Joseph Anthony Petrarca II, 68, Altoona, died unexpectedly Wednesday at his residence.
He was born in Altoona, son of the late Charles and Angellina (Cuzzolina) Petrarca. He married Marsha Bukovitz on June 28, 1975, in Chicago, Ill.
Surviving are his wife; six children: Joseph III (Karen) of Philadelphia, Christopher (Brooke) in Florida, Matthew (Erin) of State College, Nicholas of Altoona and Angelina and Julie, both of Pittsburgh; eight grandchildren: Joseph IV, Vincent, Gianna, Jake, Luke, Malia, Michael and Rylen; two sisters: Irene Koenig in Illinois and Ann Steinbeiser (Stephen) of Murrysville; and a brother, Charles (Georgia) in Florida.
He was preceded in death by a sister, Doris Smith.
Joe was a 1963 graduate of Bishop Guilfoyle High School. He attended Loyola University, Chicago, from 1963-66, then served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.
After the Army, Joe started his long career that he loved so much in the construction business. By 1970, he was a general foreman for many major projects in Chicago. One of his proudest accomplishments was the responsibility as general foreman for the Sears Tower. From 1978-87, he operated his own construction business doing primarily concrete for major franchise businesses.
After moving his family back to his hometown of Altoona, Joe continued to be a general foreman in Pittsburgh, working on the Pittsburgh International Airport and the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh and refurbishing historical buildings as well as the Pittsburgh Steel Mill. He was a member of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.
As passionate as Joe was about his work, he loved his wife of 38 years, children and grandchildren even more. Family was his true love. He was the beloved husband of his wife and beloved father of his children, who will miss him forever. They will never forget his passion for life and unbelievable optimism. He drew great strength from his belief in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Joe enjoyed gardening, fishing, camping, seeing and playing with his grandchildren, spending time with his family and attending church. He loved talking to people and loved to laugh.
Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 7, 2013, at The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona, where a vigil for the deceased will be held. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8, 2013, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church. Committal will be at Calvary Cemetery.