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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On December 22, 2014 @ 10:49 am In Obituary | 29 Comments


After a long and courageous fight with cancer, our Joe died at home in Phoenix, on Thursday night, December 18, 2014, surrounded by his loving family and friends. It is hard to believe that such a strong and good man is gone.

 Joe was born on October 13, 1952, to Joseph Jack and Betty June (Richardson) Storace in Rome, New York, where he lived until his parents moved the family to the Arcadia district in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1965. He attended Kachina Elementary School and Arcadia High School in the Scottsdale Unified School District, graduating from Arcadia in 1972. In high school, Joe played on the Junior Varsity football team and competed on the wrestling team, but we’re not sure about the details because he wasn’t one to toot his own horn.

In the summer of 1974, Joe began dating a new Arcadia graduate and nearby neighbor, Debra Rae Yoder. By December 18, 1974, Debbie and Joe both knew they’d met their match and made an exclusive commitment to each other. Joe always jokingly claimed that date was “the beginning of the end,” which turned out to be prophetic 40 years later.

After buying their first home and completing his apprenticeship with the Sheet Metal Workers Union, Local 359, Joe married Debbie on May 12, 1979. They enjoyed a classic Arizona honeymoon at Little America in Flagstaff. According to plan, Debbie and Joe had two children right on schedule: Heather Rae on February 17, 1981, followed by Natalie Rae on December 29, 1985.

Joe worked for a variety of companies through the SMWU, Local 359, but he also had an entrepreneurial streak. At the turn of the century, he and Debbie invested in their own company and learned a lot from the experience. They also invested in two rental houses in their neighborhood. Joe enjoyed working with his hands, and he did almost all the remodeling himself. For the past 10 years, he has worked as a project manager for Bel-Aire Mechanical, Inc. Joe loved the company and his job, and he would have worked forever if he could.

While hard-working, Joe valued quality time with his family. He and Debbie rarely went out or vacationed without their daughters. Whenever someone suggested it, Joe’s immediate response was, “But what about the girls?” A secure man, he threw himself whole-heartedly into Heather’s and Natalie’s activities, becoming a registered member of the Girl Scouts – Arizona Cactus-Pine Council to help Debbie with local troops’ annual cookie sales efforts. Joe even obtained an Arizona Food Handlers Certificate to serve as the camp cook on Girl Scout camping trips with Debbie and their girls.

While he was always available to help Heather and Natalie with school math and science projects, Joe made sure they had lots of fun together. He enjoyed taking them to sand-buggy on the dunes near Yuma, classes to become certified scuba divers, as well as boogie boarding in San Diego, a favorite family vacation, in addition to trips to Disneyland, Greer, Jerome, the Petrified Forest, Six Flags, and Tombstone.


Joe’s recreational activities ranged from cooking Sunday morning brunch and barbecuing to woodworking and welding. He took photography classes at Scottsdale Community College and tennis lessons with Debbie and friends through Phoenix Parks & Recreation. Family and friends considered themselves lucky to receive Joe’s critiques of independent and science fiction films and his entertaining photo and video shares.

Joe reluctantly leaves behind the love of his life, his wife of 35 years, Debra Yoder-Storace; his older daughter Heather Rae Kinsy, son-in-law Michel Ako Kinsy, and grandson Joseph Duke Kinsy; his younger daughter Natalie Rae Storace; his parents, Joseph Jack and Betty June Storace; one brother David and four sisters — Denise, Valerie, Michelle, and Sheri — and their families. In addition, Joe leaves Hayden, Boston, and Betty-Lou, four-legged canine family members that he rescued from job sites and the animal shelter.

Friends and colleagues are invited to join the family at a memorial in celebration of Joe’s life at Whitney & Murphy, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018, (602) 840-5600, on Tuesday, December 30th at 10 am. Instead of flowers (due to severe allergies), the family suggests a donation in Joe’s name to one of his two favorite local nonprofit organizations: the local NPR station at www.KJZZ.org, or the Arizona Humane Society at www.AZhumane.org. Thank you for your kindness and generosity.

