Joseph Vilardi

Joseph F. Vilardi

July 26, 1933 - May 21, 2013

Joseph Vilardi, longtime resident of the East Bay and beloved husband, father and grandfather, died at home on Tuesday May 21 at the age of 79.

Born in New Britain Connecticut where he lived until he was a teen, Joe and his family moved to San Francisco in 1949. He attended George Washington High School as well as the City College of San Francisco and graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1956 with a degree in Business Administration.

Joe possessed a unique warmth, wit and intelligence that was evident to everyone who knew him. His finely honed people skills were exercised in an illustrious thirty- year career with the City of Hayward where he worked as the Personnel and Employee Relations Director. He was active in several professional organizations that focused on personnel management and industrial and labor relations.

Deeply engaged with his community, Joe chose to give back in a number of ways. He served as president of the Hayward Boys Club, was a member and president of the Hayward Rotary Club, sat on the Board of the Hayward Historical Society and was part of the Hayward Emergency Shelter Program.

There was nothing Joe loved better than traveling with his wife, Alice Vilardi. Together they explored locations both close and far from home including Tanzania, the Galapagos Islands and Belize, as well as cruises along the British Isles, Baltic Sea and Black Sea.

Joe will be remembered for his remarkable eloquence and vocabulary. His use of the English language awed and impressed his friends and relatives who often referred to him as Mr. Word Wealth.

Family was regarded above all else for Joe. He thrived on family get-togethers with his children, grandchildren and extended family. He is survived by his wife Alice as well as his son, Michael Vilardi daughter, Julie Vilardi Zelinka, stepson Robert Graff, sister, Joanne Bjork and nieces Annie and Jennifer Bjork. His grandchildren, Jennifer and Nicholas Zelinka, Emilee and Michelle Vilardi, and Caroline and Samuel Graff will always remember summer celebrations at Camp Greenhaven at Grandpa Joe's house.

Donations will be accepted by the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition

( or the Salvation Army of Hayward.

Private services are being planned.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on May 23, 2013