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COMMENTARY · 19th December 2009
Walter McFarlane

Kitimat has lost a leading member of the community. We have learned that Joe Iannarelli, Recreation Director for Kitimat has passed away.

We at the Kitimat Daily would like to say that Joe Iannarelli will be well missed in the community and those who spoke of him today spoke very highly of the work that he has done for Kitimat.

The Kitimat Recreation Department has released the following statement:

Joe Iannarelli Jr., beloved son, nephew, father and grandfather, passed away after a courageous battle with acute liver failure on his 68th birthday, December 13th, 2009, with his daughters by his side.

Joe was born in Schumacher, Ontario December 13th, 1941. Joe and his family moved to Kitimat where Joe became the Director of Recreation for the District of Kitimat in 1979, a position he held at the time of his death.

Joe was predeceased by his mother, Jean Marie Amelia Iannarelli, and is survived by his father, Joseph Sr.; daughters Jocelyn (Manny) and Robyn (Shane); and granddaughters Brenna Marie and Marisa Jean.

A Memorial Reception will be held at McCall Brothers Family Centre, Johnson and Vancouver Street, Victoria, B.C. on Saturday, December 19th at 1:00 p.m.

A Funeral Service will take place in Joe's home community of Kitimat, B.C. at Christ the King Church on Wednesday, December 23rd at 1:30 p.m. followed by a reception at Riverlodge Community Center.

In lieu of flowers, tributes may be made to the District of Kitimat (270 City Centre, Kitimat, B.C., V8C 2H7) towards the Joe Iannarelli Memorial Trust Fund. This fund will be used to assist children and youth in financial need to participate in organized sports and recreation in Kitimat.

Any comment remembering Joe will be permitted on this article.
Such a loss to Kitimat
Comment by Linda Cannon on 17th December 2009
I first met Joe when I was the coordinator of Canada Day, and then worked for him at the Riverlodge. he was a fine friend, a great boss and a character of the first order.
It didn't matter who you were, or where you came from from, he always had a minute to chat or offer an encouraging word.
His direction and leadership made any project he was involved in a great success, and he was never scared to get his hands dirty.
He has left a lasting legacy in Kitimat with our beautiful new pool, a successful Canada Day celebration, and more importantly the hundreds of people whos' lives he touched in such a positive way.
I shall miss our talks and our lunches and remember him always as a remarkable human being.
I wish his family comfort at this very sad time.
Special Visit
Comment by Jeannie Iannarelli Stordy on 17th December 2009
I had the pleasure of his visit this past May in Ontario. What a vibrant man he was. He talked endlessly about his love for Kitimat the place he called home. Joey spoke of the new dreams he had for his community, its wonderful people and his dedicated staff. He cared about the youth and worked towards making sports more easily accessible to all. Joey really enjoyed his chosen career. Tap your hockey stick on the ice for Joey.
Remembering Joe
Comment by Chuck Morris on 16th December 2009
It was with sadness when I read about Joes passing! Though I was only in the area for three years working for the school district, I dealt with Joe on a professional level and had nothing but respect for him. Treat people fairly and they treat you fairly. I never saw anything detrimental with my dealings with Joe.
Joe, you will be missed my friend!
Rest In Sweet Peace
Comment by Trish Grant on 16th December 2009
I was very sad when I heard of Joe's passing. I met and worked with Joe, when his vision of Kitimat/Kitamaat Village hosting a huge annual tournament. I was very moved by his desire to do something good for this community. He definitely treasured Kitimat and the surrounding area.

To his family, my deepest condolences. My thoughts and prayers will be with you at this most difficult time.

~Rest in Sweet Peace Joe~
Gone but never forgotten.
Comment by John Weaver on 15th December 2009
I really just met Joe this year, as he helped us put on the Kitimat Hill Climb. I have seen Joe around, however my entire 20+ years in Kitimat,and went to school with his Daughter and Son in law.

I just wanted to bring to everyone's attention what a driving force Joe was. It is safe to say, that without Joes help, input, and influence within the District of Kitimat, we would not have had a Hill Climb last year. Let alone had it be the huge success it was.

Thanks Joe!

Joe will be sadly missed as we prepare for the 2010 Kitimat Hill Climb. We have definitely lost a big part of Kitimat.

My deepest condolences go out to Joe's friends and family.
Remembering Joe
Comment by Karen Little on 15th December 2009
Les and I have known Joe for many years, having built homes at the same time on Currie Street in the late '70's. Our son Stephen and Joe's daughter Robin were best of friends back then. he was a great neighbour and an even better friend. he will be missed by many. Our thoughts go out to his family.
Comment by Mike Forward on 15th December 2009
I was sad to hear of Mr. Ianarelli's passing. Rest in Peace, Sir, you will be missed.
I'll Miss You Joe
Comment by Jessy Damaso on 15th December 2009
This was not how I thought my morning would start today. I'm deeply saddened by the news of Joe's passing. I had the pleasure of knowing Joe as a friend and then as a co-worker for four years at City Hall. Joe always offered me encouragement in my endeavors at work or in my personal life. When I decided to move to Toronto he was one of the first people that wished me luck and didn't offer the "are you sure about this" speech. That was the type of guy Joe was. Kitimat has definitely lost a leading citizen but most of all a great person. I'm glad Joe got to see the new pool complex finished before he left us albeit way too soon. I will miss you Joe! I send my deepest condolences to his daughters, Jocelyn and Robyn and their families.
Comment by Danny Nunes on 15th December 2009
RIP Joe Iannarelli: You were a great guy and you will be missed