Upcoming Services

Seymour Grundy Tue May 21st at 2:00
Walter Stewart Tue May 21st at 1:00

View More



Joseph I. Gadon

Joseph I. Gadon, 91, of formerly of Detroit, Michigan, died on 15 January 2023.

The Funeral was held at IRA KAUFMAN CHAPEL on Wednesday, 25 January 2023 at 10:30 AM .

Rabbi Jeffrey Falick officiated.

Click to watch a video of the recorded service.

Interment at Beth El Memorial Park, 28120 6 Mile Road, Livonia MI 48152.

Click for Directions for Cemetery

A luncheon will be served immediately following the interment at the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, 28611 W 12 Mile Rd Farmington Hills, MI 48334.

Guests are also welcome to watch a live stream of the service from the Congregation for Humanistic Judaism at 10:30 a.m.

Joseph Gadon, a former supermarket executive and retired certified financial planner died Sunday, January 15, 2023 at age 91 in Minneapolis, MN. Joe was a long time resident of Detroit, MI and more recently The Cascades in St. Augustine, FL. The cause of death was congestive heart failure.

Born on March 13, 1931 in Worcester, MA, he was the youngest of 4 children born to Morris and Gertrude ( Zeldin ) Gadon. Orphaned at age 2, Joe and his older brother Harold were sent to live with cousins in Providence, RI.

In childhood, Joe spoke with a lisp. He fondly remembered his older cousin helping him practice speech exercises to improve his pronunciation. Joe joined the debate team and theater club in high school where he applied himself to becoming an expressive and persuasive public speaker.

He graduated in January 1949 from Hope High School in Providence as class valedictorian. In September of that year, Joe enrolled at The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. He developed several lasting friendships, continued his involvement in the theater, and enlisted in the Army ROTC.

Joe graduated with a psychology degree in June 1953, just in time to miss combat deployment in Korea. He attended officer's school and served in the Adjutant General's Corp in New Haven, CT at an Army recruiting station.

Joe was introduced by a mutual friend to Bernice Holland of New Bedford, MA while on active duty. He proposed marriage to Bernice after 7 dates, which she accepted. They married on Joe's 24th birthday in 1955. The couple soon moved to Cambridge, MA following Joe’s acceptance to the Harvard University School of Business. He completed a masters degree in business administration in 1957.

For the next 25 years, Joe worked for 4 family=owned businesses, mostly retail supermarkets. In 1959, his father-in-law Abram Holland hired him to manage People's Supermarkets in New Bedford, MA. Joe and Bernice relocated to New Bedford and started a family. Their son Robert was born in 1959 and daughter Anne in 1961. In 1969, the family moved from North Dartmouth, MA to metro Detroit, MI after Joe accepted a management position with Chatham Supermarkets.

In 1982 at age 51, Joe was forced to change careers after Chatham was sold. Building on his experience managing his own family's investments, he decided to work professionally advising others. Bache & Co. offered him a starting position for one year. The job involved a change in status and pay, and required many hours cold calling leads and coping with rejection. Joe’s self-discipline, knowledge, and persuasive manner helped him become established. In 1988 he became a certified financial planner. Joe worked for 3 successor firms, retiring from Wells Fargo Advisors in Birmingham, MI in 2015 after 33 years in the industry.

Joe and Bernice joined The Birmingham Temple in the late 1970s. There he developed many lasting friendships through his involvement in the men's group, the players group, and service on the Board of Trustees. He served as Board President in 1989 and again in 2000.

Joe enjoyed many hobbies throughout his life. In the 1960s, he was an avid photographer. His family, friends, and community were frequent subjects for his photographs. He ran the New Bedford Science Fair for several years.

In 1986, his wife was diagnosed with uterine cancer. In 1993, Bernice and 8 other women organized Gilda's Club Metro Detroit, a support center for cancer patients and their families. Following Bernice's death in 1994, Joe, Anne and Robert walked in the organization's first fundraiser held in downtown Detroit. Joe generously supported and advocated for Gilda's Club in its early years with both his money and time.

