Joel Robert Itzkowitz of Cutchogue, beloved father, husband, son, brother, uncle, cousin, mentor and friend to many, passed away on Oct. 5 after a brief but brave battle with cancer.
He was born Feb. 20, 1947 in Brooklyn to Kay and Victor Itzkowitz. His sister Gina and his brother Martin were born in subsequent years and the family relocated to Long Island. He grew up in Jericho and moved out at the early age of 17 to follow his dreams.
Joel traveled the world as a young man in search of excitement and knowledge. He spent time in the jungles of Colombia and the beaches of the Galapogos Islands before making his home in Wisconsin.
He conducted his studies there and met his wife Isabel in 1973. They moved back to New York a few years later to raise their son, Jeremy.
Joel was a kind and loyal individual. He was the kind of guy who you could always count on to be there when it counted most. He cared about others and their feelings. Joel was compassionate, considerate and humble and he cared deeply about those who were close to him.
Joel loved fast cars, fishing and apple pie. But his greatest passion was music and playing the blues. He played harmonica early on and loved to play with any band at any time. Joel spent much time in the back alley clubs of Chicago in the 1960s playing blues with musicians who would later grow up to be “Blues Greats”. He always had a harmonica in his pocket and somehow found a way to join the other musicians on stage and they were happy to have him.
Joel’s affinity for politics and cultural perspectives kept his family on their toes. His talents as a fisherman were questionable, but never was there a better bonding experience than the time he spent on the water with his son. The boat was affectionately named “BluesBoy”.
Joel touched so many more lives than he ever could have realized. His nurturing disposition and his fierce loyalty created a secure home for his family. Joel will be sorely missed by more people than he could’ve ever imagined.
Rest in peace, Bluesboy…
Joel is survived by his wife, Isabel and their son Jeremy; daughter-in-law Maria and his grandchildren Jackson and Celeste; his mother Kay; his brother Marty; his sister Gina and his niece and nephew Allee and Gabe.
A memorial service will be held Sunday, Oct. 11, from 11 a.m. to noon at Coster-Heppner Funeral Home in Cutchogue, where a funeral service will take place at noon. Burial will follow at Cutchgoue Cemetery.
This is a paid notice.