Joseph Paul Tratnyek, 91

September 29, 2023

Joseph Paul Tratnyek, age 91, of Sudbury, passed away at his home on September 20, 2023.  He was the husband for 67 years of Marion (Christle) Tratnyek. 

Joe was born in Boston, MA, on September 1, 1932 to the late Mary (Norton) Tratnyek and Louis J. Tratnyek, and was raised in Cambridge, MA.  He attended Rindge Technical School, class of 1950, and Harvard College, class of 1954. He was the brother to the late Robert E. Tratnyek, and to Carol Perry of Danbury, CT.  He married Marion E. Christle in September 1956 and settled in Sudbury, MA, where they raised three children; Paul Gregory, Valerie, and Jennifer.  He also leaves 5 grandchildren: Henry, Lucinda, Isaac, Alice, Joyce.

Joseph worked as a Senior Chemist and Consultant in product development at Arthur D. Little, for 32 years.  He enjoyed the laboratory atmosphere where he worked on projects related to textile dying, chewing gum formulation, and preservation of dried flowers, among many other assignments.  He was granted three U.S. patents and published some of his reports for clients like the U.S. EPA.

His work often intersected with his various hobbies and interests.  He was an orchardist and gardener, cactus enthusiast, classical music fan, model train builder, road runner, woodworker, and visual artist.

Joseph participated in many art exhibits; was a long-time member of the Concord Art Association and worked out of his studio at the Emerson Umbrella for many years.  He considered himself to be an “experimentalist”, painting with acrylic or oil in styles ranging from realistic to abstract.  His interest in the science of color and pigments also led him to serve as Trustee for the American Textile History Museum, and to act as consultant to several art conservationists.

“Grandpa Joe” eagerly engaged with his grandchildren’s lives and offered his expertise, advice, and unconditional love.  He leaves them with rich memories and an example of how to live a full life. 

Family members will gather for a private service at Dee Funeral Home in Concord, MA on October 5, 2023.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in his memory to the International Dark Sky Association (

Arrangements are entrusted to Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord.  To share a remembrance or to offer a condolence in Joseph’s online guestbook, please visit