Joe "Giuseppe" Presta, was born 84 years ago in Cosenza, Italy. Devoted, cherished and beloved husband of Arlene for 59 years; loving and proud father of Sherie (Tom Charvat, fiance), Linda and Judy; proud and grateful father-in-law to Barry Allen and Mark Geraci; and so very cherished and loving Nonno to Francesco Joseph. Beloved son of the late Assunta Presta, beloved brother of Santina (Aldo Ruffolo), and of the late Samuele (the late Marietta) Tenuta, the late Ernesto (the late Rosina) Tenuta, the late Alfredo (the late Lucia) Tenuta, and the late Antonio (Maria) Tenuta. Cherished and loving Uncle Joe to 20 wonderful nieces and nephews, and fond Great Uncle and Great Great Uncle to many. Loyal cumpari to lifelong friend Carmen Blacconeri and many who have gone before him. Regarded friend and neighbor to so many through the decades.
Visitation Saturday, November 21, from 3:00 p.m. until time of prayer service at 6pm at Cumberland Chapels. Attendees must wear masks, refrain from hugging and observe social distancing.
A funeral celebrating Joe's life will be held at a much later date when it is safe for many more of us to gather together in one place. Memorials in Joe's name may be directed to your favorite charity or may be directed to the family who will identify a few charities at a later date and designate some for perpetual masses.
Joe was born in 1936 in Cosenza, Italy. He came to America and worked as a shoemaker-- the craft he learned as a young boy in Italy. He was united in Marriage to Arlene in 1961, he always worked hard to provide for his family, and they proudly raised their three girls. He pursued the American dream and made his come true, from making shoes at the Florsheim Shoe factory in downtown Chicago to becoming a regional manager for the Milgram-Kagan Shoe Corp. to owning his own business. In 1980 he bought his first Cadillac which, for him, meant he fulfilled another part of his American Dream. He welcomed the chance to reinvent himself in a later-in-life career on the golf course as a greenkeeper for about 12 years. But his most cherished role in life came at the age of 78 with the birth of his precious grandson, Francesco, who truly brought him the purest joy and the brightest light into his life. Nonno is the newest angel of our family now.
His legacy is clearly defined through his devotion to family; his gifts of strength, generosity, independence, fairness; and by his great life wisdom. Always a proud teacher who did not discriminate against anyone eager to learn...or to improve their golf game, their bowling average, learn the shoe biz, or engage in hearty discussions of current events. Truly devoted to family both immediate and extended, he shared his time and treasure with all he knew. Always a smile to give and a "How's Everything?" We have the greatest memories of him telling stories about growing up in Italy, his trip to American on the Andrea Doria, and how family was everything and how they got through everything together. Joe's example also inspired us to be our best, to dream big, to strive for what makes us happy, to always be confident, and to live our best life with integrity.
Anyone who knew Joe for more than a day knew that he also lived for golf. He was so proud to have played at some of the most famous courses across the country including in Illinois, Wisconsin, California, Hawaii, Florida, Arizona and the Carolinas. Joe inspired young employees, nephews and even strangers to embrace the game of golf, and no doubt many of them are lifelong golfers because of his enthusiasm. If a friend or neighbor's child expressed an interest in golf, Joe would search through his old clubs or at the course to see what could be repurposed for a new potential player. It would be a shame to let one get away! For over six decades Joe shared lifelong memories, laughter and friendly competition on his bowling leagues and with his regular golfing buddies-- some relatives, some friends, some neighbors. He was a former Member of NABI (National Amateur Bowler's Inc.) and the Midwest Assoc. of Golf Course Superintendents.
Joe and Arlene were among the founding members of Our Lady, Mother of Church Parish in 1966.
For his 80th birthday, at a reunion of the young men he managed and mentored at Milgram Shoes 25-35 years prior, one shared that Joe was like George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life... he touched a life, and that life touched another, and on and on it went. We never know how far the heartstrings reach or where they lead, but let us share the stories from all the decades of his life. His spirit and legacy will be kept alive through the sharing of memories and stories we all have.
A beautiful tapestry has been woven during his 84 years on this earth from all the people who have come in and out of his life. Many have gone before him. We know he is drinking his coffee, talking and laughing with them all once again. Probably playing some Italian cards with his brothers. We definitely know he is golfing everyday! He loved so many, and he was well loved in return. We are grateful for the gift of Joe in all his roles throughout our lives. May he rest is God's eternal peace.
Due to the current health guidelines, we are limited to only 10 attendees at a time. We kindly ask that you quickly exit the funeral home after paying your respects to the family so that all visitors have an opportunity to enter. Please wear masks and use proper social distancing. Until further notice, the coffee room is not available for use. Please refrain from bringing food or beverage into the funeral home.
February 2, 1936 - November 9, 202002/02/193611/09/2020