Condolences for the family of “STORACE, JOSEPH T.”

Condolence from Patrice Zdenek on December 22nd, 2014 12:27 pm

You had such a great friendship with Joe and are blessed in so many ways. I’m hopeful you find your heart FULL.

Condolence from Vicki Witmer on December 22nd, 2014 1:20 pm

So very, very sorry for your loss. What a legacy he left. I loved reading about his life and I know that your family will always carry with you the many, many memories of a great man!

Condolence from Bruce Moore on December 22nd, 2014 2:39 pm

I didn’t know Joe very well. I did get to serve with him packaging food for My Starving Children. You would have never known Joe was sick. He smiled as he worked and I could tell he knew he was making a difference in the lives of others.

Joe will be missed by all who had the opportunity to know or work with him.

My condolences to Joe’s Family and Friends

Condolence from Debra Gorter on December 22nd, 2014 3:08 pm

I was very sad to hear that Joe had passed away. He was a great neighbor along with the rest of your family. My sympathy goes out to all the family. Best wishes and the strength to get through this terrible lost especially at this time.

Sincerest condolences,


Condolence from Glenda Vides on December 22nd, 2014 5:34 pm

dear Debbie,
I am sorry for your loss! I know how much you love your husband!
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family!
May God give you the strength and peace that you need throughout this difficult time! May he comfort you and your family!
God bless!

Condolence from Marsha Sowell (Stieber) on December 22nd, 2014 5:43 pm

My sincere condolences and sympathy to you and your family, Denise. I won’t be able to attend the services, but, please know I will be there in spirit. You all will be in my continuous prayers. Marsha

Condolence from Linda Schutz on December 22nd, 2014 6:14 pm

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. Hold each other close in love.

Condolence from Rhondi Huff on December 22nd, 2014 7:45 pm

Debbie, So sorry to hear about Joe. I’ve been meaning to get in touch with you since I’ve seen your FB posts. But, I waited to long. Please accept my sincere condolences to you and your girls. With Sympathy and Love, Rhondi & Guy Huff

Condolence from Tom Schmidt on December 22nd, 2014 8:27 pm

I can’t tell the Storace family and his wife, Deb, how sorry I am. Joe was a great guy to work with and a good example to all. I watched him work hard in spite of his cancer, not knowing the toll it must’ve taken on him. I know he’s with God in Heaven, because no one could’ve deserved it more. All my best to his family at this time.
Tom Schmidt

Condolence from Barbara L Carpenter on December 23rd, 2014 2:00 am

Betty, Joe and family….my sincerest sympathies….to quote Jimmy Stewart…I heard the bell..another angel got its wings…rest in the arms of Jesus Joey.

Condolence from Donna & Clyde Seeton on December 23rd, 2014 7:53 am

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Condolence from Bruce Yoder on December 23rd, 2014 9:50 am

What a wonderful, family oriented man Joe was. He will be missed.

Condolence from Jay Chapman on December 23rd, 2014 9:55 am

I am so very sorry for your loss. He was was a very very good man and I learned so much from him and not just about work. When Don Waymire and I worked with Joe we would go to each others jobs after hours to help the other. It was a very special work relationship. I hoped we would work together again one more time. I will miss him.

Condolence from Maggie Wilson-Sands on December 23rd, 2014 10:12 am

May beauty live on in your memories of Joey and bring you peace. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
With Deepest Sympathy

Condolence from Beverly B Olsen on December 23rd, 2014 11:34 am

I was saddened to hear of Joey’s passing. My heart goes out to all of you.
Love Bev

Condolence from Cindy Chapel on December 23rd, 2014 7:14 pm

a life well lived can be measured by the love that is left behind. Blessings to Joe’s family and friends, he lived a remarkable life.

Condolence from Kris Hilsabeck on December 23rd, 2014 9:47 pm

Dear Debbie, Heather, and Natalie,
Please accept my sincere condolences for your loss. I am holding you up in prayer. May God’s peace be with you as you grieve for such a fine man.

Condolence from George Mull on December 24th, 2014 7:43 pm

Debbie,I am sorry for your loss, You couldn’t have picked a better man to share your life with.

