Colonel (Ret.) Joseph L. Phinney


Colonel (Ret.) Joseph L. Phinney, 93, passed away peacefully on December 23, 2023, in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL after a brief illness. He was born on September 4, 1930, in West Roxbury, Massachusetts to Joseph A. and Mary Phinney, the first of four children.

Joseph grew up in West Roxbury and graduated from Boston College High School. Following two years at Boston College he was commissioned in the United States Air Force Officer Training School in 1951 and served for 27 years as a fighter pilot. Highlights of his military duty included his service as commander of the 5th Fighter Interceptor Squadron in Minot, ND and the Deputy Commander of the Air Defense Weapons Center at Tyndall AFB, FL. Upon retiring from the Air Force, Joseph embarked on a career with Hughes Aircraft Company, International Operations, where he was based in Seoul, Korea. He returned to Los Angeles where he was Director of Asia Pacific and Latin America for Hughes. He retired from Hughes in 1992 and made his way back east to his permanent home in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. Joseph loved a great story and was a great storyteller. He enjoyed playing golf at Sawgrass Country Club and serving as a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church. More than anything he enjoyed spending time with his family.

Joseph has left us with fond memories as a loving husband, father, grandfather, and warm-hearted friend. Surviving is loving wife of 69 years, Anne Lowry Phinney; and four children, Michael of Los Angeles, CA, Kevin of Ponte Vedra Beach, FL, Joanne Parcells (Brad) of Atlanta, GA and Thomas (Melissa) of Charlotte, NC; brother Richard (Eileen) of Weymouth, MA, sister-in-law Elizabeth Phinney of Hingham, MA and grandchildren, Erin, Whitney (deceased) and Victoria. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by parents, his brother John and sister Eleanor Garten.

A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL on February 6, 2024, at 2:00 followed by a reception at Sawgrass Country Club. Please visit his online Tribute at