ODESSA — It was probably accurate to call Angie Joseph a workaholic, her husband said. She was certainly hard-working and singularly passionate about her career at the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
She started working at the newspaper in 1985 as a receptionist. When she retired last year, she was director of marketing and circulation.
But as hard as she worked, her career was not the aspect of her life that was closest to her heart.
"She was obviously very busy at her job, but if our daughter called her she would drop whatever she was doing and go meet her," said her husband, Gilbert "Joe" Joseph.
Her colleagues at the Tampa Bay Business Journal agreed.
"Even though it seemed to everyone that she lived and breathed the Business Journal, her message was that life is too important to be obsessed with your job," said Bridgette Mill, the newspaper's publisher.
Mrs. Joseph passed away July 29 from breast cancer. She was 70.
She had first been diagnosed with cancer about 15 years ago and "fought it into remission," her husband said. The cancer reappeared last year and helped speed her retirement.
"She knew she was sick," Joe Joseph said. "She retired on June 1, and on June 3 she was undergoing chemotherapy."
Mrs. Joseph was born and raised in Syracuse, N.Y. She met her husband while he was a student at Syracuse University. If it wasn't love at first sight, it was close to it.
"Nine months after we met, we were married, and nine months after that we had our beautiful daughter," he said.
Her husband was in the Air Force, and the Josephs spent several years in Germany. Mrs. Joseph earned an associate's degree at the University of Maryland, which had a campus nearby, and then became the registrar for the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University on the military base's campus.
They came to Tampa around 1980. Mrs. Joseph enrolled at the University of South Florida and earned a bachelor's degree in marketing, and shortly thereafter started working as receptionist at the Tampa Bay Business Journal.
She was a constant presence at the newspaper. Even as it changed owners, and even as publishers came and went, Mrs. Joseph was there. She worked under at least five publishers, helping some of them learn about their jobs, the paper and the Tampa Bay area.
"I don't know what I would have done without her those first few years," Mill said. "She was like a second mother to me."
In her work as marketing director, Mrs. Joseph planned every detail of countless events and wrote scripts for Tampa Mayors Dick Greco and Pam Iorio, as well as the city's most prominent business leaders.
Her colleagues and associates almost invariably became her friends.
"Everything she did, she did with grace, style and dignity," Mill said.
Mrs. Joseph and her husband, who teaches accounting at the University of Tampa, loved to travel and collected artworks from all their destinations. She wanted to travel more after retirement, but her battle with cancer prevented that.
One of her last social engagements was three months ago, when Mill had been nominated as businesswoman of the year by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.
"I invited her but I knew she was very, very sick, and I told her it was okay if she couldn't be there," Mill said. "But she said 'No, I'm going to be there, and you're going to win.' Well she was there on one side, and my mother was on my other side — mom one and mom two — and I won. It was such a beautiful thing, definitely one of the greatest days of my life."
Besides her husband, Mrs. Joseph is survived by her daughter, Christine L. Flacke; her mother, Josephine Antelmi; her sister, Anna Marie Antelmi; and her brothers, Rocco and Michael Antelmi.
Marty Clear writes life stories about people who have recently passed away. He can be reached at [email protected]