special tributes to my father - page #5

I wanted to let you know that I had the best Uncle/Godfather that ever walked the earth. He was there to love me, give me guidance and to just listen. No matter what the issue was Uncle Joe was there. I miss him so, every day. When I miss him the most I just pick up the phone and talk to my Aunt. In my eyes they are both one.

One memory I will always treasure is the week of my Confirmation. We had a rehearsal. Uncle Joe and Aunt Claudia were my sponsors. They picked me up at my home for rehearsal and afterwards we went out for ice cream. They talked to me about the Lord and how much he loved me. Times like this meant the most to me. Other memories I will treasure of Uncle Joe are when my children were born. The day after each birth Uncle Joe drove the three hours (one way) for a visit and a kiss. Once was the day a blizzard started and the other was right from the airport after returning from Europe. There was nothing like a kiss and a smile from my Uncle Joe. Of course Aunt Claudia followed up the visit with a dozen pink roses. How did I get so lucky to have such people in my life?

Holly McNally

Godchild of Joseph and Claudia, NJ

Once when you with your mother and father were in our home for a time of fellowship, we prayed together. During that prayer time we prayed for my grandson Stephen. It was in the spirit of prayer that your father prophesied that God was going to use Stephen in His service. To have your father prayerfully involved with our grandson was a comfort to Rose and me. Rose recently brought this to my attention. C.H. Regent University, Divinity Professor, VA

"Ecce homo!" That's what Pilate said of Jesus: "Behold the man". I saw that same Jesus in another man--Joseph Agoglia. I'll never forget the kindness and sincerity of his concern for me when I was going through a particularly difficult time of my life a few years ago. I felt like I had a pastor watching over me. He even called me from NY to check on me after our meeting here in Virginia one night.

Joe was a pastor. He had the gift and he used it well and often from what I've heard. He used it in the business world he lived in--but he was a pastor--and a very good one. I know. I am a pastor, too. I pastored churches for 17 years. I know pastors. Joe was one of the best! I'll miss him. I always wished he lived closer to me. We could have been very close friends. He was the kind of guy that made you want to be his friend. Heaven's gain is our loss, but I will never lose the memory of Joseph Agoglia--a rare man with a big heart for others. I know God is proud of him. He did well--very well.

Bob Fox

Friend/Mentor to Justin, VA

Joe was a very positive and welcome presence in our office. Whenever the stress of our jobs began to wear us down, Joe was always there with a smile and a kind word. Joe was the kind of guy who you could just stop in and have a chat. Even if he was busy, he would always take time out of his day and give you his full attention. He could tell when someone needed a pick-me-up or just an ear to listen.

Working at the VA hospital, we see many patients and visitors who are often elderly and infirmed. Several patients have difficulty getting around, finding the elevators, or determining on which floor they belong. There were several times in the morning when I would see Joe helping a patient through security, directing him to the proper offices, or just lending his arm for support. Joe never refused a request for help, even when his arms were full and he was late coming in. Sometimes, even the smallest gestures of kindness are the most meaningful. Yet, they often go overlooked. Joe's generosity and warmth truly serve as an inspiration to us all. It shows us that being a hero doesn't necessarily entail an extraordinary act. Sometimes, the ordinary works just fine.


NYU Co-worker, NYC

Joe was always a bundle of energy, a source of inspiration and a brother with whom I shared everything whether it was joyful or a struggle or a disappointment. We met once a week sometimes in his office but mostly in the church in Mineola. His insights were always helpful, and his prayers were exceedingly supportive and strengthening.

I remember the time of my party in Mineola. The fellowship hall was going to be crowded to capacity, but tables and chairs had to be set for the dinner. There was Joe pitching in working harder than almost everyone to see that all was ready. He was supposed to be a guest, but Joe could never just sit back when there was work to do. And during the Billy Graham Crusade in Veterans Coliseum, Joe wanted a part and, as the Head Usher, I was able to give him ushering and counseling responsibilities.

Joe always shared his strength, enthusiasm and his joy in the Lord with any and all. He was the best friend anyone could ever have.

Pastor Bob Duncan

Close friend of my father, Upstate NY

I have been thinking and praying about how to express my thoughts and feelings about Joe. You see, I did not know Joe for a long period of time and only was blessed by God to spend capsules of time with him in the nine or so years we knew each other. But, how blessed I was to have that time with him. Yes, we did work on some business projects together, but that is not the heart of our relationship.

Joe joined me on a mission trip to Guatemala. Although some in need were served and helped in various ways, what we did there is not the most significant thing about this trip. What God did in both of us on that trip is the story of our relationship – Joe’s and mine – brothers in Christ. I could share with you events and circumstance of that trip, and you, no doubt, would find them to be interesting reading. But the real story is what God does in men’s hearts when they are invited to come along with Him and join him in what He is already doing. That is where Joe and I found ourselves on that trip to Guatemala.

