We are sad to announce the passing of our beloved husband, father and friend. Joe is survived by his loving wife Susan; son’s Steven (Christine), Mark (Sheri); four grandchildren (Sierra, Andrew, Eva, and Owen); Mother-in-law (Joan LaFave); siblings (Ivan, Marija, Andrej, and their families). Joe is predeceased by his parents (Franc & Marija), brother Franc, and sister Antonija.
Joe was born February 3, 1937 in Petkovec, a small mountain village in Slovenia. He was born at a time of world conflict that created unique hardships in many European countries. At a young age Joe pondered his future in his native land and ultimately decided to seek a better life in Canada.
At the age of nineteen Joe escaped into Italy where he was able to leave the region on a ship named “Vulcania” destined for Halifax. He arrived in Halifax on June 27th, 1957 with a suitcase, a very small amount of money, no contacts, and no true comprehension of the English language.
Joe pursued work opportunities in Western Canada and made his way across the country. Joe first found work with the railway in Northern BC and later moved into the forest industry in Sinclair Mills, near Prince George, BC. During this time, like many immigrants, he worked hard to learn the language and the customs of his new country. In 1959 Joe relocated to Kamloops where he pursued his brick and masonry trade until his retirement in 1997. Joe had a strong work ethic and was very proud of his contributions to the growth and development of Kamloops and beyond.
In 1965 Joe met the love of his life, Susan. Together they raised two sons Steven and Mark. Joe’s family and friends were a very important part of his life. Joe loved the outdoors and shared this passion with his family which likely influenced the resource management careers of both sons.
Next to family and friends, Joe’s favourite past-time was fishing the many local lakes. There are few in this world who could spend as much time in a boat!
In Joe’s retirement years he was able to maximize his time on the water, visit with friends and travel abroad. Joe truly optimized the opportunities afforded to him through his hard work in Canada. That said, Joe was very proud of his Slovenian heritage and never forgot his roots. There would be no question who Joe was supporting if there was a Slovenian Athlete or team on the TV!
Joe’s passing will leave a large void in our hearts, but his love and support of family and friends will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada, found at https://www.llscanada.org would be appreciated.
Our family would like to thank everyone who supported us over the past 2 years. A special “thank you” to Dr. Delorme (Kelowna), the medical staff at the Downtown Health Care Centre in Kamloops, RIH Cancer Clinic, RIH Lab Services, RIH Rapid Access Clinic, and the medical staff at Trinity Care (Overlander).
The family would like to extend an additional “thank you” to all that have sent messages of condolence through social media and e-mail.
A Celebration of life will take place on Saturday, November 23, 2019 at 2:00 pm. at Kamloops Funeral Home, 285 Fortune Drive.