Life Story for
Joseph J. Deutsch, age 97, a resident of Peekskill, NY for nearly 70 years, passed away at home on March 30, 2018. He was born on October 28, 1920 in Poppendorf, Austria to the late Franz and Gisela Deutsch, and married Ethelmay ‘Effie’ Tozier in 1946. He is survived by his sons, Charles ‘Chip’ (Christine) Deutsch and Robert ‘Bob’ (Kathy) Deutsch; his daughter, Carole Mayers; his favorite niece, Becky Turner, and nephew, Roger ‘Bug’ Tozier; and his four grandchildren, Tamara, Kaitlin, Melissa, and Danny --- who will dearly miss their ‘Papa Joe’. Joe was predeceased by his wife Effie, his daughter, Peggy Ann Deutsch, and his son-in-law, Vibert ‘Bert’ Mayers. The family expresses special gratitude to his devoted long-term caregiver and angel, Evadney Prendergast.
After a harrowing escape from Nazi-occupied Austria in 1939, Joe served as Staff Sergeant in the U.S. Army’s 101st Infantry battalion during World War II. The Army tour took him to the South Pacific, Philippines, and Japan. Returning to civilian life after the war, he married the love of his life, Effie, and settled in Peekskill to raise their family. Joe then turned his talents and charm to sales as a successful chocolatier at Barton’s Bonbonniere, Perugina Fine Italian chocolates, and finally at Godiva Chocolates – much to the delight of his children!
Joe was also renowned as an extraordinary photographer of the Hudson Valley region. His stunning photos graced the Hudson Valley Weather Calendar for about 20 years until 2013, providing indispensable funds for children’s charities through the Hope for Youth Foundation. He would spare no effort to capture an image in the perfect light – sometimes lying down in the grass, other times climbing on rocks, or following craggy trails to the precipice of a waterfall --- all to reveal nature’s beauty and, most importantly, share it with others. Joe’s joyful creativity was expressed in every facet of his life, including the design and display of gourmet chocolates in his working career, baking home-made breads after “retirement” like his grandma used to make, carving comical vegetable “sculptures” to entice his grandchildren to eat their salads, and of course, in his passion for photography. In all of these endeavors, Joe greatly enriched the lives of his family, friends, and community.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 7th, at 11 AM at the Peekskill Presbyterian Church, where Joe was an active member since the 1950s. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Hope for Youth Foundation (P.O. Box 8, Buchanan, NY 10511) or the Peekskill Presbyterian Church (705 South St., Peekskill, NY 10566) will be appreciated by the family.