It was not hard to be drawn to Joe. His warmth, charismatic personality, caring and loving heart for others was immediately apparent. Joe seemed to always focus on others. A phrase I heard him say over and over again, not only on this trip, but in the years following was …”So, how are you doing?” He always turned the conversation to the other individual.

We spent many hours talking about what it means to “rest in the Lord” (Matt 11:28-30) and to “abide” (John 15). We both sensed that over the years we had become entangled in the world and we re-discovered a desire we both shared to be “in the world, but not of it.” I watched Joe’s heart come alive with the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit. It was contagious to be around him. Joe loved God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. I loved that about Joe! His passion for God was incredible.

God gave Joe an enthusiasm for life and people that only the creator of life can give. I am not talking about physical life, but the life God breathes into a man that is His Life (the New Testament Greek word – zoe). I saw this life in Joe on this trip, and for the years we enjoyed our friendship after that trip. He not only had this life in him, but he spread this life as he went each day.

One of the most memorable memories I carry of Joe happened on a cloud shrouded mountain in Guatemala at a little village down a dirt road about a mile off the Pan American Highway – elevation 10,000 ft. The Vine International team we were a part of was doing a remote medical clinic in this village. We had been working for several hours when I heard children chanting in the distance. I looked in the direction of the voices, but the fog prevented me from seeing the source of the voices. As I squinted into the haze, slowly a figure came into focus followed by a troop of Mayan Indian children. Joe, marching to the chanting of these smiling and laughing children was leading a parade of joyous Indian children chanting my name … “Randy, Randy, Randy, Randy …”. Given the language barrier, how he got them to do this is still a mystery. But Joe did this to reach out to the children with God’s friendship and love and to show me how much he loved and cared for me. William Wallace in the movie “Brave Heart” says, “All men die – few men really live”. Joe is one of those men that, by the grace of God, really lived. I loved Joe and will miss him deeply. His life will continue to impact the way I live mine. I thank God for the blessing of Joe’s friendship and for giving me a brother in Christ like Joe. I will see Joe again… So also will you that are in Christ…

Randy Sprouse

Friend of my dad, TN

God poured a rich blessing into my life when Joe Agoglia became my friend over 25 years ago. Throughout those wonderful years Joe stood by me and helped with his labor, his love, his example and his encouragement.

We had so many wonderful days together. He would always be looking for opportunities to feed my body---he took me to diners and restaurants for lunch. It was always a setting where I felt valued and appreciated. He used his money and his time to make me feel loved and rewarded.

He also used these lunch meetings to feed my spirit as well. He could always sense when I was lagging---either tired mentally or discouraged by the ups and downs of YFC ministry. He would find the right medicine during those lunches and administer it to me in careful doses. He would share a word of scripture that encouraged me to trust God in all circumstances or a world of personal encouragement from his own experiences in business or family life. He let me know that he was praying for me every day and that he was confident that God would work out whatever situation I was facing.

Joe was a major donor in my life. He not only gave financial support faithfully. He gave his time and expertise to me freely. He was a man of action. He didn’t just talk about situations and pat me on the back and walk away. He always was pressing forward to take action to something that would make a difference. Joe gave to me in so many timely moments that I know for sure that God definitely was directing him and giving him insight into the needs of others.

The biggest impact Joe made on me was a constant focus on developing and maintaining my personal integrity. He valued honesty in speech and action. He was the living example of doing what was right no matter what the cost. He transmitted that message to me in many ways and challenged me to live a transparent, humble life that was marked by integrity. Whenever I face situations with money or people or controversial situations I think of what Joe taught me (and demonstrated for me) so that I am reminded that my first responsibility is to please God by being faithful to His Word.

Joe was a great friend to me. God used him to speak into my life in ways that I cannot even describe. He put a smile on my face every time I saw him. I miss his physical presence every day, but I have his spiritual legacy living in my mind and heart every day.

God blessed my life through my friend, Joe Agoglia.

Thanks be to God.

Jack Crabtree

Northeast Regional Director, Youth for Christ, Long Island, NY

Your father was a family man, full of love for Claudia and proud of his sons. In spite of the distance and time, we were in touch over the phone, to communicate and to know of each other. We always asked for our kids, theirs success and life. You all are the reason for our life. We received from your mother a picture of Joe, our loved friend for whom we pray every day. My daughters still remember him and asked me you web address to connect and remember an special person who was loved by everybody.

Commander Alvaro Montesino

Former Commander General, Spanish Navy, Spain