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6934 South Western Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73139
Phone: 405-634-1439
Fax: 405-634-3753
Joseph Tornello

Joseph Frank Tornello

Saturday, July 25th, 1931 - Tuesday, December 11th, 2018
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Joseph Tornello passed away on December 11th, 2018 after a long, well-fought battle with heart disease and diabetes. His extended life was a miracle in many ways and we are very grateful for the time we all had with him. He was 87.
Joe was born on July 25, 1931 in Philadelphia, PA to his parents, Michele (Michael) and Maria Tornello, both Sicilian immigrants. At the age of 14 Joe became a professional musician. He had a passion for music and played all of the woodwind instruments, but the saxophone was his great love. Joe played sax for the Tommy Dorsey band and also accompanied Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.
He was a veteran of the Air Force and a member of the Air Force band during the Korean War. At the end of the war, Joe was stationed at Tinker Air Force base in Midwest City, OK. Upon leaving the service, he went to work for the FAA, where he worked for 29 years. After retiring from the FAA, he had a career as an instructor in computer programming at OCCC. He loved working with computer programming almost as much as his love for music.
Another love he had was the annual March Madness Basketball Tournament where he spearheaded the family competition. He holds the record for the most wins, making him the true Godfather of the family March Madness Tournament. Joe was also an OU Sooner supporter through and through! He was an avid supporter of all OU sports programs.
Joe’s famous homemade spaghetti and meatballs were coveted by all. Family and friends came out of the woodwork when he started cooking a batch of meatballs!
Joe is survived by the true love of his life, his wife Pam, of almost 30 years. He is also survived by his son and daughter-in-law Danny and Cheri Tornello, son and daughter-in-law Richard and Karen Tornello, daughter and son-in-law Diana Lee Scott and Chris Shirley, son and daughter-in-law Todd and Felisa Briscoe, and many loving grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and of course his countless friends and previous students.
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Service Details

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, December 15th, 2018 | 10:00am
    Saturday, December 15th, 2018 10:00am
    Vondel L. Smith Mortuary - North Colonial Chapel
    13125 N. MacArthur Blvd
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The family will receive friends from 10:00 until 12:00 Saturday at the Vondel L. Smith and Son Mortuary North
    Chaplain Kelly Martin
  • Interment

    Saturday, December 15th, 2018 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, December 15th, 2018 1:00pm
    Memorial Park Cemetery - OKC
    13400 North Kelley
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence
Love, Ron and Marge Tornello sent flowers to the family of Joseph Frank Tornello.
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L Mays

Posted at 09:04am
My condolences for your loss. I did not know Mr. Jo but your obituary words gave everyone a glimpse of the wonderful and loved man he was. May you know our Heavenly Father also feels your pain of loss, so much so that he promises a future where death will not hurt us anymore. At Isiah 25:8 he says death will be swallowed up forever and Revelation 21:4 he says He will wipe tears from your eyes and death, mourning, outcry, and pain will be no more. He calls these things the former things that have passed away. I hope thinking of these promises will bring you comfort now and help you look forward to the future when you can again sit down and enjoy Mr. Tornello's meatballs again.


Posted at 02:02pm
I am so sorry for the family’s loss. Death is truly an enemy. May you find comfort from the future promise recorded in 1 Corinthians 15:26 which says “the last enemy, death, is to be brought to nothing.” This is a promise from God’s word the Bible and we can be certain he will fulfill his promises.


Posted at 04:22pm
I am very sorry for your loss. We are never prepared for the death of a loved one, yet we have someone who knows how we feel. It is Almighty God and He wants us to throw our burden on him because he cares for us. John 5:28,29.

Jeff Courcier

Posted at 11:26am
What a fine man! I had the pleasure of caring for Joe for the past couple of years as his physical therapist. We often talked about music, the Sooners, the Thunder, and our savior Jesus. Joe is warm, kind, and wise. He led a more interesting life than most, and everyone I talked to that knew him loved him. I love my friend Joe. I'll miss him, but I'm excited for him that he gets to be with Jesus. It makes me smile to know he's beyond the reach of pain and suffering. He was so tough, but I know he suffered much physical pain, though it never could overcome his beautiful spirit. What a fine man indeed! He leaves a beautiful legacy in this world. My thoughts and prayers are with his beautiful(inside and out) wife Pam who is beloved by all at my clinic as was my friend Joe. He has kept the faith and run a good race. He has fought the good fight, and now is immersed in glory, comfort, and joy beyond understanding!! Well done good and faithful servant. Well done.

Sherry and Pam

Posted at 10:09am
May peace and comfort find you during this difficult time
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