BENNINGTON, NH: Joseph Carl Cuddemi, a lifelong resident of Bennington, NH, died peacefully at home on December 15, 2021. He was 76 years old.
Joe was born at Monadnock Community Hospital on March 29, 1945, the son of Albert “Bat” and Beatrice Cuddemi. Joe graduated from Peterborough High School in 1963, and went on to lead a successful life as a small business owner and fixture in town government. Joe was labeled the unofficial Mayor of Bennington.
Joe served as a Town Selectman from 1982-1985 and again from 2002-2012, at times serving as Chairman. He sat on the Recreation Committee and acted as liaison for the town Capital Improvement committee, Budget Committee, Police Department, Highway Department, School Board and Planning Board. Joe headed the Recycling Center and noted in his own writings that one of the things he was most proud of was his work to get Crotched Mountain Ski Area back up and running. He loved the idea of having a ski area in everyone’s “backyard again.”
Joe briefly worked in the electronics industry before proudly following in his father’s footsteps and taking ownership of Alberto’s Italian Restaurant. Joe took the roots “Bat” created and expanded the business’s footprint, adding the Barn Board room in 1972 and the lounge in 1988, additions that transformed the restaurant into a 150-seat eatery. Many patrons that came to Alberto’s in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s are now coming in with their children and grandchildren, making it a multi-generational establishment.
Joe loved taking the time to sit with guests, many of whom have become lifelong friends. He enjoyed picking up where he left off with regulars and learning about the travels of newcomers. Those first timers found comfort in Joe’s stories and nine times out of ten returned. Because of everyone’s loyalty, including longtime chef Denise (34 years), and waitresses, Teri (36 years) and Marion (26 years), as well Joe’s great attention to detail, the business persevered through hard times.
Joe loved a good game of golf, talking with friends about the old days and frequenting local restaurants for lunch and dinner. He got a rise out of redirecting over-height tractor-trailer trucks that couldn’t make it under the trestle, which sits just downstream of the dam that originally coined the restaurant's slogan, “Best Food by a Dam Site.” He also enjoyed a good movie or play at the theater, along with watching his new grandson, Connor Joseph. Joe excelled at baseball in high school, enjoyed classic cars and motorcycles, and loved taking ski trips and vacations with his family. He was most proud of his children. Following in her father’s footsteps, his daughter, Jordan, has assumed the lead role in running the business, one she plans on continuing.
Joe is survived by his wife of 36 years, Erin, his son, Anthony, daughter-in-law, Coby, and grandson, Connor, his daughter, Jordan, his sister, Connie, nephews, Seth and Kyle, and their families; and several other relatives. Joe also leaves behind his three beloved Chihuahuas, Peanut, Rusty and Mia, and cat Meeko, with whom he had breakfast with every morning. Joe is predeceased by his parents, “Bat and Bea;” his sister, Carolyn and nephew, Joe.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday, January 8, 2022, at Divine Mercy Parish in Peterborough, NH, from 10 am to 1 pm. A Formal Mass will follow, commencing at 1 pm All are welcome.
A burial for immediate family members will be held in the Spring. A celebration of Joe’s life for all to attend also will be held in the Spring.
If you have memories of Joe, pictures of or with him, or videos you would like to share with a personal message that can be shared during Joe’s celebration of life, please mail them to PO BOX 148, Bennington, NH 03442, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Holt-Woodbury Funeral Home & Cremation Service Hillsboro, NH is assisting the family.