Joseph Patrick “Joe” Gartner, 80, devoted husband of Patricia and loving father of Kathy, Terri and Joe, passed away peacefully Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 in Port Charlotte, Fla.
Joseph was born Aug. 16, 1933, to Joseph and Catherine Gartner in Kernei, Yugoslavia, as one of four children whose ancestors originally emigrated from Germany.
In 1946 he settled in Chicago, Ill., with his parents and siblings, Catherine, Barbara and John. In 1952 Joe met the love of his life, Patricia Hoppa, who would marry him in 1955 and be his devoted partner for over 60 years. He completed his education in trade school and went on to build a successful business that would provide a comfortable life for his family and ensure a satisfying retirement for he and Patricia. In 1997 Joseph and Patricia relocated to the gulf coast of Florida, where they have enjoyed more leisure time with family and friends.
Joseph was known for his active nature and was always surrounded by people. Over his lifetime, he took on many challenges and was known as a fighter, beginning with his internment in a Red Army camp as an adolescent, continuing as he immigrated to the United States and adjusted to the new language and culture and finally in his battle with cancer. Throughout all, his sense of humor never flagged.
His zest for life and everything he did was applied to a wide variety of interests; soccer, tennis, riding motorcycles, automobiles, home repairs and culinary arts. He truly loved the life he built; morning chats with his son, bike rides, working around the house and yard, cooking, entertaining friends and spending his days with Patricia. Joe was dearly loved by family and friends and was known for his passion for being active, his sense of humor and his generosity.
Joseph is survived by his wife, Patricia; daughters, Kathy (Mark) McTigue and Terri Beverley of Dallas, Texas; son, Joe (Emilee) Gartner; grandchildren, Michael and Kaitlin McTigue both of New York, N.Y., Alaina Jones, Austin and Cristin Beverley of Austin, Texas, Brent Beverley of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Joey and Mathew Gartner of Port Charlotte; and great-granddaughters, Hayden and Berkley Jones of Austin.
A memorial service is pending. Please visit www.legacy.com to leave the family condolences and sign the online guest book. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice at www.tidewell.org, 1144 Veronica St., Port Charlotte, FL 33952.
Arrangements are by Fort Myers Memorial Gardens Crematory.