Joseph Stephen Semonich

September 15, 1937 - November 5, 2008

09/15/1937 - 11/05/2008

Past Services

Monday November 10, 2008
11:00 am

Additional Information:

Rev. Fr. Estaban DeLeon officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the chapel of the funeral home.


Additional Information:

Rev. Fr. Estaban DeLeon officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the chapel of the funeral home.

Joseph S. Semonich

Virginia Beach – Joseph Stephen Semonich passed away Wednesday, November 5, 2008 at his home. Born in PA, he was the son of the late Joseph and Helen Semonich. Joseph was an avid hunter and fisherman. He was the previous owner of the Elizabeth City Bed and Breakfast, and of the Secret Room Restaurant and Catering.

Joseph retired as a musician with the U.S. Navy after 20 years of dedicated service. During his Navy career he taught at the Navy School of Music. As a child, he was a member of the Musical Minors and had the pleasure of playing with Louis Armstrong. Later in life, he was a member of the Elizabeth City Elks Lodge and of the Retired Navy Musicians Association.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory his wife of 22 years, Darla Semonich; three children, Michael Semonich and his wife Mendy of Chesapeake, Joseph Semonich and his wife Donna, and Marie North and her husband Ben, both of Richmond, VA; eight grandchildren; his two sisters, Irene Donnelly and Gerry Washkuch and their children; nieces and nephew, Lauri and her husband Jeff, Cristi and her husband Jim, Denise, Debbi, Dana, Karen, Cari Mae and her daughters Chelsey and Lindsey, and Eddie and his wife Missi and their two daughters “Peanut” and Peanut Butter”; great-niece and nephews, Mallory, Connor, Hunter, and Zachary, and Kaylee.

A Funeral Service with full military honors being accorded will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, November 10, 2008, at Altmeyer Funeral Home, 5792 Greenwich Rd, in Virginia Beach with the Rev. Father Esteban DeLeon officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service in the chapel. The family requests that in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society and / or “Stand Up To Cancer”, 1801 W. Olympic Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91199-1224 or call 1-888-907-8263. Condolences may be offered to the family at

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Thomas, Jacqueline & Kerri Marie Brennan
8 years ago

Aunt Darla, Cousins Joseph, Michael, Marie and Families,

Our sincerest condolences on the loss of a great man. No matter what the situation, Uncle Joe was always there with a whimsical story, a laugh and a smile. There didn’t seem to be any subject that he didn’t have a story for. He was that rare type of man that brought joy and laughter wherever he went. We will miss his beautiful smile and laughter. We’re all sure he already has them rolling in the aisles up in heaven. He will be sorely missed here on Earth.

Love Always,

Jackie, Tom & Kerri Marie Brennan

Tonya Lupton
8 years ago

Darla and family,

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. I only got to meet Joe a couple of times when the two of you would visit Hall & Nixon with the wonderful goodies that he would fix. What a wonderful person he was. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Landis and Vivian Neal
8 years ago

Darla and family, We are so sorry for your loss of Joe. May God ease your pain and lessen your sorrow and the loving and fond memories of Joe bring you joy forever. Warm hugs to all of you.

Landis and Vivian

Sally W Crutchley
8 years ago


I am so sorry to hear that Joe’s battle has come to an end. He was such an awesome person and I know that I don’t have to tell you that. I have so missed my daily visits with him. He always made me smile no matter what kind of day I was having. He was just that kind of person who always made the best of the day-no matter what! I know things have been difficult for you in the neighborhood but please know that if there is anything I can do for you, never hesitate to ask. I wish I could be able to make the service but I can’t but if you could just say “Have a good one Joe” for me he’ll know.

Love, Sally

8 years ago

Darla, I’m so very sorry about your loss. Just know, if there’s anything your SunTrust friends can do to ease your pain, we are here for you! God Bless you and your family during this difficult time.

