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Papa Joe

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S: Memories of Papa Joe

BC: He is probably the official greeter at the Pearly Gates!! ~Janice Ash

1: Heaven just got one of the best gifts. I don't think I'll ever meet anyone like you Papa Joe. You always had a smile on your face. You always asked me how I was and everyone else who walked through the doors at church. You prayed for many and cared for them genuinely. Have fun dancing in heaven with Jesus. I love you Papa Joe and will miss you greatly. ~Cassandra Kenville | I wish I were as eloquent with my words as all the rest of you...but I simply cannot express how grateful I am for having known Papa Joe. My only regret is that he won't be attending my wedding in person. Dance in heaven for me, can't wait to hug you when I get there! ~Sharon Lewis | This morning the world seems more empty yet I know heaven has been so enriched. A mantle of true Godliness has been laid down for all who knew Papa Joe let's take it up in His memory and to the Glory of the Lord in whose presence He now lives. Move over St. Peter there will be a new greeter at the gate this morning!!! ~Pastor Tony

2: Dear Papa Joe, Thank you for being my third grandpa, for teaching me how to drive, for giving me a big hug and kiss every time I walked through the church doors...for coming to my birthdays and graduation and my wedding and everything in between. God's lucky to have you with him...there's no one like you in the whole world. Love you so much Papa. ~ Holly Stafford | You believed in the power of prayer when I had nearly given up hope...dearest Papa Joe you will always be with us... I'm sure your place in heaven is the greeter at those pearly gates! ~Amanda VanAuken Herzog | I will never forget his love for the Lord or his handshake. Papa Joe was one of the best men I have ever had the privilege of knowing in my life. ~Ben Wagner | I will forever be grateful to have known you, Papa Joe. You are truly an amazing man and a saint. The love and kindness you showed toward my mom during hard times was one of the most meaningful acts of kindness any person could imagine. You will never be forgotten, see you later, and as you would say..God bless. ~Lisa Wahlers

3: There's no one who was more welcoming than a little old Italian man who endeared you to him from the moment you met. I'll miss the smiles, the questions and knowing that someone like him was always praying for everyone he had ever known. See you at heaven's door, Papa Joe. ~Seth Palmer You and Carolyn have been such a part of our lives - even with the distance. Your kindness and hugs and acceptance without judgment penetrated every heart. Thank you both for touching our family's lives forever! We love you so. ~Nancy Gerhardt Kuwabara | You have influenced our marriage by your example. The depth of interest you have taken in us and your gentle, caring smile, touch and your eyes... They are the window to our souls. Joe, you still are a precious soul!! Thank you both so much for being such an extraordinary example of how we should love one another. May the Lord, who truly comforts those who mourn, bring you peace and joy. ~Michael Belmont Papa Joe will truly be missed,praying for you and your family. ~Kathleen Cody You will be forever missed Papa Joe. You are an amazing man, and have always been there for our family and we are so grateful for that. We will miss you so much! You will never be forgotten. ~Jenna Wahlers

4: Papa Joe was an awesome man & a great example to us all. How he lived his life showed us what it looks like when someone truly loves Jesus. How he loved his wife Carolyn gave us a modern day example of what the Apostle Paul meant when he said, "husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church." Watching Papa Joe & Carolyn was liked watching two teenage kids in love. How he welcomed everyone with a smile, hug & a kiss made you feel like you were the only person in the room. He loved Joy Community Church and everyone in it. He was a Pastor without the title and a powerful preacher, not with words but with actions. For those of us who had the privilege of knowing Papa Joe were blessed to have had the opportunity to see what a true Christian man looks like. You will be truly missed Joe, Papa to us all! ~Keith Barreto | You meant more to me than you'll ever know! I was so fortunate to have known someone as sweet as you for the past 26 years of my life. There will never be another you. I love you and I'll miss you soo much. I hope to become more like you, thanks for the great example you showed. ~Ashley DiBella Presciutti His recent post to me on Facebook: "Stay happy and enjoy one another, that is the main part of marriage Ashley, love and blessings, Papa Joe"

5: "A heart that has truly loved never forgets." | Uncle Joe, you are now with Uncle Giuseppe and Uncle Tony. Have a glass of wine, catch up with each other, and know that a lot of people are thinking about you. ~Spackle Barrett | Carolyn, Our love has been deepened by your love for Joe, Papa Joe's love for you and above all your love for the Lord. You are a wonderful example of how we should live. We are praying for you and your family. May the Lord's grace abound to you. ~Michael Belmont

6: "His master replied, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' ~Matthew 25:23

8: "Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: Kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile."

