Retired Brockton superintendent loved his family, jazz

Published July 7, 2021

MELROSE — Joseph A. Bage, 81, passed away peacefully while surrounded by his family on June 18, 2021.

Joe is survived by his three children, whom he shared with his former spouse, Theresa (Abbatessa) Bage, of North Reading. He was the loving father of Joseph A. Bage and his wife, Lisa, of Kansas; Kristina M. Metrano and her husband, Keith, of Reading; and Elisa C. Bage-Hoff and her husband, Greg, of North Reading. He was the cherished grandfather of Jodi, Jennifer, Ariana, Alexa, Erika, Ashley and Aaron. He was also the caring brother of Frances McGee and her late husband, Robert, of Lynnfield. He was the partner of Anita Perry of Sagamore Beach.

Joe was born in Chelsea on October 17, 1939 to the late Joseph and Alberta Bage. He was raised in East Boston and graduated from East Boston High School where he was a four-season athlete. Joe played basketball, ran track and was the captain of the football and baseball teams.

Joe was captain of the Boston State College baseball team, where he and his teammates won the N.E.S.C.A.C Championship. The 1960 team was inducted into the UMass Athletics Hall of Fame. He achieved his B.S. and M.Ed. from Boston State College and obtained his M.A. in History from Boston College.

After college, Joe began his life-long education career as a history teacher at Edwards Middle School in Charlestown where he was an assistant coach for the football team. He became the first headmaster of the Umana Harbor High School of Science and Technology, principal of the Edison Middle School and assistant superintendent of Boston Public Schools. After 34 years of service, Joe left the Boston Public Schools to become deputy superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District.

Joe’s crowning achievement was being appointed superintendent of Brockton Public Schools, where he remained until his retirement in 2004. Joe loved attending Brockton High theater productions and took great joy in watching the students perform, and insisted that they had the best drama productions in the country.

After retiring, Joe traveled the country as an educational consultant. He also mentored new superintendents and worked for the Massachusetts Department of Education by supporting superintendents working in underperforming school systems.

Joe split his retirement years between Florida and Massachusetts. He had many long-time friends and enjoyed golfing. He could often be found drinking his scotch and listening to New Orleans jazz or Frank Sinatra while watching horse races. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and showing how he knew every answer on Jeopardy.

Visiting hours were held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster St., Melrose, on Friday, June 25. A Mass of Christian burial was held at the Church of the Incarnation, 425 Upham St., Melrose, on Saturday, June 26. Relatives and friends attended the services. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Brockton High School C/O Drama Club, 470 Forest Avenue, Brockton MA 02301.

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