Joseph Anthony Maiz

Joseph (Joe) Anthony Maiz died peacefully on May 19, 2024, in Sanford, FL surrounded by family. He was seventy-eight. Joe was born in Cabo Rojo, PR on October 5, 1945.

Joe’s early memories were of when he moved to Manhattan at age 2. Living there he had fond memories of his Godfather, Tony, walking him to Grant’s Tomb each day. When Joe was six, they moved to Elizabeth, NJ, and he began school at Blessed Sacrament where he received his sacraments. He attended Sacred Heart HS where he was an honor student and a star athlete in basketball. As an ambitious student, he worked two jobs throughout HS.

Joe and Barbara met as teens. However, Joe left for the Air Force shortly after they met. They continued their relationship whenever he was able to come home on leave. While in Vietnam, they wrote at least one letter a day and Joe also sent recorded messages (tapes) and pictures as he started film developing/processing as a hobby. Barbara lovingly shared these recordings and pictures with his mom every Sunday.

Joe proudly served in Vietnam at Ben Hoa AFB receiving the Commendation Medal. He heroically saved a Pan Am plane full of soldiers, flight attendants and pilots alerting them that they were about to come under attack and to take off immediately with minimum runway time. This occurred on Joe’s day off when he was visiting the air traffic tower and when the controller froze, Joe took the microphone. A few years after his return home, Joe finally and humbly confided why he had received the medal.

Following Joe’s honorary discharge from the Air Force in April 1968, Barbara and Joe married in August with a nuptial mass. A short honeymoon in Cape Cod was followed by return to full-time work and evening classes at Rutgers to earn a BS degree in Marketing. Joe’s career spanned solely with Anheuser-Busch for 43 years. He began in sales/marketing and progressed to running distributorships and company wholesale operations.

With all these achievements, Joe’s proudest life success was raising his three sons. He loved his family. He rejoiced when each son met the love of their life and married. Joe relished the times when we could gather as a family and be together as in the Outer Banks for Barbara and Joe’s 50th anniversary.

Joe’s hobbies included sports cars, mainly Corvettes, and aviation. After moving back to FL, Joe joined the Commemorative Air Force and a proud moment was the year after 9/11 when he was part of a missing man formation flight over Lake Eola. In 2004, Joe won a silent auction and flew with General Chuck Yeager in Grass Valley, CA, truly an experience of a lifetime for Joe.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara-Ann in Lake Mary, FL, his son, Jimmy (Trisha) of TX, son Keith (Renee) of MN, son Eric (Allison) of NJ. Joe was predeceased by an 11-day old son, Shawn Michael. He is also survived by six grandchildren: Kyle (Vangie), Lexi, and Eli of TX; Vicki and Abbey of MN; and Dylan of NJ.

A Celebration of Life Mass will be held at All Souls Catholic Chapel, 800 South Oak Avenue, Sanford, FL on Friday, June 7, 2024, at 11 a.m. The family will greet those participating in the service between 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the foyer of the Chapel.

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