Giuseppe (Joe) Iafrancesco was born in Sepino, Italy, March 19, 1947 and passed away in Kelowna, BC on November 2, 2018. Always optimistic and hopeful, Joe fought lung cancer until his final moments. Joe’s early years in Italy were spent on his family’s farm. In 1963, he immigrated to Canada with the belief that anything is achievable with hard work, dedication and a vision. His determination allowed him to pursue his high school education and the Canadian dream. At the young age of sixteen, Joe began this dream with a weekend shoe-shine business. This was followed with a janitorial service in Kelowna and then 30 years of employment with Canadian Pacific Railway as a Conductor/Brakeman with both the running trades and VIA rail. During this time, he met and married his love and lifetime partner, Bianca Russo. The two were married in Kelowna on May 22, 1976. Throughout their years together, he and Bianca invested in and managed their commercial and residential properties along with enjoying their hobby farm. Joe was a very social person who made connections wherever he went and with whomever he met. He was always open to new ideas and friendships and was the first to organize and volunteer his time. He organized various charity golf tournaments and spearheaded several fund-raising efforts for earthquake relief. Joe even put forth his name in municipal politics when he ran for Kelowna City Council in 1999, 2002 and 2005. Joe touched many lives and will continue to do so with his very substantial donations to the KGH Cancer Care fund and to JoeAnna’s House. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Kelowna General Hospital Cancer Care Fund, JoeAnna’s House, Kelowna Canadian Italian Club, www.kelownaitalianclub.com, or a charity of your choice.
The Kelowna Canadian Italian Club acknowledges that our clubhouse is situated on the beautiful unceded traditional territory of the Syilx/Okanagan people. Who, for thousands of years, have lived in harmony with nature and continue to this day to offer us so much culture and understanding.