With loved ones at his bedside, Joseph A. Gigliotti passed away on February 23, 2017 at the age of 81 years.
Joe was born in Fernie on February 10, 1936, the only son for parents Daniel and Teresa Gigliotti. He grew up in the heart of the “North End” with his sisters, Betty, Rose, Nancy, and Mildred, and kept himself amused or in trouble with his childhood friends. Joe was a great storyteller, and loved to share stories about growing up in Fernie that were always finished by his contagious laugh, or his ear to ear grin!
In 1953 Joe graduated from Fernie Secondary, continuing his education at the Notre Dame College in Nelson, B.C. and then at the Provincial Normal School in Vancouver where he received his Teacher’s Certificate. He taught in Kimberley and Vancouver before returning to Fernie Secondary in 1957, teaching until his retirement in 1992. His teaching career spanned 37.5 years ….. with 35 of those years spent at the same school!
In 1957, Joe found the love of his life, Murdena McKinnon. The couple married on July 4, 1958, and by 1969 their family was complete with their “7 D’s”. Between raising a family and teaching, Joe attended summer school at UBC for 15 years to obtain his degree in both Art and English.
Joe had no problem keeping busy! Throughout the years, he sang for numerous weddings, MC’d special events and did eulogies for many dear friends. In 1972 he joined local politics, serving as Alderman under Mayor Vernon Uphill, and was head of the decorating committee for the 1987 Winter Games Opening Ceremonies.
Always active and community-minded, Joe was a member of the Elks Club, he became a lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, and was also a member of the 3300 Club. He was involved with the Fernie Curling Club and the local Drama Club in it’s early years.
Joe also loved to cook, and his spaghetti and meatballs became one of his specialties. He catered many spaghetti dinner fundraisers that often exceeded over 400 served.
First and foremost, Joe was a dedicated family man. He had patience and time for each of his children, supporting them through life’s challenges with his quiet, calm demeanor. Joe had a special way with words, and was always teaching and encouraging his kids to be true to themselves, and to remember the importance of family. Joe loved watching his grandchildren grow into successful young adults, and over the last few years has had the joy of welcoming great grandchildren into his life. He would beam with pride every time they stopped by for a visit. He was, without a doubt, the best role model, husband, father and papa ever.
Joe made a difference in the lives of so many people; his gentle, loving kindness knew no boundaries. Deeply admired and respected, Joe’s legacy will never be forgotten in the community he loved so much.
Joe will be dearly missed by his wife Murdena and their 7 children: Dan (Esther) of Comox, BC, Darren (Bonnie), Donita (Bryan) Hampson, and Delayne (Rocky) Bartsch of Fernie, Dena Morris of Calgary, and Donovan and Dean (Deidra) of Fernie; 15 grandchildren: Sean (Jill), Danny, Allison (Brent), Desirae, Rochelle (Dave), Michael, Nicole, Sheldon (Candice), Justin, Jenna, Joseph (Ally), Jayden, Jordan, Linden, and Megan; and 7 great grandchildren: Mack, Tilly, Addison, Jaylin, Aubrey, Jaxon, and Maddox. He was predeceased by his parents, and sisters Betty Fredrickson, Rose Patterson, Nancy Doyle and Mildred O’Rourke.
Memorial donations may be made to the Dialysis Unit, c/o Sparwood Healthcare Center, PO Box 1120, Sparwood B.C. V0B 2G0, or to the Fernie Arts Station.
Memories & condolences shared at www.cherishedmemoriesfs.com Arrangements entrusted to Cherished Memories Funeral Services Ltd.