9: The man who held me as a baby, gave me hugs and kisses every week, danced with me, came to every recital, every birthday party and every graduation, supported every missions trip, danced with me at my wedding and welcomed my kids as if they were his own great-grand kids passed away today. Heaven welcomes you Papa Joe and I will miss you greatly until we meet again. I love you ~Rebecca Heim | I am so proud to call my son Joel Joseph after an awesome man of God. I will miss Papa Joe with all my heart! And can't wait to share stories with Joel (and his brothers) someday about the man that was always smiling. ~Ali Reeves | He truly was a picture of Gods love for us! ~Dayna Fantigrossi

10: To the man that was there every Sunday to squeeze me from when I was a toddler to an adult, who always told me I could anything, he was there for every dance recital, he was there for all the firsts, and then on my wedding day. Thank you so much for impacting so many lives and being an example to us all! I love you Papa Joe and miss your smile already! ~Jena Morey | So many memories I will miss papa Joe's firm crushing handshakes... Also miss him coming over to swim and our talks as he lays out getting his tan on... I will truly miss that man of God. RIP Papa Joe. ~Mike Moody | Rest in peace, Papa Joe. ~Suzanna VanAuken | Such a sweet tribute to an amazing man. ~Erin Hildebrand My prayers go out to Caroline. I love them both. ~Laura Bunce

11: Carrying on a Legacy Pa. Words cannot express the sadness and sense loss our family is feeling and has felt since Pa passed away. There are many stories and fond memories I could talk about without a loss of words or thought. We all know Pa was there for us unconditionally and never stopped showing us his love. With that kind of passion for his family, there are many life lessons us grandchildren and family can carry on each and every day. This legacy is founded upon hope, hard work, patience, and happiness. Pa was always positive, regardless of the situation or a potentially bad outcome. At several different times in my life he would say, "you can always waver but know when to hold on for the ride." He always knew that there would difficult times but always seemed to hope for the best and see us all through those hard times. I know for me he was always overjoyed when we told him of overcoming something despite the odds. Hard work was Pa's middle name and he never quit until the work was finished. That mentality runs through everything I do and taught us to keep working until you reach your goals. He showed us that you can work harder than everyone around you but take the time to show others how to display the same work ethic. While Pa taught us how to work hard, he also consistently showed us that we need to put in extra time and effort into relationships with those we care about. In his speech to us at their 60th anniversary dinner, Pa said you need to show the people you love that you care about them and remain close to them. I will never forget the resonance of those words he spoke, they were endearing and timeless. Patience was a quality that Pa displayed in everything that he did and with everyone he met. In that many talks I shared with Pa about the difficulties I was having or would eventually go through, he would always say, "Christopher, good things will come, if not today, then tomorrow." He of course would say keep working hard and you will be surprised all the goods things that will come. Patience was again important when working on relationships with others. Pa always advised us to pick our battles, stay patient, and know when to push others. He made us feel that you could always work and talk through problems. I could never forget his patient presence and will never stop trying to keep it in everything I do in my life. If not today, then tomorrow. Happiness. Gee and Pa, 60 years of marriage. They were the epitome of happiness until their very last moments together and with us. For Pa, living life to the fullest and instilling his happiness in others was something that all that knew him never could question. Even if Pa sat at the table or in the sun with his shirt off, you were a better person for just sitting there with him. With this presence and example, Pa showed us grandchildren that with hope, hard work, and patience we could achieve any goal we set for ourselves. Through these efforts, happiness would come. Hope. Hard work. Patience. Happiness. These are the words we will carry with us all each and every day of our lives to carry on Pa's legacy. Pa was truly an inspiration to us all and gave us a model and a foundation to build our lives around. If we carry on his life lessons and guidance, then we will become just a small percentage of who he was and 100 percent of who he wanted us to strive to be. We will always love and miss you Pa. You will forever be with us. ~Chris

12: I don't know if I could add anything new to the chorus of eulogies for Papa Joe out there right now. I cannot think of a person I have known whose life and love overflowed more freely to every person they met. I hope they make heavenly robes in a three-piece suit, because Lord knows Papa Joe will wear the heck out of it. ~Jonathan Turnbull-Reilly | One of my favorite memories of Papa Joe is when my sister Sheryl came to our service on Lake Ontario. She hadn't been to church in years, and it was a very big deal that she came to this. Papa Joe sat down to talk with her for about a half hour. He had never met her before, but most likely heard the Lord saying that Sheryl needed to feel welcome. After the service that day, Sheryl told me that he was the cutest, sweetest person she had ever met. The next year she came back to our service on the beach and said she hoped to see Papa Joe again. Well, he came over and talked to her for a long time that day also. What a gift he had with people!!! ~Cathy DiBella | He use to give me the biggest hugs and kisses....love and hugs to his family. ~Sherrie Fennell

13: A grandfather. | "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." (John 16:33 NIV) Rip papa Joe, I'll miss you at the softball games! ~Matt Tomlinson | Papa Joe thank you for everything....tell Dad and Papa I love them. ~Caitlin Moody Papa Joe is now dancing with Jesus on streets of Gold He will be sorely missed! ~Diane Davis Leyden | Papa Joe is with Jesus. We love you and will see you soon, sir. ~Chris King

