Joseph Marcella

June 9, 1948 - January 4, 2023

Obituary for Joseph Marcella

Joseph Dennis Marcella passed away on January 4, 2023 at his home in Brooklyn Park, MN. He was born to Joseph and Mary Lou Marcella in Bovey, MN on June 9, 1948.He was the oldest sibling to his sister Mary Ann Marcella and brother Jeff Marcella. Joe was a proud Iron Ranger, growing up in Aurora, MN where his love of hunting and the outdoors developed.

After graduating from Aurora High School in 1966, Joe enrolled at the MN School of Business after graduating was drafted into the Army and served a tour of duty in the Vietnam War, returning home in 1970. He was fiercely Veteran Proud and would be seen daily with a Vietnam Veteran hat on and a proud supporter of all who served.

After graduation he began his career in the optical business at Benson Optical. This career would span 40 years seeing him advance to Sales management, moving then to Director of Sales for the Safety Eyewear program with Essilor Laboratories of America. Eventually starting his own business, Marcella Optical, before retiring in 2008. Joe married his wife of 52 years, Kathy Saari on October 24, 1970. The new couple then left the Range for the big City of Minneapolis. A promotion would see them move to Marshalltown, IA, before eventually moving back to MN settling in Brooklyn Park where they have been for the last 38 years.

Joe’s absolute passion in life was his family. Joe and Kathy raised three children and although he traveled often for his job, he was a staple at the kids sporting events served as an assistant coach for his daughters’ hockey team and could often be seen coming in just after the start of a game still dressed in a suit and standing in background. Usually with encouraging words but an occasional "Un-Believable" could be heard in the referee’s direction. He would drive through the night if he had to so he could attend an event for anyone of them. His commitment to is family was paramount. Joe was a friend and mentor to many. His ability to make everyone he met feel loved, respected and heard was an amazing gift that will truly be missed.

Joe had a heart of gold, he did for others because it made him feel good, never expecting a thank you or a pat on the back. As proud of his children he was, his favorite role was PaPa to his 7 grandchildren. Ask anyone of them who PaPa’s favorite was, and they all believe it is them. After retiring, his full-time job became his grandkids. Never missing a choir concert, kindergarten graduation, sporting event etc. You name it, he was always there, arriving early so he could get a front row seat. There wasn’t a request made by any one of them, that he ever said no to. He was a true family man of Italian descent who always wore an Italia pin every day on a suit, sweatshirt, golf shirt, t-shirt, etc.

Joe was proceeded in death by his parents, Joseph and Marylou Marcella.

Joe is survived by his wife, Kathlyn Marcella (Saari); sister, Mary Ann Marcella; brother, Jeff Marcella (Amy Hartmann); sons, Joseph Marcella (Tanya), Robert Marcella (Sarah); daughter, Nicole Elsen (Matt); niece, Tina Marcella; seven grandchildren, Kalissa, Karley, Kaylee, Joseph, Kianna, Gavin and Emily Elsen; along with many special aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews and countless friends.

Visitation 5-8 PM Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at Evans-Nordby Funeral Home, 34 2nd St. NE. Osseo and 1 hour prior to the service at church. Service 11 AM Thursday, January 26, 2023, at Eternal Hope Lutheran Church,10508 Douglas Dr. N, Brooklyn Park .


Wednesday, January 25th
5-8 PM

Evans-Nordby Funeral Home
34 2nd St. NE
Osseo, MN

Driving Directions


Thursday, January 26th

Eternal Hope Lutheran Church
10508 Douglas Drive
Brooklyn Park, MN

Driving Directions

Loading Conversation

Evans-Nordby is our hometown funeral home. All of the long-time residents of Osseo have used Evans-Nordby because they are part of the local family here in Osseo and they care for our loved ones in a way no others could. They're great and have been serving our community for years.

More Testimonials

Not Sure Where To Begin?

Let us help you navigate your recent loss.

Contact Us