Joseph (Jo Jo) Gillow, 78, of Avoca, formerly of Duryea, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011, at Riverstreet Manor Nursing Facility, after a difficult battle with cancer.
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Born in Duryea, he was the son of the late Joseph and Margaret Gibbons Gillow and stepson of the late Rose Cieri Gillow.
He was a member of Nativity of Our Lord Parish, Duryea, and a 1951 graduate of Duryea High School.
Jo Jo held many jobs in his lifetime, including mechanic for Kohn Taxi, service manager for Penn Auto, owner of Gillow's Garage in "the Flats" of Scranton, truck driver, machinist and salesman for Craft Oil Corp. and owner/operator of Meineke Discount Muffler Shop in Wilkes-Barre.
Most of his life revolved around automobiles, either fixing or racing them, including racing stock cars on the local racing circuit.
He had raced at Moc-A-Tek Speedway, Penn Can Speedway and Five Mile Point Speedway. He was Racecar Driver of the Year and served as a past president of the Moc-A-Tek Speedway.
Later in life, his greatest joy was his first grandchild, Sara. She was his "Pumpkin." There wasn't anything that he wouldn't do for her.
Joe truly enjoyed being a grandfather to his three grandchildren and being a father to his two girls. In retirement he kept busy by going to the auction with his good friend, Dan Boich, as well as traveling to Las Vegas, Florida and North Carolina. Joe could often be found going out to lunch or dinner, especially with his "Pumpkin."
An infant daughter, several aunts, uncles and cousins preceded him in death.
His wife, the former Romaine Sadowski, survives him. They were married for 54 years. Also surviving are daughters, Romaine and husband, Michael Astolfi, and Jodi Lukowich and companion, Lowell Stoss; and grandchildren, Sara Lukowich, Noelle and Zachary Astolfi.
His family would like to thank Riverstreet Manor for their outstanding care and understanding, especially Barb, Cathy, Ann, Lisa and Aisha and the rest of the staff of station one.
Thanks also go to Hospice Community Care.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday from Kiesinger Funeral Services Inc., 255 McAlpine St., Duryea, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Duryea, with the Rev. Andrew Sinnott officiating.
Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, at the funeral home.
Interment will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Riverstreet Manor, Resident Council, 440 N. River St., Wilkes-Barre PA 18702.
Online condolences for his family may be made at www.kiesingerfuneralservices.com.
Published in Citizens' Voice on Sept. 22, 2011