14: There are no words to describe what you meant to everyone. So many memories, you truly were an amazing man and brought so much happiness to our friends and families. Thank you for being such a great Papa. I am so grateful I got one last dance with you at Caitlin's wedding. Walking through the doors of church will not ever be the same without your hugs and kisses. Love you so much, Papa Joe. RIP ~Kristina & James | A beautiful soul, indeed. ~Amy Kuwabara All the LaBories and Gramma Lucy will miss you dearly. He made a difference in our lives. Heaven rejoices! ~Lexi LaBorie Special man of God..He made everyone feel special! He will never be forgotten and can never be replaced! ~Dee Michaels | Thanks for being my papa...we'll miss you papa joe. xoxo ~Katie Barreto I remember just hugging him a few weeks ago.. He was always the first to hug me when I came into the service and greeted me with a huge smile.. Love u papa Joe. ~Benjamin Enoch Vasquez Papa Joe. One of the best people I've ever known made his way to heaven today. He will be dearly missed and he has truly left a legacy to all who knew him. Much love to Mrs. P, his lovely wife of 60 years! ~Beth Claes

15: A friend. | Reading everyones posts and pictures for the last 4 hours about Joe Prattico over and over has made me laugh and cry. How do u describe this man to someone who never met him? I guess I would say that he knew how to love us all like Jesus. And it was real. And much like Papa Joe himself, his love for us was simply the best. Him, Pastor Al, & Chuck Moody r dancing in heaven, 1994 New Jerusalem style. Flags and all. ~Joe DiBella | David Ash RIP Papa Joe. You will be missed | I love and miss you Papa Joe, I'm always going to miss your hugs and smile on Sunday mornings, butI'm happy to know that you're dancing with the angels now. ~Alyssa Ash

16: Papa Joe, you were such an amazing man and so many people loved you closely, obviously by your name "papa Joe" you were cherished by many. You were like a grandpa to me and had such a special place in my heart for all these years. Even though I've been attending other churches here and there for the past couple of years when i went to Joy yours and Mrs. P were the first faces and people I thought of that i wanted to go to see. I love you so so dearly and miss you so very much. It just won't be the same. RIP papa Joe, I know you are so happy in heaven now but i will miss you dearly. ~Amelia Smith | I love you Papa Joe, and will miss you, but I'm so glad to know you're in a better place now. ~Courtney Puzio He will be missed by all and he did leave a legacy to everyone. ~Elizabeth Perry

17: Papa Joe.....I have no words right now. You were the sweetest man, another grandpa to me and my family so heart broken... this place wont be the same RIP... ~Rachel Smith | There was no one like you Papa Joe. You were a treasure to everyone who ever met you and it just won't be the same without you here. I will miss your smile and your hugs. I know that you are now rejoicing with the angels! I'm sure you have been greeted by a "Welcome Home good and faithful servant"! One day we will meet again. ~Janice Ash | Papa Joe thank you for teaching me to drive on the "can of worms", I think you were apart of my realization that I enjoy being challenged in many areas of my life, I know for sure professionally as u always said "u are capable of anything, u can do that jess" (as u would grab my arm and almost shake me into that realization) u will be missed but no u are up there dancing "church style" with Papa and my dad, ~Jessica Moody Garcia

18: We'll miss you so much, Papa Joe! Thank you for being a shining example of God's light to each and every one of us. ~Nora Grace Sanchez Considering the hours and hours Mr. & Mrs. Prattico have prayed for all of us... it's time for us to join our hearts together and lift up Mrs. Prattico during this difficult time. Papa Joe, your smile and your overflowing love will be missed. ~Liz DeMatteis Conrow Mr. P. was an important part of the Hanley family celebrations. What an amazing man! He will be missed. ~Heidi Kachline Hanley | The world has lost one of its greatest. Papa Joe has touched more lives than we will ever know. You will be missed. ~Becca Markel Papa Joe... I want to thank you for your lifelong legacy of selfless love that touched too many lives to number (including me and my wife). Planet Earth is a better place because of all you gave and worse off because you are now in Heaven! You will be missed, Papa Joe! ~Justin Heim

19: Love is patient.. Love is kind.. | Papa Joe...I speak for the Prattico's from Calabria, meaning Giuseppe and myself, my brother Franco and sister, Gianna....our prayers and thoughts are with you. Wish we could have connected many years ago. All our love....the Prattico family from Chicago. ~Maria Scopelliti Ocrant | Soooo sad right now...it's amazing how one amazing man of God....one amazing Papa to so many....leaves so much love behind to us....yet so much heartache at the same time. Papa Joe you were the one man that I wish my little Jacob could have met. Our Lord's love seemed so close with you here. I pray that I can share that amazing love you shared...especially with my son. ~Julie Organ Brown | It was a true blessing being part of the celebration of the life of Joe Prattico (Papa Joe) yesterday. What a monument of a man he was. He will forever be my ideal of a real man, husband, father, and friend. I will miss his presence, our talks, his firm handshake (and hugs!) and I can picture him now dancing on the streets of gold! Thank you, Lord, for Joe. ~David Haller

