Joseph (Josi) Rossi was born on February 22, 1880 in Pontecosi, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy. He came to Kelowna directly from Italy in 1904. The earliest mention of Joseph in Kelowna was recorded in the Kelowna Record newspaper July 29, 1909, - “A plan from J Rossi providing for the subdivision of the last half of Block 42, Map 462 was accepted.” In 1910 the same paper, in its Bear Creek News section, states Joseph was having his place surveyed and work had begun on his house. By 1912 he sold his house on Water Street.
A 1915 display ad in the Kelowna Record states “We are prepared to undertake contracts of all kinds of plastering and concrete work, large and small.” A 1929 Vancouver Sun newspaper article states “Mr Rossi has been in the contracting business in Kelowna for the past twenty years and practically all the big buildings in
Kelowna and district have been stuccoed and plastered by him, providing employment for thirty men during the building season.” The article praises his work for his latest project, The Royal Anne Hotel. “There are over 12,000 yards of plastering and stucco work in the Royal Anne Hotel… a charming California two-tone stucco effect had been embodied in the lobby, entrance and dining rooms.”
Josi Rossi was an avid bowler with the Kelowna Record showing his statistics for his “Shiners” team in the league standings. He also was part of the Kelowna Dreamlands team in matches with teams from Vernon and the 102nd Overseas soldiers. By 1915, the Dreamlands Bowling Alleys was taken over by Joe Rossi. Joseph broadened his bowling interests in 1916 when he bought some land at the corner of Bay Avenue and Farwell Street in Trail, and was expected to build an up-to-date bowling alley.
Being very well versed in both Italian and English, Mr Rossi gave much of his time translating for the Italian community. He often acted as court translator in local trials. Joseph never married and later in his life he lived with his sister, Ersilia Guidi, and her family. He died on May 14, 1950 in Kelowna General Hospital at age 70, after a major operation.