OREM/HELPER - Joseph C. Elegante, "Giuseppe" to all and "Ribs" to his Carbon County friends, died peacefully in the company of his family on Oct. 6, 2010.
Joe was born to Joe and Bertha Maffei Elegante in Helper on July 17, 1930.
He graduated from Carbon High School in 1948 and remained close friends with many of his school mates, some from as far back as 1st grade at the old Central School. Joe and his long time friend Robert Etzel joined the Army together and returned after a year, with many "top secret" stories. Joe was a gifted athlete, great at basketball and later, an avid fan and supporter of the Utah Jazz; but he excelled at baseball! He was called up by the old Brooklyn Dodgers farm club but an injury sent him home. Back in Helper he helped establish the city's first Little League Baseball program and throughout his life, he sponsored many sports programs in the Orem area.
After his year in the Army, he married Gilda (Jill) DeRose on May 26, 1951. They shared 59 years of life, love, and traveling the world together, making great life-long friends along the way. In 1960, Joe and Jill moved the family -- Rick, Diane, Lori, and Brent to Orem. Joe and his cousin John landed one of 60 exclusive Coors distributorships in the Western States, J&J Distributors. These dedicated distributors set the stage for world-wide expansion of today's Coors companies and Joe contributed over 40 years to this effort, partnering with his sons Rick and Brent after John's retirement.
The four children, Rick (Torie) Elegante, Diane (Scott) Watson, Lori Elegante (Scot Johnson), and Brent Elegante, have given Joe and Jill 10 grandchildren; Cody (Karen), Matthew, Josh, Amy, Jessica, Dominic, Jorie, Haylee, Billi, Josee; and seven great-grandchildren: A.J., Brynli, Nick, Dylan, Brooklyn, Taylor, and Ariana.
Joe is preceeded in death by his parents Joe and Bertha; granddaughter, Jessica Lytle; sister-in-law, Virginia Elegante; and by in-laws Dominic and Margaret DeRose.
He is survived by his wife Jill, his four children, his brother Tony, and by many nieces and nephews.
Joe was very, very generous among his family and friends. He loved the Wendover casinos and they loved him, honoring his patronage and generosity with many "comps" and invitations. He was a lifetime member of the Price Elks Lodge.
Remember Joe as a great friend with a heart of gold.
A Viewing will be Friday evening, Oct. 8, 2010 at Berg Mortuary, 500 N. State Street in Orem from 6 to 8 p.m. Funeral service will be Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010, 11 a.m., at Mitchell Funeral Home, 233 East Main Street, Price. The family will be at Mitchell's Saturday one hour prior to service. Interment, Mountain View Cemetery in Helper with military honors accorded by the Price and Helper American Legions. Arrangements entrusted to Mitchell Funeral Home of Price where friends and family are welcome to share memories of Joe at www.mitchellfuneralhome.net.
The family thanks all of the health care professionals who gave Joe their care and concern especially the staff of DaVita Dialysis, Seniors Out & About and Symbii Home Health and Hospice.