20: (Papa Joe's letter to the family after his last birthday party) My Dearest Family, Nothing like a good SURPRISE as I had my 79th birthday party that you all surprised me with. And I THANK you for it. There is nothing like family and the importance of staying close with one another as we were Friday evening. I sure was surprised when I walked into the room to see you all there with all your happy faces wishing me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I was speechless in seeing you all there to greet me. I am truly blessed to have such a loving family and your love that was shown to me on this night of my birthday. There are no words of eloquence that I can say but THANK YOU. It would have been good if Chris, Janine, Luke and Alex had been there, but circumstances didn’t allow it, maybe another time. Thanks for your care and concern and I grow older, but I am not giving up and still enjoy occasions like this. You are all just great and I am so proud of each one of you and love you so much and happy that we are family. I enjoy each one of you tremendously and pray for each one of you, and so proud to be the Dad, Pa and Grandpa to you.

21: I'm so glad to have known him even for the short while I did...just sorry I didn't have a chance to get to know him better. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL MAN! ~ Renie Stevens (Courtney King's mom) He always remembered who I was and always had a hug, smile, and kiss to share. ~Cheri Organ (Julie Brown's mom) My grandfather always used to say, "Never say 'Good-bye.' Always say, 'See ya' later, Papa Joe! ~Sheila Puzio

22: I have never seen a clearer depiction of the Father's love than through my Papa Joe. Thank you for loving and accepting every single person who came in your path. What an amazing testimony! ~Kelly Ash He was just about as wonderful as they get. ~Tegan Willard | Papa Joe picked up third base coaching after Pastor Al and he was such a sweet heart for doing it. Always an encourager...just the best!!!Papa Joe loved the girls of Joy. ~Paula Guardalben | Yes the Ortiz family will miss Papa Joe dearly. For the 6 years or so we were at Joy he always shared Christ's love not only through his actions but through his beautiful smile which always warmed my heart every Sunday. He was like a Grandpa to my kids. There was never a Sunday that Celena didn't get her special hug from Papa Joe. He will be forever in our hearts. Even though we are in Florida now he has never and will never be forgotten. We love you Carolyn! and our prayers are with you. ~Alaina Ortiz

23: His smile was infectious! I remember when my mom and I were new to New Jerusalem. I was so nervous and scared, but then he came over, smiled and hugged me; I instantly felt at home, welcomed, and loved. I still remember that feeling almost 20 years later...what an amazing man. ~Leigh-Anne Goins | Heaven's gates just enlarged with joy. Will miss papa Joe's hugs and kisses. Papa will be missed so much ...sorry for Joy Community, Carolyn and rest of Prattico Family's loss...always looked forward to Papa and Carolyn's welcome at JOY. ~Susan Powell | He is a beloved man in our church loved by all! Pray for his wife "Goldie" (Carolyn) and the whole Prattico/Anderson clan. ~Sherry Reilly | Papa Joe, you were one of a kind - now you're with Jesus and my hubby, Patrick - dancing - you will be so so missed on earth - so sad to hear of your passing and my heart and prayers are with your beloved wife & family... ~Sandra Huddle Whalen

24: A man of God. | We love you both, and are standing with you in prayer. Your lives are such a blessing to so many! ~ Joy Hogan You have touched so many people lives:) i love you and am so thankful i got to meet you during softball! U are such a encourager:) praying for you and your wife. ~Kim White Papa Joe, you were a picture perfect example of living life with the joy of the Lord. I feel priveleged to have known you, thank you for everything. Can't wait to see you again. ~Dan Garcia | Even only knowing Papa Joe this year...I learned a lot from him and respected him. I will miss seeing him at church and will remember him sweetly kissing my ring, as if to say he gave his blessing on our marriage. ~Melissa Kaltaler

25: A Servant | Papa Joe was a man that I highly respected and loved so dearly. He showed me what a true gentleman is like, and how they act. His hugs and kisses were always inviting and I felt ever so loved by him. The relationship he had with Mama Joe, was incredible, and he was truly a man after God's own heart. The thought that he is gone still hasn't hit, but that is because he will always be in my heart and in the heart of all those who knew him. I know he is rejoicing in heaven and I know he couldn't be in a better place. Love you Papa Joe, thank you for spreading such love, and for being my papa. ~Melody Smith

26: Papa Joe, I can't believe you're not going to be around when I get back from Africa. I always loved hearing about how you sweet talked the captain of the cheerleader squad (Carolyn Prattico) into going out with you! Will miss you at Gerhardt family gatherings but say "hi" to Nana and Papa for us! ~ Jared Tomlinson | Papa Joe sat with me for hours hugging me as I cried, grieving the loss of my grandfather years ago. Now as I sit here feeling sorry for myself along with the multitude of people who he has touched, many of the same feelings of loss are replaying through my head. As he lay in the hospital bed I struggled with many selfish feelings of wanting to keep him here with me. As I kissed him for the last time, it was there I realized that our Heavenly Father created such a beautiful man so that he could eventually spend eternity with Him. It is time for me to rejoice for Papa Joe because he is now in heaven for eternity with my grandfather. I love you and thank you for the unconditional love that you have shown. ~Kelly Ash He really did love us all with God's love. no matter what place in life we were at. ~Holly Stafford R.I.P Papa Joe. You were so loved by so many. Heaven is so lucky to have you. My heart goes out to your friends and family. ~ Sandra Marie

