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left us early in the morning of September 18, 2012 with a beautiful legacy of art and memories. He will be missed by family, friends and a multitude of former students from Scottsdale's Coronado High School, whom, as a brilliant art teacher from 1961 to 1984, he inspired with his creative methods, his humor and patience. Joe is survived by his wife of 38 years, Frances, one son, Joseph M. Gatti (Amy), one step-daughter, Lisa Buechler (Greg), two step-sons, Lance Freedlund (Diana) and Clay Freedlund, three grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews. Joe was nearly 93 years old and had lived an active life, playing golf, enjoying cooking, and his beloved cats until Alzheimer's began to take its ugly toll several years ago. He was born to immigrant Italian parents on October 16, 1919 in Erie, Pennsylvania, one of five children, the four of whom preceded him in death. As a high school senior, he won a trip to Italy, guest of the Italian government, for his excellence in Italian language studies. That was the first of many trips to Europe, where, later, he concentrated on the art in cathedrals and museums. After graduating high school, he joined the Army Air Force and became a bomber training pilot. (His later water colors reflect his love of the airplane.) After discharge from military service he made several ventures into retail businesses, including a television-appliance shop in Glendale. With the GI bill, he attended what was then the Thunderbird School of International Trade, went on to ASU, and achieved a Master's Degree in Art History. Memorial service and reception will be held at Cattletrack Gallery, 6105 N. Cattletrack Rd., Scottsdale, at 4:00 pm on Saturday, October 20. Ar
rangements entrusted to Messinger Indian School Mortuary in Scottsdale, AZ. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Arizona or the Arizona Humane Society.
Published in The Arizona Republic from Oct. 14 to Oct. 17, 2012