LIKE MANY World War II veterans, Joe Quintiliano rarely talked about his war experiences. But one day the dam broke.
It was at Thanksgiving dinner and Joe was telling about the day he arrived home after the war and his ship passed the Statue of Liberty. Joe broke down right there at the table.
"It was the only time we saw him get emotional about the war," said his daughter, Carol Zino. "He just rarely made reference to it."
Joe served in the 10th Air Force as a crew member on transport planes flying over the Himalayas - also known as the "Hump" - from India into China to supply Chinese troops battling the Japanese.
It was dangerous work, and many planes were shot down. Joe came home to a long career in commercial art, with sidelines as a model and Arthur Murray dance instructor.
Joseph Hugh Quintiliano, a husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather who doted on every member of his family, died Feb. 13. He was 94 and living in Palm Harbor, Fla., but had lived for 40 years in Glenolden, Delaware County, and formerly West Philadelphia.
Since he had rugged good looks, Joe was often regaled in his youth by people saying, "You ought to be a model." And so he did. He worked through an agency and modeled clothing, including Robert Bruce sweaters.
Because of his prowess on the dance floor, someone once said, "You ought to teach dancing." And so he did.
When he came home from teaching at the Arthur Murray studio, he taught his three daughters, then preteens, the rumba, tango and waltz.
But Joe's day job for many years was with the M&T machinery and tool-design company, now in Bristol, that had contracts with the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard, among others. He was a draftsman and advertising artist.
Joe, who graduated from West Catholic High School, later took art courses. His pastels, with subjects ranging from tigers to swordfish, to landscapes and other scenes from nature, were in demand by family and friends. He also sold some of his work at neighborhood art fairs in and around Glenolden.
Growing up in West Philadelphia was not easy. He was one of seven children born to Ernest Quintiliano and the former Rose Norcia. His mother raised the children alone, taking on tailoring and other jobs to make ends meet. The children helped out as much as they could.
Joe married his wife, Jacqueline, right after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, that launched the U.S. into World War II. Joe and three of his brothers served in the war in different branches of the military.
Joe returned home with malaria, often contracted by military personnel who served in tropical or subtropical regions.
Joe was an avid golfer and a passionate fan of the Phillies, Eagles and Flyers.
His wife died in 2008. Besides his daughter, he is survived by two other daughters, Diane and Roslyn; a son, Ken; 15 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.