Joe Patronite

Location: United States
Nationality: USA
Biography: Photography has been Patronite’s only career, having been first being published in his teens. Professional experiences contribute to deep knowledge in all facets of this area of visual communications, Patronite has been active in the... MORE
Public Story
Copyright Joe Patronite 2023
Updated Dec 2016
Topics Aging, alzhiemers, Black and White, Dying/Death, Personal, Photography, Photojournalism
James V. Patronite was born on March 23, 1926 in rural Pennsylvania. He was the fourth of five siblings, whose father passed away from the effects of mustard gas in World War I. The family was brouhgt up by Mary a single mother, who fought the system in the 20s and 30s to keep her family intact. A single mother from Italy who at the time spoke very little English, would raise all the children together, and become the matriarch of an extended family.

My father, an artisan in his own right would become a master barber and practice his craft for over 50 years. In his early 80s he was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease, and over the course of a half-decade would eventually be broken down, and taken from this world by the ravages of the infliction. My parents were both supportive when I appraoched them about documetning my dad's decline. After a career of photographing other people and their battles it was time to turn my cameras inward to my family.

Unlike many Alzheimer's patients, dad remembered our nuclear family by sight to the end, and for that we were very lucky. My last conversation with him was nine-days before his passing, the same day I walked commencement for my masters degree and the day he fell into a coma.

His was an American story, in the Navy while a teen during WWII, a husband of 56 years, a gentle man with a smile, and good words for all. He is missed emmecely.

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