Joseph Stephen Chitwood, 49, of East Hartford passed away unexpectedly on Friday, March 13, 2020 at Hartford Hospital. Born in Hartford, he was the son of Rose M. (Swaiko) and the late Billie Joe Chitwood. Joe has been a resident of East Hartford most of his life, formerly residing in East Killingly and Mendon, MA. He worked as a crane operator for ClarkDietrich Building Systems in Bristol, CT for many years. Joe was a member of St. Christopher Church of St. Edmund Campion Parish. In addition to his mother, he is survived by his daughter Alexandra Rose Chitwood, his son Samuel Joseph Chitwood and his former wife April (Hope) Chitwood with whom he remained very close, his sister Beverly Bray and her husband Fred, aunts Martha Swaiko, Connie Swaiko, Charline Tice and special aunt Anna Mae Litman along with uncle Dan and aunt Brenda Garrett. As part of his extended family he also leaves Godmother Gloria Lecz and her husband Errol Lecz, Barbara Ravera and her husband Ray Buckley, Mark and Patty Hope (who cared very deeply for Joe as he did them) Chris and John Plikus, Mark, Melissa, Mason and Colin Hope and many wonderful cousins and close friends including the entire Vail family who were all family to Joe; especially Tom who Joe referred to as his brother. Joe was an avid reader and a book was never far from his side. He was a word connoisseur, very witty and used sarcasm liberally. He had a gift (like his father) and could fix most anything – a true “MacGyver”. He was a fisherman and learned that from his Dad as well. Among many favorites he loved his mother’s carrot cake, peanut butter blossoms and especially her dumplings. He would “surprise” her every year on Mother’s Day with a new variety of rose bush…A rose for a Rose. Joe was a member of a bowling league for many years and amazed us all with his crazy curve ball. He was a master griller and prepared many delicious meals for family and friends. An avid Boston Red Sox fan he spent many nights watching games and sharing beverages with close friends especially Tom and Billy. He enjoyed trivia, solving puzzles, video games and finding treasures wherever his journeys took him. He was also very passionate about protecting those he loved. There’s so much more to the life he lived, and these few paragraphs will never capture it all. If you’d had asked Joe though (and I did) he would tell you that his greatest accomplishments and what he was most proud were his two children – Alex and Sam. Together they enjoyed many trips to local sites, museums, bike rides, video games and movies. He loved his time with them and loved them both more than words could ever convey. He’d also want you all to know that the answer is “42”. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, March 18, 2020 at 10:00 am at St. Christopher Church of St. Edmund Campion Parish, 538 Brewer St., East Hartford. Burial will be in Rose Hill Memorial Park, Rocky Hill. Friends may call on Tuesday from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Mulryan Funeral Home, 725 Hebron Ave., Glastonbury. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.