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Age 92 of Braidwood, Illinois, died Wednesday, June 7, 2023 at the Bourbonnais Grove Assisted Living Facility.
Born March 24, 1931 in Braidwood, Joseph John was a son of Alfred and Katherine (Viara) Votta. He was raised in Braidwood, graduated from Reed-Custer High School with the Class of 1949. Joe was a gifted athlete, both in basketball and baseball, and was drafted by the Chicago White Sox to be a pitcher. He enlisted and served his country in the United States Marine Corps until he was honorably discharged in 1953. On June 5, 1954 Joe married the love of his life, Rosella Marie Bonucci at Assumption Catholic Church in Coal City, and together they made their home in Braidwood.
He was a familiar face in Braidwood, working hard for both gas and service stations in Braidwood until he gained employment at Commonwealth Edison. Joe worked for ComEd for over 20 years until he retired. He was also active in the community as a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Braidwood and the Braidwood Knights of Columbus Council #1574, and a past member of Saint Lawrence O’Toole Catholic Church in Essex. Joe was also a dedicated member of the Braidwood Lions Club, responsible for organizing countless Braidwood Summerfests, and the Loyal Order of Moose.
His athletic skills from his youth translated well to his adult life as an avid golfer and bowler, shooting two hole-in-ones and bowling multiple perfect games. Joe was a strong supporter of his granddaughters’ athletic achievements and was a fixture in the crowds at their games. He was a proud grandfather that loved doting on his granddaughters and sharing with them his silly Donald Duck Voice.
Joe’s number one priority in his life was Rosella, with whom he had the honor of sharing 69 wonderful years of marriage. There was little they didn’t do together, whether it was going to one of their granddaughters‘ games, working in the yard, or wintering in Florida, it was rare to find one without the other. Joe was the definition of a family man, putting being a loving husband, father, and grandfather before anything else. And though he is gone, it’s a comfort to know he is reunited with his wife in Heaven.
Survivors include his son, Greg (Kim) Votta of Essex, Illinois; three granddaughters: Kate (Erick) De La Rosa of Northridge, California, Rebecca (Edward) Votta Gallacher of Los Angeles, California, and Georgia Votta of East Lansing, Michigan; three great granddaughters: Sofia, Alba, and Luna De La Rosa; one sister, Marie (the late Ernie) Swanson of Coal City, Illinois, and one brother, Al (Wilma) Votta of Alabama; and nieces and nephews: Denise (Dave) Stybr, Tiffany Votta, Joshua Votta, and Ronnie Votta.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Rosella on April 1, 2023, and his sister-in-law, Alvira (Bob) Smith.
Per Joe’s wishes, cremation rites are being accorded and a private family inurnment with full military honors will be held at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery in Elwood, Illinois.
Preferred memorials may be made as gifts in Joe's memory to Vitas Hospice.
Family and friends are encouraged to sign the online guest book, upload photographs, and share Joe’s memorial page via social media.
Cremation services and memorial arrangements are being made under the direction and care of Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes and Crematory in Wilmington, Illinois (815) 476-2181.