Condolence from Michele Compton on December 26th, 2014 12:15 pm

Joe will be missed so much, he has earned his wings. Fly high Joe.

Condolence from Sheri Lathrom on December 29th, 2014 6:17 am

My heart goes out to you and your family. Please know my thoughts and prayers are with you.

Condolence from Bob & Kay Field on December 29th, 2014 6:25 am

Sending Peace and Love to you Debbie and the girls…The vessel is gone…The goodness lives on. Aloha

Condolence from David Klopp on December 29th, 2014 9:28 am

I worked with Joe at NETSIAN for many years. Joe managed many of my project, and always linked his care and concern for the customer’s needs with the professionalism, construction knowledge, and skill that was his work ethic. Joe’s calm, measured demeanor put both his associates and his customers at ease, and served to create a positive and reassuring environment that’s badly needed but seldom seen within the ‘construction industry’. I knew Joe personally and saw his deep faith and concern for those around him. It’s sad to hear that someone who you knew and enjoyed working with met such an untimely end. Death isn’t the end; only a new beginning of the promise for eternal life with Him. God bless Joe, his wife, family, and friends.
David Klopp,
Strategic Accounts Manager
NETSIAN Technologies Group

Condolence from Michael & Debby Haddy on December 29th, 2014 7:02 pm

DEB..so sorry for your loss! Joe will be very missed..will miss his grin. may God wrap his arms around all of you in this so difficult time.What a WONDERFUL man he was…. prayers and blessings…Love you

Condolence from Dena Petruccian Marino on December 30th, 2014 10:24 am

My heart goes out to the Storace Family and friends. I’m so very sorry for your great loss. Although I didn’t know Joe, he sounded like a gem of a man. This sure hits close to home as the Petrucciani’s also grew up in the Arcadia area, went to school with and knew some of the Storace’s. May God bless you with wonderful memories and bring you strength, comfort and peace knowing that Joe is in the arms of Jesus.

You all are in my prayers,

Dena Marino

Condolence from Dan Ferger on December 30th, 2014 8:08 pm

I was sadden to hear of Joes passing. Joe was the guy that I followed like a puppy dog learning everyday we worked together! Joe taught me so much he was and will always be my mentor!!

Condolence from Janice Early Carrington Tucker on January 1st, 2015 8:39 pm

Deb, I’m so sorry to hear that your dear Joe has passed away. My condolences to you and your family. Joe was the best and I was always happy that you had such a wonderful husband. God Bless you and your family and prayers for your healing. hugs Janice

Condolence from Hector Fabiani on January 5th, 2015 4:09 pm

I gave Joe all my friendly love on all these years, I accepted Joe as a friend for life, Joe where ever he is now he will remember me as well I remember him until the end of me, who knows will may meet again.
God Bless all.

Condolence from Geri on January 31st, 2015 10:23 pm

Dearest Debra, Heather, Natalie & families,
I knew Joe, so many years ago, thoughts and prayers for all of you.
There is a great book, for the Grandchildren called “Freddie the Leaf”
follows life’s cycle, new growth, changes colors later in life, falls to the ground, and becomes part of the earth again. Well written by Leo Buscaglia.
Sympathy for each of you

Condolence from Khary Shirley and Leiah Kelley on February 14th, 2015 4:01 pm

We have the pleasure of knowing Joe and Debbie as our landlords. Great landlords in fact! I will remember him as a hardworking caring person who was always ready to help in any situation. One very early morning during monsoon season we panicked when the rain was coming down hard and heavy. The back patio was flooding and we called Joe and Debbie at 2:30am! They came down and Joe brought a bucket down and started scooping the water off of the patio when it wasn’t draining fast enough. In life it is usually the smallest acts describe someone’s character. This was one of those acts. While most landlords would see this event as something that we would just have to deal with, he pitched in and helped. He could’ve gone back to bed but he stayed did as much as he could to help! Looking at the previous comments, that’s the kind of person Joe was! My prayers and thoughts will continue to be with the Yoder and Storace families.

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