Obituary of Joseph A. Vales
Joseph A. Vales, of Princeton, NJ, died peacefully on May 3, 2019 surrounded by his family and many friends, from complications related to a stroke.
Joseph (“Joe”) was 60 years old and is survived by his loving wife of 16 years Dori A. Vales, and their children; daughter, Keaton L. Vales, and son, Joseph C. Vales. He is also survived by his sister, Maria (Tina) V. Dugan, and her husband Mark P. Dugan, of Cranford, New Jersey, and brother, Anthony C. Vales, and his wife, Lauren J. Vales of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He was a loving uncle to six nieces and four nephews.
Joe was born in Brooklyn, NY, the son of the late Gloria Vales (nee Galves) and Joseph Vales, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, both of whom predeceased him. The family moved to Green Lawn, New York, and then to Holmdel, New Jersey. Based on employment commitments, his parents relocated to Florida and then settled in Sewickley, Pennsylvania where they resided until their passing. Joe remained in Homdel to complete his senior year in high school living with the Sourlis family, which he loved second only to his own. Elaine and Ted Sourlis along with their children, George, Virginia, Jim and Dorothy became and continued to be a loving and important part of Joe’s life.
Joe was actively recruited by numerous basketball programs at some of the best colleges in the country and selected Johns Hopkins University from which he graduated with a B.A. degree in 1981. He remained a loyal and devoted alumnus until his death. In 1984 he graduated from the University of Maryland Law School with a Juris Doctorate degree.
Joe moved to Princeton, New Jersey in 1984 where he lived for 35 years and became an active part of the community for the remainder of his life. He joined the Princeton based law firm of Hill Wallack, LLP in 1985 and became an equity partner in 1990 serving on the firm’s management committee for 25 years. He was the Chairman of the Firm’s Banking and Financial Services Practice group as well as the Chairman of the Commercial Real Estate practice group. He was admitted to practice in New Jersey and before the United States District Court. He was a member of the Mercer County, New Jersey State, and American Bar Associations. He was devoted and trusted advisor to his clients with whom he typically developed long lasting personal relationships.
He served on numerous boards and civic organizations, the State Chamber of Commerce Board, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Trenton State College Corporation, Princeton Chamber of Commerce, Boys and Girls Club and many other entities. He was a member of the Bay Head Yacht Club, The Bedens Brook Club, Jasna Polana, The Nassau Club, Princeton Investors Club, and other organizations.
He married Dori Ann Klug in August of 2003 at the Princeton University Chapel. They had two children, Keaton (11) and Joseph (8), and as a family became an active part of the daily fabric of Princeton life with a wide circle of friends and deep relationships. The children attend the Princeton Charter School and the family attends St. Paul’s Church in Princeton. In 2015, the family acquired a summer home in Bay Head, New Jersey where they spent wonderful summers hosting and entertaining family and friends, enjoying the beach and socializing at the Bay Head Yacht Club.
Joe was an avid sports fan dedicated to the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Steelers, Johns Hopkins basketball and lacrosse and the University of Maryland basketball. He was a connoisseur and collector of fine wines, art and antiques. He loved opera, music and all forms of entertainment.
Joe lived an inspirational life full of friendships and joy. Always happy and positive he endeared himself to every individual he came in contact with, building an extensive collection of cherished lifelong friendships which he cultivated as an important accomplishment in his life. Each one of these friends reciprocated the sentiments and as a result, Joe was blessed with a circle of friends he called brothers. His love for others and his contribution to all of their lives stands as a testimonial to the greatness of his character. He will always be remembered for his larger-than-life personality and how much he brightened the lives of everyone who was fortunate to have known him.
Viewing will take place at Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandeventer Avenue, Princeton, NJ on Wednesday May 8, 2019 from 2pm to 4pm and 6pm to 8pm. A funeral mass will be celebrated at the Princeton University Chapel on Thursday May 9, 2019 at 9AM. Interment will be at the Princeton Cemetery, 29 Greenview Avenue, Princeton immediately following the mass. A repast will be held at the Nassau Club, 6 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ at 12 noon.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Joe’s name may be made to the Johns Hopkins Men’s Basketball program, Johns Hopkins University, Blue Jays Unlimited, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218 (www.hopkinssports.com/bju).
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