FLORIO Joseph Nicholas Florio, Sr., 69, passed away on June 19, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with lung disease. His loving wife and soul mate of 52 years and his adoring family were by his side. Joe, as many knew him, was born on May 31, 1944 in Schenectady, New York. He grew up in a large family of eight children. He attended St. Mary's Catholic School, Bishop Gibbons Catholic School as well as Linton High School from which he graduated in 1963. He enlisted in the U.S. Army after graduation and served in Vietnam in various positions including senior operating room specialist. He earned various and many decorations, medals, badges, commendations and citations for his combat service. Upon his return to the United States, he married his high school sweetheart Christine Ann Zukauskas. They went on to have (3) children, Lori, Joseph Jr. and Nicholas. Joe, his wife and family transferred to various places throughout Florida for many years due to his line of work (retail department store openings). In the early 1980's Joe left the retail world to open, own and manage a chain of Marine supply stores in South Florida and the Florida Keys. This put him closer to his real passions which were boating, diving and fishing. He was an avid fisherman and loved just about anything outdoors. His other passion was his motorcycle. He and his wife rode with a Veteran's group for many years for both pleasure and charity work. Always a hard worker, the idea of retirement did not settle well with Joe. Semi-retirement led him to own and operate a lawn maintenance company in which he and his wife worked side by side for 12 more years before really retiring and moving to Mount Dora, Florida. Joe was a devoted and loving husband. He was a beloved father, a supportive and encouraging grandfather. He was a cuddly great grand-father. He was a practical joker of a brother. He was generous and a true friend to many. His character and friendliness drew everyone to him. His loss is profound and he will be missed terribly by all who knew and loved him. Joe was preceded in death by his parents Frances & Alexander Florio as well as his sister Rose. He is survived by his wife, Christine, his children, Lori (Tim) Matthews, Joe (Julie) Florio, and Nick (Teresa) Florio, his grandchildren Nicholas, Tyler, Mathew, Tamarind & Braden his great grandchildren Jacob, Trinity, Sierra & Nancy. He is also survived by his siblings Delores (Jack) Dunn, Robert Florio, Gloria (Santo) Pino, Cathy Florio, Marsha (John) Campbell, and Alexander Florio, and more nieces, nephews and cousins than you can possibly count. A funeral mass was held at St. Patrick's Catholic Church in Mount Dora, Florida and his ashes will be spread at sea in a military burial per his wishes.
Published in Florida Keys Keynoter / Reporter on July 12, 2013