HELPER - Our loving father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to all, Joseph Francis Ghirardelli Jr., passed away suddenly Saturday, May 9, 2009, after recently celebrating his 79 birthday.
He was born May 4, 1930 in Bingham Canyon to Joseph and Rose Mazzarise Ghirardelli.
Our family was truly blessed with the gift of Joe Ghirardelli. He dedicated his life to his wife and family.
Joe was married to his best friend and constant companion, "ZZ," for 53 years. He married Mary Louise Howa Dec. 23, 1951 at Notre Dame de Lourdes Catholic Church in Price and their relationship exemplified true love.
Anyone who knew "Joe Joe" loved him dearly. His great example, passion for life and family traditions are legacies that are truly treasured.
Joe was a lifelong resident of Carbon County, where he attended local schools and graduated from Carbon High School in 1948.
He was a member of St. Anthony's Catholic Church.
He was treated like a king while playing baseball for Kenilworth and Wattis.
He was drafted and served as sergeant in the United States Army.
He had many fond memories of driving truck for John Howa.
He coached the first Helper Western Boys Little League baseball team that took the World Series.
An early retirement from Utah Power and Light provided additional quality time with his family.
He would do anything for his grandchildren.
He always looked forward to going to Wendover with his family and dearest friends.
He is now rejoined with the love of his life.
Joe Joe, you are our hero. We love you tons.
Joe is survived by his son, John (Colleen) Ghirardelli, Springfield, Mo.; two daughters, Jody (Sam) Milovich, Sandy; Jill (Johnny) Pappas, Gypsum, Colo.; five loving grandchildren, John, Joseph and Michael Ghirardelli; Morgan and Daniel Milovich; his sister, Norine (Ronald) Jewkes, Kenilworth; brothers, Rinaldo Ghirardelli, Polinago, Italy; Charles (Mary) Ghirardelli, Helper; Richard (Marlene) Ghirardelli, Price; and many loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and loving wife, Mary Louise Ghirardelli.
Funeral Mass Wednesday, May 13, 10 a.m., St. Anthony Catholic Church in Helper. Vigil service Tuesday evening, 7 p.m., Mitchell Funeral Home, 233 E. Main Street, Price, where friends are welcome daily. Family will be at Mitchell's Tuesday and Wednesday one hour prior to services. Committal service, Mountain View Cemetery, Helper.