27: He is probably the official greeter at the Pearly Gates!! ~ Janice Ash Only met Papa Joe a few times - but really liked him! My condolences to his family - and he made so many his family! ~ Kathy Wagner Words cannot express my feelings on Mr. P's unfortunate accident. Very thankful for his party and all the fun he had with the family. So many have pretty much said how great of a man, husband & Father he has been, along with all his dedication to all he did. Hugs to you all up there. ~Joan Cotner | I preached at a church 3 weeks ago and of course a story about Papa Joe made it into my sermon. He will live on in our hearts and stories. My mom was commenting tonight that she and dad used his car as their "limo" at their wedding. ~ Rebecca Heim We will miss you indeed! ~ Justin Heim

28: Carolyn, Mrs.P, I was so sorry to hear about Mr P.s' passing, he was a great man and was greatly loved. I rejoice that he is with Jesus and may you find comfort in Gods arms. You, Debbie and Joe and your family will be in my prayers. Love, Carol (Wollschleger) Mcdermott. Mrs. P, I am so sorry for the loss of Papa Joe. My heart is breaking for you and your family, but I am also rejoicing that he is healed in the arms of Jesus. I love you both very much and will continue praying for you and your family. Love, Teresa Sheffield I am thinking of you and uncle Joe. I love you both! I'm saying a prayer for both of you. ~ Kristy Panter | Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord. Proverb 18:22 | I'll never forget the sound of the smile in his voice. You really could hear the smile even over the phone when we spoke. ~Bonnie Kreckel

29: Love you both & praying praying & praying!!! ~ Angel Gregorio-Shoemaker He is such a wonderful Papa to all. ~Kristy Panter We are joining all in prayer. They are both near and dear to our hearts. ~ Lexi LaBorie | They have been like second parents to all the Hanley kids and to me for the last 25 years that I have been a part of the Hanley family. ~Heidi Hanley | Papa Joe, you impacted so many lives near and far....you will be missed. Thank you for so clearly showing God's love to my family and so many others. ~Carla Prescott | As I sit here waiting to head to the airport.....man. He will be missed by so many! What a great example of a man. God blessed each and everyone of us that knew. Mr. Prattico! ~John Hanley

30: Papa Joe, a heart of gold, a champion. ~Joe Wagner | Mrs. Prattico, I'm really sorry for your loss. I'll never forget his smile, or his handshake. He was a great man. ~Todd Hildebrand Mama Joe, I love you so much and have no words yet to describe how much I am thinking of you and praying for you. Just wanted to let you know that not an hour goes by that you are not on my heart. ~Chaplain Ayesha Kreutz

31: Will miss you so much, Mr. P. Rejoicing that you are now with Jesus, saddened by our earthly loss. Will always remember going ice skating with you. Thank you for being my godfather, for loving me, praying for me, and for just being you. Say hi to Mom and Dad for me! Love you! ~Teresa Sheffield | Never have known anyone who so effortlessly showed the love of God to everyone who came through the doors of Joy. I look forward to the day when you will greet me with a kiss when I enter the gates of heaven. We love you so much, and will miss you. ~Susan Skiff | Papa Joe or better known as "the Pa" to so many, you will never be forgotten by anyone whose lives were touched by you. You always made me laugh whether it was bumping into you at a local store telling me that the Yankees will beat the Red Sox or spending time at Blue MT Lake. I feel truly blessed to have you in my life. ~Kris Warth Mcnally | Joy and I are saddened by the loss of a true father in the faith - Papa Joe Prattico. Our hearts go out to the Prattico family and all of our friends and family at Joy Community Church. The love that he showed to everyone will leave a tremendous legacy to all who knew him, and his life inspires us all to press on towards the "greatest of them all" - growing in our love for Him and for others. ~Steve Hogan

32: Thank you all who blessed me with birthday wishes. Now each year, on the 29th of Dec, I will remember it was the day Papa Joe celebrated his first day in Heaven. ~ Paula Lynn Guardalben

33: To glory, Papa Joe Prattico. ~Pastor Tony | What Makes A Dad? God took the strength of a mountain, The majesty of a tree, The warmth of a summer sun, The calm of a quiet sea, The generous soul of nature, The comforting arm of night, The wisdom of the ages, The power of the eagle's flight, The joy of a morning in spring, The faith of a mustard seed, The patience of eternity, The depth of a family need, Then God combined these qualities, When there was nothing more to add, He knew His masterpiece was complete, And so, He called it...Dad ~Debbie Anderson

