Joseph (Joe) John Bafundo, age 87, of Franklin, TN departed this world on January 16, 2024. He was born in New Rochelle, NY to Italian immigrants, Mary and Rocco Bafundo. He grew up in a large Italian family with old-world European values and received an excellent education in Catholic schools. Joe graduated from Iona College in New York with a bachelor's degree in accounting and went on to receive a master’s degree in business administration from St. John's University, New York and to obtain the CPA designation.
Joe was drafted into the US Army, where he served for two years. He was married for over 61 years to Ann, who predeceased him by nearly two years. After their first meeting, he told his brother he just met his future wife, and they married shortly thereafter. When they had their first child, Ann stopped working as a registered nurse to be a full-time mother. Joe worked in New York City as an accountant to support their growing family, which expanded to three sons. Many happy memories are held by them of their dad taking them mostly to Mets, and also to some Yankees, baseball games on summer Saturday afternoons in spite of the fact that he was a Yankees’ fan. They also happily remember being taken to their father's office in the Empire State Building on weekends, when he had to work. Joe was often found working on do-it-yourself home and auto projects, which also was an effective means to teach his children about practical matters as well as a hands-on approach to life’s issues.
The family moved from New York to Franklin due to a job transfer that Joe accepted at Georgia Boot, where he worked for more than twenty years. Over the years Joe transitioned to being a grandfather and once joyfully set up the old Lionel toy train set for his grandchildren on one of their visits. It was the very set he had built for his sons 30 years earlier, which was no small task.
When Ann became ill, he took care of her at home until she passed away in his arms. This illustrated Joe’s strong sense of duty and commitment in all that he did, which was also impressed on his family. Joe was a devout traditional Roman Catholic, let his faith guide him throughout his life and ensured that the Faith was passed on to his children.
Joe is survived by his sons: Philip and wife Ellen; Michael; and Thomas and wife Denise; as well as his grandchildren: Sr. Mary Augustine, OP; Nicholas; Matthew; Juliana; Thaddeus; and Dominic. He is also survived by his sister Dorothea Robinson and sister-in-law Maureen Gruler as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be 4:00-8:00pm Friday, January 26, 2024, at Williamson Memorial Funeral Home, 3009 Columbia Ave. Franklin, TN 37064. 615-794-2289. www.williamsonmemorial.com A Latin Requiem Mass will be offered at 10:00am Saturday, January 27, at Corpus Christi Chapel, 130 Old Liberty Pike, Franklin. Burial will follow at Williamson Memorial Gardens. Memorials may be made to the Corpus Christi Chapel Building Fund.