Joseph A. Olbris(1936-2012)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va.- Joseph A. Olbris, 75, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Joe was born on Dec. 13, 1936, in Holyoke, Mass., and lived at 186 North Farms Road in Florence, Mass., until he joined the Navy.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Ruth Olbris, and his parents Joseph and Jenaive Olbris.

He is survived by his loving children, Johanna Jones and her son, Joseph, Dwayne and his wife, Sarah and their children, AJ, Jessie, Hannah and Mary Ruth; his sisters, Elizabeth "Betty" Bardwell, Dorothy Sadlowski and Rose Bilger; and faithful four-legged companion, Roxie and her side-kicks, Henna and Simba.

Joe was known as Dad, Pop and Papa Joe. Joe lived his life faithfully serving his Lord and others. He was in the US Navy where he gained his culinary training and was a firefighter for the city of Norfolk and the Norfolk Naval Fire Department for over 25 years. Joe always had a second job as a National Guard Reservist, painter, cab driver, truck driver, plumber and the like. He was known to most as a "jack of all trades".

While a firefighter for the Norfolk Naval Fire Department, Joe became involved with the Triple R Ranch as a part-time chef which led to Food Service Director. Joe then went to First Baptist Church of Norfolk where he served with his wife for over 20 years. During Joe and Ruth's time in service together they facilitated food service departments for many churches and served on the Board of Directors for many Christian organizations. His final project was returning to his home church, where he received the Lord as his Savior, assisting his daughter Johanna in developing a new Food Service Department at Kempsville Baptist Church.

Papa Joe always had a passion for children, never growing up, he was a true kid at heart. At Joe's request, memorial contributions may be made to Triple R Ranch, 3531 Bunch Walnuts Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322. He was laid to rest at the Albert G. Horton, Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery, Suffolk. Please visit his "Book of Memories" at where you may leave a note to the family.

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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Nov. 14, 2012