34: We love you Papa Joe and Carolyn. We're praying for you. ~ Linda Leung Hwong Love you dearly. I pray that God will give you healing until you see your beloved again. ~ Brenna Sniatecki Love you Carol~God help you find comfort now and the days ahead. ~ Joan Cotner Carolyn ... Alan & I have been lifting you up before the throne of grace. Words cannot express how highly we regard Joe and how much we love you both! When God brought us through the doors of Joy ... I believe our first hug was from Papa Joe :) We look forward to his greeting hug when we go home. I pray that Gabriel is getting a Papa Joe hug right now. We love and Bless you sweet Carolyn and pray for the peace of Jesus that passes all understanding upon you.~ Colleen Riess Campbell

35: I wanted to come to Joy for YOU to meet Jacob.....I wanted my little boy to meet the most wonderful Papa in the world and now in heaven. You mean so much to me and your prayers for my little boy have meant the world to me. Someday my little one will meet the Papa that we adore. Love you!!! ~Julie Organ Brown I can't imagine the mansion you have waiting for you in Heaven. You deserve it. (reply: Joe DiBella: “He will give it away”.) ~ Ryan Fischer I kept meaning to come by Joy so you could meet Mira. :( I guess that meeting will be taking place at a later time. I love you, Papa Joe! ~ Beth Claes Praying Carolyn for you and your family. Love you! I have 37 years of memories of "Papa" Joe and in every single one of them he is smiling! ~ Diane Davis Leyden Love you Pa! I'm thinking about you! He is the sweetest man in the world. ~ Anne Marie Heiligman

36: "For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good." Titus 2: 11-14

37: I can honestly say that I've never met a man like Papa Joe! Always, a smile, never a negative word. He did such an amazing job third base coaching/ cheering the women's softball team. He was team Papa. Even the girls that weren't from church fell in love with him. No surprise he ever became their facebook friends. His presence at the games meant so much more to me than I think he knew....more to me than I even knew. It filled a childhood void...Thank you, Papa Joe. The one I could ALWAYS count on ( and until today I wasn't aware of how often you did this) to come up after worship and tell us what a great job we did wasn't there this morning. When I saw someone alone after church, not talking to anyone, my first thought was, "Oh, Papa Joe and Mrs. Prattico need to go and talk to her:. The Lord whispered..."it's your turn, Paula". And of course, EVERY summer I could count on you to come up and check on the progress of my tan! You just loved to tease me and show off you darker skin. It was never fair because you winter tan was darker than my summer one! Thank you for your prayers through the years, for being at my Grandma's funeral, for painting my house, for the encouraging words, for the hugs and kisses, for holding each one of my children and encouraging them, for showing me how to love, for leaving such an amazing legacy! I love you and Mark and the kids love and miss you... ~Paula Lynn Guardalben

38: Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes." Isaiah 54:2 | Papa Joe humbly described to me the fact that he and a few friends started this church. I remember so clearly saying to him, "Wait a minute, you are the reason we are all here??!!!, and Joe saying, "Well, it was the Lord really." I'm not sure if most of the new people in our church are aware of it or not, but Papa Joe's relentless outpouring of his love for Jesus Christ is the reason we all worship at the corner of Bay and Goodman. I shudder to think how different my life would be without that church. My best friends, my schooling, my second family, support systems, and so much of my social life, have all be spawns of Joy Community. And all along unbeknownst to me, Joe Prattico, was one of the people to thank. ~Joe DiBella | It's amazing how his smile, kisses, and hugs made us feel so LOVED....many of us felt Christ's unconditional love for the first time. It made us want to walk through those doors at Joy over and over again. ~Julie Brown

39: "A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value." ~Proverbs 31: 10-11

40: Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O LORD in the light of thy countenance. Psalm 89: 15 | My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. Awake up, my glory; awake psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early. I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations. Psalm 57 7-9

41: "Serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee." 1 Chronicles 28:9 | Carolyn, you were first on my mind today... praying for grace beyond your highest expectation today...you WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of living even though that seems so far off right now. Praying for you dear sweet Carolyn. Lean on the Lord's side today...under the spout where the glory comes out... ~Sherry Gartner Reilly Carolyn - you are am amazing display of the strength of the Lord when we are weak. Even on a day of great grief your still strong, full of love and grace. I want to be like you when I grow up. ~Tracy Fickess Wasn't she just amazing? You could just feel the presence of the Holy Spirit all over her! ~Teresa Wollschleger Sheffield | When we first started going to Joy Community about 4 years ago, as a hurting family, Papa Joe gave us a sincere warm welcome at the door, and I was impressed and encouraged at how much he loved his wife and always put his arm around her. Papa Joe is one more reason I wish we had found that church years earlier, but at least we got to know him well for 4 years. The encouragement and inspiration he's leaving behind for us all is pretty good stuff that will stick with us all for a long, long time, I figure. ~Jeremy Sniatecki