In 1998, Joe met Gail Wolf through a mutual friend. They were married on April 2, 2000. The couple enjoyed many good years together, socializing with the Temple community, and traveling to Central America and Europe. They shared their home with 2 spoiled dogs, Daisy a West Highland white terrier, followed by Dreidel, a miniature border collie. In 2015, Joe, Gail and Dreidel retired to The Cascades in St. Augustine, FL where they continued to live together until 2021.

Eager to join a community theater in his new home, Joe started a play reading group at The Cascades. He organized acting classes for non-actors, and directed at least one play a year for several years in a row. His production of ‘37 Postcards’ in early 2020 was postponed for over a year due to the pandemic. By the time it was produced in 2021, Joe was too ill to direct. Prior to the start of the second performance, Joe was wheeled into the community center and honored for his contributions for establishing the theater program.

He tried his hand at playwriting, and shadowed theater directors at The Village Players in Birmingham, MI to learn the craft of theater direction. He was active with the Playwrites@Work, a play-writing group at the Village Players.

Neither of Joe's children produced any grandchildren. Undaunted, Joe decided to adopt his nephew Charles Gadon's children and stepchildren as his own grandkids. Every year, he was a presence at Gadon family Thanksgiving get-togethers where he renewed his relationship with his grandnephews and nieces.

At The Cascades, Joe became friends with Mark and Lois Geisler. After becoming friends with Mark’s grandson Nolan, Nolan named their group 'The Three Amigos'.

In February 2021, Joe fell in his home, sustaining life threatening injuries to his head and neck. After a month-long hospitalization that involved neurosurgery and intubation, Joe was released to a skilled nursing facility. He was not able to recover the ability to walk.

In early April, Joe was exposed to COVID-19. He survived a potentially fatal pneumonia. In early May, his son Robert enrolled Joe in hospice care and returned Joe to his home where he could be cared for in familiar surroundings.

Joe slowly recovered. Within 5 weeks, he was able to sit up in bed and could transfer to a wheelchair. During Joe's convalescence, Gail left to live near her son Greg in Oregon.

Soon after, Robert and Joe flew by air ambulance from St. Augustine, FL to St. Louis, MO and Joe went to live in a skilled nursing facility near Robert and his wife Barbara. In St. Louis, Joe's body and mind slowly healed.

In August 2022, Robert, Joe and Barbara moved to Minneapolis following Barbara’s retirement. Joe spent his final 5 months living at Walker Methodist Health Center in Minneapolis, 2 blocks from his son and daughter-in-law. Robert visited his father nearly every day. Anne made visits from Chicago once a month to see Joe and give Robert a break from caregiving.

There were many kind and devoted caregivers in Jacksonville, FL, St. Augustine, St. Louis and Minneapolis who looked after Joe in his last 2 years. The Gadon family is grateful for all their efforts in caring for Joe through the last years of his life.

Joe is survived by his wife Gail Gadon of Medford; OR, brother Harold Gadon of Cranston, RI; son Robert (Barbara) Gadon of Minneapolis, MN; daughter Anne (Ricardo Rodriguez) Gadon of Downers Grove, IL; Gail’s children Melissa (Doug) Fenton of Jacksonville, FL; and Greg Wolf of Grants Pass, OR. Joe was preceded in death by his sister Ireene (Haskell) Ozer of Worcester, MA, brother Herman (Natasha Josefowitz) Gadon of La Jolla, CA, and sister-in-law Janice Gadon of Cranston. He is fondly remembered by numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Joseph I. Gadon may do so by making a contribution to:

Gilda's Club of Metro Detroit
3517 Rochester Road
Royal Oak, MI 48073
Click to Visit Charity Website

Congregation for Humanistic Judaism
28611 W. 12 Mile
Farmington Hills, MI 48334
(248) 477-1410
Click to Visit Charity Website

Michigan Animal Rescue League (M.A.R.L.)
790 Featherstone
Pontiac, MI 48342
(248) 335-9290
Click to Visit Charity Website