coach and avid golfer. He had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh and to make others laugh, but he was especially passionate about his family, faith and country. He commanded his troops with compassion and humor and taught his students in the same manner. He was an active and dedicated member of the Catholic Church.
Besides his wife, he is survived by two sons, Joe and Robert; two brothers, Sam and Jim; and six grandchildren.
A funeral Mass will be offered at 10 a.m. Saturday in St. Joseph’s Oratory, 391 Market St., Lockport. He will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.