42: 3 years ago I stepped into Joy Community for the first time and I was greeted by Papa Joe and Ms. Carolyn. Within 5 minutes, Papa Joe welcomed me by giving me a heartfelt kiss and telling me to call him "Papa Joe" because that's what his family calls him. I remained at Joy because of Papa Joe and I have been so blessed because of that decision. Papa Joe was my earthly representation of God's plans for me while at JoyCC. So, all of us who know him as Papa Joe, know that he considered us his family. Papa Joe, I know you're in heaven having a welcoming home celebration, but know that you are so missed! We love you Papa Joe! ~ Candida Kandie Gonzalez Freeman Papa Joe... Every Sunday morning included one of your kisses for as long as I can remember. Just last week, you asked me what I was going to do after I graduate. I said I still wasn't sure yet. You told me to enjoy my senior year, and that I'd have plenty of time to figure out the future. I wish you could've seen where I will end up, but someday iIll be able to tell you. I'll miss you, but I thank God I'll meet you again at the gates of Heaven. Love you, Maia Guardalben. | "Papa" | RIP to my favorite Italian ever. i love you papa Joe. ~Abigail Tomlinson | I can't be there today to "say goodbye"....but i don't want to really say goodbye. I choose to think of your smiling face waiting for me in heaven. On that day i can hug you again and fill you in on all my happenings etc... :-) until then Papa Joe, thank you and all our love to your family. ~Rebecca Heim

43: Our great loss is heaven's great gain. Thank you Joe, for being Jesus to us in so many ways. ~Barbara Tomlinson | In the words of Papa Joe himself , " I miss the man (Pastor Al). But I know I will see him again one day. And I am looking forward to it," Because above all else, Papa Joe knew the way to heaven. ~Joe DiBella

44: Papa Joe knew how to make you feel like the most important person in the room, no matter who you were or where you were in life. He knew how to love you greater than anyone who wasn't required, per blood relation, to do so. He left you asking yourself, " Wait a minute, is he really my biological Grandfather and nobody is telling me? Why does he care so much?"

45: Mrs. P: I just want you to know that the amount of prayer you and Papa Joe have done for me over my 30 years has been so appreciated and I am praying so hard for you now that you may be overwhelmed by His peace in this time. We all love you- Greg, Alicea, Conner, Joel Joseph, and Danny. ~Ali Reeves | I had intended to share this at church today but never made it up to the microphone. Papa Joe had a way of making each one of us feel "sought after"...as if he was standing at the door just for us. He learned a few key facts about us and made sure to check in with us often. My mom, being from Buffalo, doesn't come to Joy very frequently but Papa Joe often asked about her as well. He made such a lasting impression on her that she is deeply saddened for a man she only met a few times. What a true testament to Jesus' light! A few weeks ago at Chris' graduation party Carolyn introduced herself to my family by saying, "I'm Papa Joe's wife. That's what everyone calls me." My mother-in-law had to force a different introduction by saying, "yes, but what is your name?" Carolyn, you are my model for what an amazing wife is. I am so thankful that the Lord chose to bring Chris and I to Joy. We are all better people for having known Papa Joe. ~Courtney King | Papa Joe... it was weird walking into Joy Community this morning and not seeing you at the door greeting everyone who walked in. You were the first one to greet us for so many years, each and every Sunday morning. You were one of the first ones to hold each of my kids as babies as well. You had a way of making them your own, even renaming them "Cassie Joe" or "Andy Joe." I'll never forget how you taught us about "baby steps." Just trusting God for the next step forward even if it seemed insignificant to us. Well, nothing you did was insignificant. You took your last baby step this week and crossed over into glory and showed us the true example of what it meant to finish strong ... one solid step at a time. Miss you Papa! ~Bryan Kenville

46: Live joyfully with the wife whom thou lovest all the days of the life. ~ Ecclesiastes 9:9 | When I got engaged I remember wanting Papa Joe's advise on marriage more than anyone else's. The first question I asked him was, "How do you handle a fight?" He looked at me and said, "I don't know, we have never got in a fight," throwing his hands up deftly as he spoke. I said, "You guys haven't fought in 60 years? " to which he quipped back, "disagreements sure, but no fights. There's no reason to fight." ~ Joe DiBella | So many memories...so many long chats....I already miss him terribly. In the last week there have been literally hundreds of people who have given testimony to the life of Papa Joe and what he has meant to them. But I have talked to quite a few and I hear the same sentiment spoken- "He has made me rethink my life. I want to live as he lived." So as people live out there life loving more, judging less, walking as Jesus did, Papa Joe's legacy lives on, in more lives than just his children's and grandchildren and their children. How many of us can say that? -Joy Moody

47: "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it..." Song of Solomon 8:7

48: "Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you." ~ 1 Peter 5:7

49: "The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" ~ Matthew 25:40

50: "As for God, his way is perfect." Psalm 18:30

51: How do you finally say "goodbye" to someone like Papa Joe? A selfless & generous man who couldn't wait to make each and every person he met feel so special...who was kind, humble, gracious, an encourager, always smiling despite pain...a quiet hero? You do it by saying "hello" to Jesus, inviting Him into your heart and thereby having an eternity with both. May we all walk as Papa Joe walked....I will miss you terribly... ~Sherry Reilly | "...love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great..." Luke 6:32

52: Prayers for the Prattico family...Carolyn Prattico who is a blessing to so many. She is half of the whole Papa Joe and Carolyn. Prayers for grace, strength, and peace for her and her children and grandchildren. ~ Tiffany Brigette Bold-Obrien

53: You amazed us with your love. It's amazing how you loved us. It's amazing how you cared. It amazing how you were always thinking of us, all the time and everywhere. There is no one like you. You and your wife are a TRUE BLESSING!