Joseph Budnovitch and family
8 years ago

Darla, what can we say, except we will all miss him, he was one great guy. Wish we could have made it down for a final good-bye, but Joe, up here ended up in the hospital. The Budnovitch gang.

Joe, Mike and Marie, you are all in our thoughts and prayers. Wish we could have made it down for his Memorial Service, but his best buddy, Joe Budnovitch ended up in the hospital.

Charlotte Young Pureza
8 years ago

Dear Darla,

I moved to Elizabeth City in 1991. I came here for my first job after college and I didn’t know a soul. I rented a house but I would have to wait a week before I could move in. During that week I stayed at your bed & breakfast. You and Joe made me feel very welcomed and I always appreciated that.

Thank you,

Charlotte Young Pureza

Nancy Tripodi
8 years ago

Dear Darla: Our hearts go out to you and your family at this sad time. We will remember Joe as the smiling face and booming laugh that lit up alexander’s in happier times. Souls like Joe, make you just feel better about life for having known him. Since there are no words, we send you our thoughts and prayers. Nancy, George and Shannon Tripodi

Dennis & Edie Melville
8 years ago

Dear Darla.

We were truly saddened to read of Joe’s passing. We often talk about the great job you folks did for us when our daughter Jennifer’s wedding and reception was held at the B & B. Please know that he, and you, will be in our thoughts and prayers.

Deb Olmstead
8 years ago

Dear Mike and Family: We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your Dad. We lost our dad in 2000 and know how bad it hurts. Each of us extend our heartfelt sympathy and prayers to you and your family.

Love, Mrs. Anderson, Donny, Judy, Patty and Debby

Joseph and Pamela Donnelly and daughters Jade and Amber
8 years ago

Hey Aunt Darla, Micheal, Joseph, and Marie-Elana ,we send our prayers to you for comfort at this time .I am so sorry that we could not make it down for the service , but from what I remember about UNCLE JOE I’m sure he will have alot of friends to say goodbye or see you later to him.As for memories one really sticks out in my mind .The time he heard me and my twin brother Jimmy were playing baseball without cleates because mom just couldn’t afford them as soon as he heard that he took us up to sugarmans and bought us a pair, that was UNCLE JOE “see a need fill a need” . I hope to be half the man he was .love and blessings

Irene Ward
8 years ago

I knew Mr. Semonich as just a name I wrote on a check for a parking space I rented from him. It wasn’t until I locked my keys in my car with the car still running that I first met Mr. Semonich. I went to the door of the Bed and Breakfast that he owned and asked could I use the phone to call my husband. He let me use the phone. I told him it was nice to finally put a face to the checks I wrote each month. He always spoke when he saw me. I missed seeing and talking with Mr. Semonich when the library moved to Colonial Street. We would talk about his plans to build a house in Camden County, North Carolina. He will be missed by all. My condolences and prayers are with the family in their time of sorrow.

Anne Belton
8 years ago

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I,ll miss Joe,s call at christmas and our long talks about fun times in the past. All my love Anne

Mike and Mo
8 years ago

Our deepest condolences to Darla and Family. Joe was a gregarious racontour. We enjoyed our times with him accross the street from his beach house. He had a great nick-name I learned from Dave P, Bako, and Nancy at the Great Steak. God Bless Joe.

Michael G. Ballance
8 years ago

Sincere sympathy in your loss, he will be missed very much. Deepest Sympathy.

cindy viccica
8 years ago

Sincere sympathy to Joe, Michael,and Marie and all their families.Prayers always


Conrad C J Landry
8 years ago

We lost a good guy Darla. I remember the times I would run to the staff lounge during a break at the Navy School of Music to hear what Joe had to say. He always had great stories to tell. Joe is a top draw guy, He’ll be missed. Love him dearly. He’s in great hands, God’s Grace is locked in.

Georgene and Vidal Falcon
8 years ago

We were so sorry to hear of Joe’s death. He was a wonderful neighbor of ours and we loved hearing him tell about his adventures during his days as a chef. We will miss him.