Obituaries | Eastgate Funeral Home
August 10, 1938 December 08, 2020
August 10, 1938 -- December 08, 2020

Joseph Del Ferro

In lieu of flowers please send donations to USO (www.uso.org), Wounded Warrior (https://communityfundraising.woundedwarriorproject.org/campaign/Joseph-Del-Ferro-Memorial) or Veterans of America (www.wva.org). Photos are not available to be uploaded to the obituary, please leave a memory tribute instead. Our loving and beloved Father, Uncle, Friend, Inspiration, Joseph Del Ferro Jr. passed away on Dec, 8, 2020. He will be buried at DFW National Cemetery with Honors. Known to us all simply as Joe, Nonno, Uncle Joe, and Dad, he lived and experienced as full a life as he could, with the hope for more, cut short far too soon and needlessly. Before he fell ill to the Coronavirus, he spent his days masked and careful and largely as he would have wanted, by going to work, being with Buddy the Dog, living with Greg, exercising as he could, and visiting (from afar), talking and singing with many of those he loved and cared for. He so missed the human interaction from before Covid 19 as being with others and helping others, gave him the same life and happiness he knew he was bringing to them. In his last days in the hospital, he fought mentally for his body that had been so true to him for his 82 years, with the bloodlines of his parents living past 100 and his older brother Al almost to 90, to respond and fight. At the end, despite his never-ending optimism and handling this as he did all things, with dignity and determination, this was too big a challenge for him physically. He was cared for in his final days by the Nurses and Doctors at Dallas Regional Medical Center and Mesquite Specialty Center. We thank them all for the care and attention paid to Joe during the unfortunate time when they too are met with extraordinary challenges rising as best they can. Joe was born on August 10, 1938 in Norristown, PA to Joseph and Angelina Del Ferro who had immigrated to the US from the Provincia de Benevento in southern Italy near Napoli. He grew up with his older brother Alfred and until his passing in WWII, his older brother Nunzio. Joe grew up with a lot of extended family from both his mother and father's sides, and by all accounts, was a rambunctious young man who wrestled in high school, managed to graduate, went to work making bread at a bakery and eventually enlisted into the Army in 1960 at Ft. Dix, NJ. He was deployed to Italy (apparently upon request to make his way to his parents' birthplace). There, he met Teresa Donatilda Giuseppina Lo Iacono (better known as "Ucci"). They married, 9 months later their first daughter Marie was born. He started training to work in the field of Infectious & Communicable Disease prevention. Joe was restationed back to the US, moving to Colorado Springs where both Greg and Elizabeth were born. Before deploying to Vietnam, he moved his young family to Maryland to be closer to his family in the Philadelphia area. Upon his return following an injury due to a bomb blast, the family was redeployed to Italy where they stayed for more than 10 years. With a lot of family and friends around, growing up under the umbrella of the Army but in a country everyone adored, was a gift for each and everyone. Imagining their children would have better opportunities for a University education and then career choices in the US, the family moved to Augusta, GA. Joe and Ucci decided he would retire to settle down and move closer to Ucci's family in Dallas, TX. He retired with Honors as a Sergeant First Class E-7. Joe started his 2nd career working in Environmental Health. He realized he needed a Degree to get a better salary, provide a better life for his family, so he enrolled in a nearby University and worked nights while studying. His discipline and resilience during this very trying time were visible to his kids who by now were old enough to understand that life's path isn't always smooth but, with hard work and support, you could achieve what you set out to. And Ucci's commitment to support Joe and be all the stronger for the kids both strengthened and challenged their marriage. Following his graduation, he continued in the field of Environmental Health, ultimately working for the City of Dallas. For the 3 kids, all coming and going from the house as they moved into their University years and beyond, home was always a welcome place. During this time, he and Ucci became franchisees of several Quiznos bringing more opportunities and then challenges with more learning experiences. Greg settled into living with Joe and Ucci and provided additional support, Marie married John, Elizabeth married Matjaz and two grandsons Ari and Marco arrived. And his extended family in Philadelphia and Dallas grew with new nephews and nieces, marriages and unfortunately, deaths. Seeing a playful, fun, carefree Nonno with his grandsons was yet another side of Joe that grew as his relationship with them grew. He also became the proud owner of, at one point, 4 dogs (rescues that Greg brought home). While they were treasured by Ucci and Greg, for Joe it was a bit overwhelming at first but he came to love them all, especially the last surviving one Buddy. Through this all, Ucci and Joe showed the strength of commitment to each although a bigger challenge was to come when Ucci's cancer returned and ultimately in 2013 Joe's life partner since they married in 1962, died. Joe however did not let Ucci leave his life, continuing to celebrate their anniversaries and her birthday and always ensuring we honored her memory with a "salute" with a drink and singing her songs at her gravesite with Buddy the Dog participating. Joe thoroughly enjoyed being with people, sharing stories, laughing, listening, talking. He listened and learned to sing "oldies" and songs from musicals while enjoying opera as well. He wanted to learn and always stayed current with news especially around issues of the Military and Veterans. He continued Ucci's commitment to charities, especially Native Americans and Catholic foundations. His commitment to service was both an example and inspiration whether within the Church, volunteering at Nursing homes or other places, greeting soldiers and vets with the camaraderie he felt at his core. His passions and interests grew such as visiting/playing at Casinos, traveling to visit Colorado and grandsons, visiting all of his family in Philadelphia (and attending his HS reunions), traveling with Marie and John to various places including beer festivals, going to visit his parents birthplace with his brother Al and even getting to Solta, Croatia to spend various summers. He absolutely loved good food and drinks and could spend a lot of hours eating and talking, then eating again! (This along with the love for their daughter made Joe a big favorite with Ucci's parents!) In his older years he relaxed, treating himself to a small cigar, walking, enjoying whatever environment he was in whether the sea at Solta, the mountains in Colorado, Buddy on a walk or birds in his backyard. Joe's Catholic faith was a central core to him not only in ritual but especially in practice. He was the embodiment of what many of us learn about the positives of religion and spirituality. We know Joe's beliefs and faith now ensure he is reunited with Ucci, with his parents and brothers, and all loved ones lost. Joe, Nonno, Uncle Joe, and Dad will be missed by family, by friends, by all whose lives he touched with a prayer, a song, a "hello" with his infectious smile and laugh. He will never be far from our hearts, minds and memories. And now, we offer a "salute" for Joe as well whether with a drink in hand, or a song.