54: As I started to organize all my incredible thoughts last night about Pa, I realized Chris and I aren't up here just speaking for ourselves or only for the grandchildren. We're speaking for everyone that has had the honor and privilege of knowing our wonderful grandfather. We're all going to miss and remember all the amazing times we shared over the years and all the things that made him Papa Joe. We all have a little bit of “The Pa” in us, whether it’s through blood, a loving friendship, or that first kiss he gave you on the cheek. If you are here before us, there's no doubt in our minds that your life has been positively impacted by Pa. You're most likely not here just to support us, you're here because he impacted you directly. So I have a few little things to share that we experienced as grandchildren that you may or may not have known. Pa was the one at many of our sporting events sitting on the sidelines screaming "Get him Luke!!" or "Come-on Alex!!", or in my case “Better luck next time Jeff!!”. He was the one that would grab our elbow and squeeze it after we fell down and bruised it, just to toughen us up. When we'd get splinters in our fingers, we'd always run from Pa because we knew he'd dig right in and make us scream like little girls. He was the one we always sat with out on the dock in the mountains to see who could get the darkest tan. He obviously won every time. Pa was the one on the other end of the phone with Gee (Carolyn) listening to our latest news or the call just to say hello. If you haven't experienced this, Gee and Pa always got on the phone together when you called them. I remember once when I lived out of town and I called my parents to say hi and my Mom and Dad both got on the phone. I joked and said, "what do you think you're Gee and Pa now?". We all had a good laugh and they have yet to do it again. Pa was the one taking us down to the railroad tracks to see how many metal spikes we could find that popped out of the tracks from when the trains went by. He took us all out driving to help us pass our drivers test when we were 16. When we'd get together, if Pa didn't get that kiss hello right away, he'd hunt you down and get it before carrying on. And during family meals out at a restaurant, Pa made sure to do 2 things. The first one, get the waitress' name and the second, always find a way to get the check before anyone else could. Once in a while, one of us would try to beat him to it, but he'd always be ahead of us. And more recently we've shared times with Pa about our achievements or obstacles at school and work. He was always interested and supportive and encouraged us along the way. We know he was so proud no matter what we were doing. He's a big part of who we are today. As many have said, we could be here forever sharing stories, but we must go on in honor of Pa. As our last thought, Chris, Luke, Lindsey, Alex and I are so grateful that we got to share Gee and Pa's 60th wedding anniversary one week ago today. It will leave a lasting memory in each of our minds. We got to take family photos together and have laughs over dinner. We had our traditional meal of pasta, meatballs, and chicken cutlets. After dessert, we paused to listen to Pa tell us how much he loved everyone of us. He left us with many words to live by in life and in marriage, while politely looking at Lindsey and I and saying, in not so many words, "hurry up and find someone to get married to already...". That night brought many smiles and laughs to all of us and we couldn't have asked for a better last moment with Pa. Lastly we want to thank everyone for your love and support through this difficult time. This is not easy, but we are happy to be here today to celebrate Pa's amazing life that he dedicated to all of us. We are so proud and honored to be the grandchildren of Joseph Prattico. We love you Pa... ~Jeff

55: I love those who love me; whoever looks for me can find me. Proverbs 8:17

56: The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing, Zephaniah 3:17 NKJV

57: Joseph J. Prattico (a.k.a. Papa Joe) April 15, 1932 - December 29, 2011 Since his birth in Hornell, NY, Joe--with exuberance and a love for life-- served his country in the United States Air Force and stood "tall" as a dedicated Husband, Father, Grandfather, and Friend. Joe was a caring man who shared his love with everyone that came into his life. He consistently displayed steadfast support for family and friends alike, and never voiced a harsh word about anyone. As a well-respected member of his church community for 30 years, "Papa" Joe spread joy and blessings throughout the congregation. As a father figure to many, Joe impacted so many lives at New Jerusalem (Joy Community) on Goodman and Bay Street. Additionally, Joe proudly gave his time to Habitat for Humanity, providing his craftsmanship skills on houses for those in need. Those that had the privilege and blessing of knowing "Papa" Joe will continue to celebrate his life.

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  • By: Julie B.
  • Joined: about 5 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 1
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    • By: Ashley P.
    • Contributions: 40 photos , 36 pages

About This Mixbook

  • Title: Papa Joe
  • Memory Book for Mrs. P
  • Tags: None
  • Started: almost 5 years ago
  • Updated: over 4 years ago

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