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Joseph A. Nova

January 19, 1950 ~ July 4, 2020 (age 70)


Joseph A. Nova, age 70, passed peacefully in his home in Pawtucket, RI on July 4, 2020 after a valiant fight with chronic illness. Holiday fireworks punctuated his departure.

He was a bon vivant, gourmand, oenophile, hotelier, restaurateur, musician, and world traveler as well as a cyclist, golfer, and angler. Joe lived his life to the fullest and enjoyed cruising in his dream car, a Porsche convertible, until he was no longer able to drive it.

His love of music and encyclopedic knowledge of food and wine made him a legendary entertainer and he frequently opened his home to guests; his parties and hospitality were epic.

Born on January 19, 1950 in Boston, MA, he was the son of Joseph Nova and Linda (Camer) Nova. He grew up in West Roxbury, MA where he played little league and graduated from English High School. He was the lead singer in a rock and roll band called the Odysseys and served in the Reserves during the Vietnam War. Not wanting to cut is long hair for the military, he hid his locks under a cropped-cut wig until he was discovered when he left it in a car after hitch hiking!

In the early 1970s he lived in the South of France and then moved to Paris to teach English to French executives. Upon returning to the United States, he worked in restaurants in Nantucket and eventually opened his own restaurant in Martha’s Vineyard.

Among his many professional accomplishments, he was the Assistant Food and Beverage Manager at Boston’s Le Meridien Hotel (he opened The Julien restaurant), the Food and Beverage Manager at The Ritz-Carlton Boston and the Director of Catering at the Mystic Hilton in Connecticut.

He is survived by his wife Ani Nova (married June 27, 1998 in Walpole, MA), many cousins including Ellen and Richard Garaffo as well as countless lifelong friends.

Joe loved animals and his favorite charity was the ASPCA—any memorial gifts may be made at

A private burial will be held at Mount Benedict Cemetery in West Roxbury, MA on July 10, 2020.

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