Joseph Anthony Vanni

Text size

Joseph Anthony Vanni

February 14, 1948 - September 07, 2018

Joseph Anthony Vanni was born second month, fourteenth day, 1948, as he would say it. He was born in Brooklyn but reared in the Bronx: in New York City. When Joe was born, his father, Joseph, was 41 and his mother, Concetta Sacrestano, was 34. Both parents were born in Italy. Their marriage, in 1942, was his fathers second. His first wife, Elvira Policella, died in 1938 in an automobile accident near their home in Beacon, New York. Joe's father had come to the United States in 1924. The 1930 US census lists his occupation as laborer-bricklayer. He worked on the Empire State Building. A September 1930 photograph from Joe's photo album shows the New York landmarks brickwork about 80% completed at that time.

Joe was the youngest of five Vanni children; Camille Dolly, Albert, Richard, Anne-Marie Vanni all deceased. He received his Catholic education by the sisters of Saint John the Baptist at Saint Dominic Elementary School, in the mostly Italian parish of Saint Dominic, Bronx, NY. The parish has since closed. In 1957, Joes father died of heart attack while on the job. He was just 51 years old. Joe was already then close to big sister, Dolly, 19 years Joes senior, and her husband Alphonso Red Gargano, and their daughter Connie Ann Gargano - Joe's close-in-age but, in fact, niece. The three Garganos lived upstairs in the two-family house that they all shared on Amethyst Street.

Joe graduated Christopher Columbus High School class of 66. The family eventually moved to Massachusetts for a short while, and then to Miami Beach, Florida. In Florida, Joe held various jobs first with his brother Richard's residential air conditioning service and then as a termite control technician. Joe became a long time prep cook for the Clock Diner and lastly with the Macaroni Grill, both of Miami Beach. For 17 years, as he would tell it, he took care of mommy, his mother, Connie. Sometime after Connie died in 2000, Joe began to dream about leaving Florida for the middle of the country. He hoped to afford and own a home in more peaceful surroundings. In September, 2005, Joe loaded up his Saturn S-Series sedan with his two cats, Kitty and Kisses, and relocated to Norman, Oklahoma. He quickly found work at the eastside Walmart first in housewares and most recently as Maintenance Associate. His smile, his sense of humor, and his humility won him many friends among both the associates and the Walmart shoppers.

He was interested in cars, the latest consumer electronics, and guitar all of his life. He loved nature, wildlife and animals. He had a soft spot for strays. He admired the work of the WildCareOkalhoma. He listened to classical station KUCO. He believed in dealer service. He loved his mother's Italian cooking; lasagna, calzone, cannoli and Angelina Jolie. He was a cat guy, in love with his tuxedo cat, Kisses. A stray that he adopted and nursed with a bottle. She was the most affectionate life I ever have known, he would post on his Facebook, May, 2014. His calico companion named Kitty shared his studio apartment until old age took her away from him.

Joe died at home September 7, 2018 of cancer. He is survived by his nieces and nephews. Services are pending, arrangements by the family. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to WildCareOklahoma.
Published on September 11, 2018
Send flowers
in memory of Joseph
See more

Obituary published in

Arrangements by

Oklahoma City Cremation



Print Guestbook

Share your condolences and special memories.
The guestbook expires on December 10, 2018.

Share a message.

14 posts

Shad Henry
Sep 14, 2018
This is a sad day, I know Joe would had said to me keep your head up and spirits high. There are few in this life time that could have such a positive impact on people and Joe is one of those individuals. Thank you Joe for the wonderful friendship and countless laughs and conversations we had for I will carry them with me always I know you're in a better place and not in pain may u rest easy my friend and I will see you again on the other side. Love ya buddy...
Lynn Beth Tabatabaee
Sep 14, 2018
Every day you put a smile on someone’s face, made them laugh and forget about their worries for a few minutes. I’m sure you’re still doing that. Love you & miss you.
Ellen Vanni - Bunch
Sep 13, 2018
Spread your wings and fly high Uncle Joe... RIP lovingly, your nieces and nephews in Miami
Karen Akb
Sep 12, 2018
Joe was one of the first people I worked with when I first started at Walmart. We were in the same department area. He was always helpful and funny, with a good sense of humor. Through the years we took note of the many fellow associate friends we'd lost, and earlier this year we were discussing how many had gone on before us. We'd both decided that there has to be a Walmart in the Great Beyond where we'll all meet up again one day, and see our many friends again. So, I wish him well and with fond memories on his journey there, among many friends in the Lord's good grace.
Sep 12, 2018
The Lord always takes the best ones first! RIP Joe Vanni you will be missed!
Sep 12, 2018
Your journey is not over, it has just begun.
i love you joe & you will be missed
Sep 12, 2018
Janie Rodgers
Sep 12, 2018
I will always remember our little talks at the compactor. He had so many great stories.
One day he came to me with a brown box and asked me to please not to scream.....I slowly opened the box, and inside was the cutest mouse. He did not want to harm it. So we both were discussing how to save it’s life. He said with his eyes starting to well up that he did not have the heart to kill it. So I unlocked the door and Joe carried it to the field. We both stood there and watched the mouse turn and look at us, and it finally scurried off. We both laughed as we walked back to the building and said no one would ever believe what just had happened. I’ll miss you Joe. Rest In Peace.
Evie Barksdsle
Sep 11, 2018
I loved talking to Joe, we talked about everything it seemed like. I will miss you greatly my friend. I know you are shinning your light down on us and I thank you for being my friend! God bless you and rest in peace my friend!
Sep 11, 2018
You will be missed at work and on facebook. Keep laughing and fly high, hope you got to see you know who 😉
Sep 11, 2018
Joe was all way smiling and he would all say hi to everyone every day . I work with joe for awhile at walmart . Joe allway had to show in tell. When he found something that need attention he whoul all way fine me show me.. joe we will miss you . Rest in peace
Alyssa Wilson
Sep 11, 2018
Joe was a wonderful person. Funny and caring he will be missed dearly and I am glad I got the opportunity to work with and know him. Rest in piece joe
Virginia Charleston
Sep 11, 2018
Will miss Joe very much! He was very kind and compassionate! Loved how he made others smile!
Becky Milam
Sep 11, 2018
Love you Joe and you will be so missed