SOUTH PORTLAND – Willliam Joseph Brann, 67, died Sept. 18, 2019 of mesothilioma at his home on Buttonwood Street, with loved ones and his loyal cat, Gilligan, on his lap. Born April 12, 1952, son of Dorothy Judith Brann and William Henry Brann.

He attended South Portland schools and lived his life in the city he loved, South Portland, never wanting to live elsewhere.

Joe began his career at South Portland Shipyard, worked at Wood Products for 10 years, and then as an independent designer/builder. He designed and constructed fine furniture for the last 25 years as a valued employee of Furniturea.

Joe learned to love the ocean at the family cottage on Capitol Island, from childhood into adult years. His brother took him for a final round of Casco Bay in Joe’s Boston Whaler three weeks before his death. Joe connected with nature through all his feline friends as well as wild animals, nurturing foxes, raccoons, skunks and possums like a doting parent, communicating with compassion and respect.

Joe was a visual thinker. He thought and spoke in pictures, his preferred language. He rarely had a conversation without pencil and paper in hand. He could fix/repair anything–electrical, plumbing, construction–he knew it all.

Joe’s musical talent closely matched his artistic skills, picking up a guitar and partnering with anyone, never needing the limelight. He enjoyed knowing what was happening on sea and land, watching his favorite show, The Weather Channel—second choice, Star Trek. Joe liked old fashioned things and old fashioned ways; his antique Mercedes was among his treasured possessions, a car without technology. He helped asylum seekers in choosing their first car, guiding and supporting them. He was someone who had little but shared everything–knowledge, skill, and belongings.

His beloved creation was his heart’s home on Buttonwood Street. He shared this passion with his best friend of 31 years and partner in life challenges, Rosemarie De Angelis. Joe found this home and designed every inch of it–inside and out—assuring you could see the water from every room. Here he expressed his impeccable sense of space and detail.

Joe is survived by his dearest friend, Rosemarie De Angelis, and his loving cat, Gilligan, both who provided unconditional love and support throughout his illness. He is also survived by his sister Elizabeth Brann Burns of Falmouth and her husband George Burns and their children Michael Burns and Abigail Burns Patterson; his sister Mary Louise Brann Carlson of Bozeman, Mont. and her husband David Carlson and their sons Gus Carlson and Sam Carlson; his brother John Henry Brann of Yarmouth and his fiancee Kathryn Bouchard Oliver; his aunt Joan Rolfe and cousins Thomas Rolfe, Christopher Rolfe and Katherine Rolfe; four great nephews and one great-niece. There are others from around the world whom he considered “family” and spent much time with at Buttonwood–the gathering place where all were welcomed.

There will be a remembrance of Joe in the near future and all who loved and valued him will be welcomed.