Joseph "Joey" Ghirardelli

Joseph "Joey" Ghirardelli

Joseph "Joey" Ghirardelli passed away on Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013 at the age of 20 in Breckenridge, CO. He was with his parents and brother, Michael at the time of his death. Joey had Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, and lived the life he was given with optimism, grace, bravery and a great sense of humor. The words of his dear friend Erin Danastasio say it best - "Today was a day I have been dreading most of my life. Though we all knew Joey would pass from this life too early, we didn't expect it now. Joey was always the kind of person who, no matter what kind of mood you were in, could make you smile. He loved everyone, saw all the beauty this world has to offer, was kind, funny, giving, caring, loving, intelligent beyond his years, and had one of my all time favorite laughs. And talk about being optimistic. He was so brave. Joey was truly one of a kind, and the world is a better place because of him. He was family to all of us."

Joey loved his family, friends and any kind of dog on the street, but especially his dogs Sparkles, Boo and Zoey. He loved automobiles, gardening, computers and learning. He was intelligent and pure of heart. Joey touched and changed so many lives and his smile lit up any room he was in. He had a great sense of humor!

Joey attended Immaculate Conception school through eighth grade, Springfield Catholic High School and Drury University. His highlight in college was becoming a Sigma Nu.

We will remember Joey for all the Joy he brought to those around him, and he signified all that is good and kind in the world.

Joey is survived by his parents, John and Colleen Ghirardelli, his brothers Michael Ghirardelli and Johnny (Katherine) Ghirardelli. He will be met in Heaven by his paternal grandparents, Joe and Mary Louise Ghirardelli and his maternal grandparents, Magne and Lyleen Berg.

A prayer service will be held on Friday at 6:00 p.m. April 5, 2013 in Holy Trinity Catholic Church with visitation to follow until 8:00 p.m. Funeral mass will be led in the church by Fr. Fergus Monaghan and Monsignor Thomas Reidy at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday April 6, 2013, under the care of Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home. Burial will be in Rivermonte Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Muscular Dystrophy Association, 425 South Union Avenue, Springfield, MO 65802 or the Springfield Catholic High School Capital Campaign, Springfield Catholic Schools Central Offices, 2340 S. Eastgate, Springfield, MO 65809 . Both of these were causes near and dear to Joey's heart.

Published in the News-Leader from Apr. 4 to Apr. 6, 2013