Joseph John Zisa was born Giuseppe Giovani Zisa on May 27, 1930 in Lawrence Massachusetts to Pietro and Concetina Zisa. As a child he suffered from severe respiratory problems. Concerned for his health, his parents purchased a farm in the country where they would take him on weekends.
He proudly served in the U.S. Navy. He married the love of his life, Lillian Ouellette, in 1954. Joe moved to California in 1958 with his wife and son. After an apprenticeship with Mr. Murphy, he was hired as printer for the Los Angeles Times, where he worked until he retired in 1995.
In the early morning April 19th, Joe passed away peacefully in his sleep. Joe is survived by his wife, son (Peter Zisa), and two grand-daughters Jessica and Sarah.
Joe was a devoted husband; he and Lil were married 61 years. He was also an attentive and loving father and grandfather who enjoyed playfully interacting with his children and grandchildren. He encouraged them and supported them always, and was immensely proud of their accomplishments and qualities of character.
Needing to provide continuous care for his wife, he was disappointed he was unable to attend Sarah’s wedding to Adam Webber, the girls' graduations, and performances. With his i-pad in hand, he loved to view their posts on Facebook. No doubt he will be smiling as he observes Sarah and Adam's graduation, and Jessica future acadmic pursuits in New York.
Joe loved people. And all who knew Joe, loved him in return. He was a warm-hearted, caring, thoughtful, and generous man. Never a fair-weather friend, he was there for his family and friends, when they needed help. Visiting them in the hospital, bringing food, music, and providing loving support.
Joe was also a lover of music, culture, and art. His favorite vocalist was the Chairman of the Board, Frank Sinatra. One hundred per cent Italian, Joe lived life to the fullest. He was never afraid to try new things.
While serving in the U.S. Navy, he won a vocal talent competition. He shared his love with his son putting a guitar in his hands at the age of nine. He took personal interest in his musical pursuits and understood motivation was fueled by a multitude of experiences. Sensing when change was necessary, he made sure he studied a variety of music with many fine guitar instructors. He was also the source of insightful feedback, encouragement, and constructive criticism.
He was the number one fan of his son, Peter, as a musician, artist, and human being.
He greatly enjoyed sports: baseball, boxing, horse racing. Although he was loyal fan of the Boston Red Sox, he enjoyed attending the American league's Los Angeles Angels games with his friends and family. He also loved bowling and shooting pool with his friends. While he earned numerous trophies over the years, he most treasured and valued his family and friends.
Joe was always young at heart and lived la dolce vita (the sweet life). In the words of Sinatra, Joe “We’ll meet again.”
Make yourself at home.