Christian 10

Joseph A. D'Italia

1943 ~ 2022 (age 79)

Obituary

JOSEPH ANTHONY D'ITALIA, 79, of Fort Wayne, and Harbor Springs, Mich., passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, after courageously fighting cancer for many years, surrounded by loved ones. Born April 12, 1943, in Queens, N.Y., he was a son of Anthony and Lucia D'Italia. He attended college at the Indiana Institute of Technology in Fort Wayne. He married Janet Johnson in 1965 and began a career in real estate in Toledo Ohio. Later, Jan and Joe moved to Fort Wayne where Joe was an entrepreneur and built the successful interior construction firm, The Strahm Group. After selling Strahm Group, Joe formed Harbor Investments, a commercial real estate venture. Joe served on numerous community and charitable boards, including the Summit Club, Saint Joseph Hospital and Indiana Institute of Technology. He was a member of "The Regiment'', a group of friends in the construction business throughout the Midwest, and was instrumental in forming The Drake Group, an alliance of construction material distributors throughout the United States. Joe took a leadership role in many philanthropic endeavors serving as a mentor to hundreds of people throughout his lifetime. One of Joe's great passions in life was boating. His young years were spent on a little boat exploring the local waters in Southampton, N.Y. In later years, Joe honed his boating skills on Lake Michigan and Little Traverse Bay. Joe's sailing career began in the early 1980's with friends from Fort Wayne and eventually friends from Harbor Springs, Mich. In the early 1990's, he took a rag-tag group of wannabe sailors, trained them, and turned his boat Pooh IV into a top competitor during the summer yacht racing seasons in Harbor Springs. He and his crew also participated in several Port Huron and Chicago to Mackinac Yacht Races. After his competitive sailing days ended, Joe enjoyed many years with his motor yachts traveling around the Great Lakes entertaining family and friends. Joe also served as Commodore of Little Traverse Yacht Club. All his boats were named Pooh honoring the nickname he gave his wife Jan. "For those of us who were fortunate enough to be part of his Pooh Crew, Joe D'Italia will always be our Skipper Joe". Joe was also a world class chef who loved more than anything to cook for family and friends. He spent many hours in the kitchen making sure things were just right and taste testing along the way. Joe loved to entertain and a seat at the D'Italia table either in Fort Wayne or Harbor Springs, was a joyful experience for all in attendance. "Joe was a wonderful human being; a considerate, kind, and generous person. Quiet at times, humble always, he had a shy smile that let you know when he was happy and a terrific laugh that we will miss. Sail on Joe."  Joe is survived by his sister, MaryAnn (nee D'Italia) Rettino; brother, Anthony (wife Colleen); seven nieces and nephews; 10 grand nieces and grand nephews who will lovingly miss their Uncle Joe; sisters-in-law, Mary (husband Roger) Jones and Janice (husband Thomas) Roberson; along with 13 nieces and nephews; 21 grand nieces and grand nephews who will greatly miss their Uncle Joe; and his loving partner, Kathy Cavanagh. Joe was preceded in death by his parents; and treasured wife of 52 years, Janet (nee Johnson) D'Italia. Funeral Mass is 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 20, 2022, at St Patrick's Catholic Church of Arcola, 12305 Arcola Road, Fort Wayne, IN (46818), with calling one hour prior. Visitation also from 2 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, 2022,  at Divine Mercy Funeral Home, 3500 Lake Ave, Fort Wayne. In lieu of flowers, donations are would be appreciated: Mathew 25, www.matthew25online.org/support-us; or University of St. Francis Nursing School: Giving.sf.edu. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Divine Mercy Funeral Home, 3500 Lake Ave, Ft Wayne IN, 46805, (260) 426-2044. 

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Services

Visitation
Tuesday
April 19, 2022

2:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Divine Mercy Funeral Home
3500 Lake Ave
Fort Wayne, Indiana 46805

Visitation
Wednesday
April 20, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Patrick Catholic Church
12305 Arcola Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

Mass of Christian Burial
Wednesday
April 20, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Patrick Catholic Church
12305 Arcola Rd
Fort Wayne, IN 46818

Donations

Matthew 25 Health and Care
413 E. Jefferson Blvd., Fort Wayne IN 46802
Tel: 1-260-426-3250
Web: http://www.matthew25online.org/support-us

University of St. Francis School of Nursing
2701 Spring St., Fort Wayne IN 46808
Tel: 1-260-399-7700
Web: https://saintfrancis.givingfuel.com/school-of-choice

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