Joseph Palma

Obituary of Joseph E. Palma

Joseph Edward Palma, Esq., 73, passed away on November 2, 2020. Joe’s last days were spent at home in West Chester, PA, in the care of his loving wife of 38 years, Bonnie (Greatrix) Palma. In addition to Bonnie, he leaves behind a clan of devoted family members, including his sister Stephanie (Palma) Pallini, and her husband Nick; his sister-in-law Brooke (Greatrix) Recker and her husband Bill; nieces and nephews Nicole, Stephen, Keith, Kevin and Kirsten; and great-nieces and great-nephews Jayden, Landyn, Anthony, Ryan, Morgan, Grant, Madison, Isabella, Garrett, Nikolai, and Katherine. He was preceded in death by his parents Aloyisia (Doughtery) and Stephen Palma, and his mother-in-law Katie Gorton Greatrix. A private celebration of his life will be held at a date yet to be determined in Sewickley, PA after to his interment there. Joe will forever be remembered by all who knew him for his devotion to the legal profession, where his knowledge and attention to detail left no stone unturned for his clients. His closest friends and family will cherish the memory of his fierce protectiveness and loyalty: if he chose you as part of his inner circle, he was the person to call with problems great or small. His love of golf was also the stuff of legend, and right up to his final months, he could often be found walking the greens with a set of clubs, sizing up a shot, and staying below par…or trying to. If you were lucky enough to happen upon Joe at the bar after a few holes at Kennett Square Country Club, where he served on the Board of Directors, you were guaranteed to have a good talk over a beer or two. He was also famously receptive to a greasy spoon breakfast with anyone willing to join him. In addition to golf, Joe also enjoyed woodworking, and travels with Bonnie to England, Scotland and Ireland – where he played on as many of the old, renowned golf courses as possible. He earned his high school diploma from St. James High School in 1965 and was admitted to their Hall of Fame in 2014. He graduated from St. Joseph’s College in 1969, after which he attended Temple University Law School, graduating in 1972. He was admitted to the Pennsylvania State Bar Association in 1973 and named a Justice of the Peace in 1975. He received a degree in tax law from Widener University in 1985, which he put to expert use as chief partner of his law firm, Palma, Pitt and Sabarro. He was particularly proud of his work with the Domestic Abuse Project to establish the first women’s shelter in Chester, PA, and his efforts there were recognized in 1983. He was later involved in the Wounded Warrior Project and the Women’s Homeless Shelter of Chester. His family asks that you remember him over a dinner with your loved ones, replete with toasts to his many fine qualities – and perhaps even to a few of his obstinate ones. You might also take his memory with you on your next round of golf, or on your next trip to the bookstore to buy a legal thriller or a wartime novel. He would appreciate your warm thoughts, as would his family, who will be thinking of him with longing for many years to come. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory can be made to support cancer research at, by clicking here, or mailing checks made out to “Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania” to: Penn Medicine Development Abramson Cancer Center Lung Cancer Research 3535 Market Street, Suite 750 Philadelphia, PA 19104 Please include Joseph Palma’s name with your gift.
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