Groton - Joseph "Jo Jo Nice" Gingerella died tragically Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016, at the young age of 24.
Joey died a hero selflessly helping someone in need. Joey was loved by so many people. He had a special gift to light up a room with his large, bright smile and infectious humor. Joey lived and breathed baseball and participated in many softball teams and tournaments. Joey loved all animals and was always trying to bring a new pet home. He loved his dog "Kymani" who spent many nights sleeping by his side.
Born Feb. 28, 1992, Joey left behind his dedicated and loving parents, Tammy and Joseph de la Cruz whom he resided with; and his father, Frank and Kristen Gingerella of Rhode Island; and Joey's only sister, Kayla Gingerella, who loved him so much that she would do anything to protect him. He was also survived by his grandfather, Kenneth Johnson of Groton; Deborah de la Cruz and Jay Mingrone of Quaker Hill, Gabriel and Nancy de la Cruz of Montville, Helen and Nick Duane of Rhode Island, and Thomas and Jane Gingerella of Montville. Joey had many aunts, uncles, cousins and so many friends he called family. Joey was very proud of being the godfather to Aericka Sierra. In addition to so many he is leaving behind, his heart belonged to his first true love, Heather Emerich.
Joey was predeceased by his grandmother, Kathleen Johnson. Joey had a special bond with his grandmother and till the time of his death missed her deeply.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016, at Fitch High School, 101 Groton Long Point Road, Groton. All guests are being asked to arrive by 1 p.m. to greet the procession at the front entrance of the school. Guests will be able to pay their respects immediately following the service.
Joey's proudest moments of his life were spent at Fitch High. First as a student, athlete and then as an advocate to spread awareness of the dangers of prescription drugs. Joey's legacy will live on through his family and Community Speaks Out.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made in honor of Joseph Gingerella to Community Speaks Out, Inc., P.0. Box 541, Groton, CT 06340 or donations may be made online on communityspeaksout.org
. In addition, donations may also be made to 'The Joseph Gingerella Fitch Baseball Scholarship Fund' , 95 Corey Road, Groton, CT 06340.
Byles Groton Memorial Home, 310 Thames St., Groton, is handling the arrangements.
Please visit www.byles.com
to sign the online register or to share a memory.