Joseph Nicholas Petrocelli, 84, died June 1, 2012, at Waldo County Hospital in Belfast after a brief fight with cancer. He was born April 22, 1928, in Boston, the son of Peter and Agnes (Gorman) Petrocelli.

After graduation from Boston College High School, he completed a course in business administration at Boston College. He also served in the Army in the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Joe was an amazing storyteller and would often share some of his fond memories of working for the CIA.

After his time in the military, Joe went to Boston University Law School, briefly, and then channeled his energies into building a family with his former, surviving wife Roberta Petrocelli, as well as being a salesperson, primarily in the health field.

However, Joe is best known for his discipleship work in Alcoholics Anonymous. In the last 18 years of his life, Joe worked with approximately 140 alcoholics happily taking the time to help people struggling to recover from alcoholism and to begin a life devoted to God, helping others and spiritual development.

Joe’s message for the sick and suffering alcoholic came from the Big Book of AA and the Bible. He wanted everyone to know that God loved them, and if they worked the steps exactly as they are laid out in the Big Book that they could recover, thus receiving the spiritual cure that AA offers. He championed the idea that you could recover by working the steps each day. As a result his influence may have touched the lives of thousands of alcoholics in the New England Area.

Joe’s surviving partner in Maine is Marilyn Eden, of Searsport, who was his love, his stability, and his angel. Marilyn and Joe were a couple who provided a family to many who did not have a family to turn to for one reason or another. Their doors were always open and their generosity unfailing.

Joe was an active and proud member of the Catholic Church and a prayer group member at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Belfast. He was also a Knight of Columbus.

Surviving are his children, Nancy Milliken and her husband, Clark, of Harvard, Mass., sons John and Michael Petrocelli of Los Angeles, and grandchildren Allison, Colin, and Cameron Milliken of Harvard, Mass.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Monday, June 4, at 10 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Court Street in Belfast. Those who wish to remember Joe in a special way may send donations to establish an educational fund for Joe’s grandchildren. Please send donations to Grandchildren Educational Fund, C/O Michael Falvey P.O. Box 2634, Bangor, ME 04402.

Arrangements are with Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast, ME 04915. Online condolences may be offered to the family at www.ripostafh.com.