Joe Vittonel, 79, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, July 26, 2022. He passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, at CHI St. Joseph Hospital in Bryan, TX.
He was born on January 21, 1943 in Robstown, TX to Jose Vittonel Sr. and Ninfa Esparza. He attended schools in Robstown and Snook, TX. While attending Snook School, he met the love of his life, Juanita Pedraza. When he described that moment, he often said it was love at first sight and that he was mesmerized by her beautiful blue eyes. They were married on June 27, 1964 at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Bryan. They had four daughters that were his pride and joy and shared 56 wonderful years of marriage together before her passing in October of 2020.
A devoted husband and father, there wasn’t anything that he wouldn’t do for “his girls” (daughters and wife). From making sure their cars were properly maintained, cooking meals for them, to providing them with whatever they needed, he went above and beyond and was always caring, loyal, and selfless. He was truly a reflection of God’s love for His children by continually showing compassion and unconditional love towards them. He raised his daughters to be people of honesty and integrity. Traits that he modeled well. A pilar of strength, he was the anchor that held his family together. His courage and dignity even in the face of adversity was always something that his family greatly admired.
When he became a grandfather, his love for his family only grew stronger. He loved his grandchildren and great grandchildren. It brought him great joy when they visited, and he loved spending quality time with them. That love was reciprocated and they too loved their “Popo” with all of their hearts.
One of his favorite pastimes was barbequing for his family and friends.
He was very hospitable and extended the warmest welcome to anyone that entered his home. He was also extremely generous and was always willing to lend a helping hand or give of his time, resources, or whatever he could offer to help others. An avid outdoorsman, when he wasn’t entertaining, he could be found tending to his lawn and garden. He loved growing his own tomatoes, zucchini, and other vegetables. In earlier years, he also enjoyed raising cattle and other livestock and farming on the family land.
Another great quality he had was his wonderful sense of humor. His family could always count on him to make them laugh. Even when dealing with his most recent health issues, he continued to find ways to bring joy and laughter to those around him.
Anyone that had the privilege of knowing him knew that he valued faith and family. He was a lifelong member of St. Teresa’s Catholic Church in Bryan, TX. Having strong ties to the Somerville community, he also attended and served at St. Ann’s Catholic Church where he was involved with the Knights of Columbus, obtaining the fourth degree. Many hours of his time were dedicated to helping cook for church fundraisers and volunteering to maintain the church lawn. He had a true servant’s heart.
Since a young age, he displayed a strong work ethic. He was employed for over 25 years at the Santa Fe Railroad in Somerville, TX (which later became Kopper’s Industries) where he worked until his retirement in 2006.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Jose Vittonel, Sr. and Ninfa Esparza; wife, Juanita Vittonel; son-in-law, Alfred Macias, Jr.; brothers, Roy Vittonel, Charles Vittonel, Johnny Vittonel and sisters, Jovita Vittonel and Elena Bitonel.
He is survived by his daughters, Sylvia Gomez, Caroline Bretherton and husband Carlos, Jackie Arredondo and husband Paul, and Linda Macias; brothers, Ben Bitonel and wife Mary, Frank Vittonel; sisters, Mary Almanza and husband Saturnino, and Bea Burrell; grandchildren, Brittany Arredondo (Quenten Chapel Sr.), Alexandra Gomez, AJ Gomez, Paul Arredondo Jr. (Hope Lowery), Samuel Gonzalez, Ashley Gomez, Gabriella Rapalo (Abraham Rapalo); great-grandchildren, Alexis Foster, Arielle Chapel, Jayden Pearce, Andre Gomez, Quenten Chapel Jr., Alayna Rapalo along with many other nieces, nephews, family and friends.
Pallbearers are Paul Arredondo, Jr., AJ Gomez, Quenten Chapel Sr., Paul Arredondo Sr., Alfredo Gomez, and Ricky Gonzalez.
Honorary Pallbearers are Frank Vittonel, Ben Bitonel, David Pedraza and Carlos Bretherton.
Visitation is set for Monday, August 1, 2022, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Strickland Funeral Home in Somerville, TX. A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. A mass of Christian burial will take place on Tuesday, August 2, 2022 at 10 a.m. at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Somerville, with Father Nock Russell officiating. Interment will follow at Our Lady of Guadalupe Cemetery in Somerville, TX.
Memorials can be made to St. Ann’s Catholic Church of Somerville or Remarkable Hospice Brazos Valley.