Joseph Louis Caminati Jr.

Joseph Louis Caminati Jr., 58, of Braham, died unexpectedly Wednesday, October 12, 2011 at his home.

Joe was born Aug. 7, 1953 in Islip, N.Y. to parents Joseph Sr. and Carmella (Richie) Caminati. When Joe was just 7 years old his father passed away and Joe and his mother moved to Mankato, Minn. As a teenager, Joe lived with his uncle Franky and graduated from Brentwood High School in Long Island, N.Y. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy right out of school and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. After his discharge from the service, he returned to Minnesota where he began working in the construction trades as a “tinner.” He became a member of the sheet metal workers union and worked for several different companies around Minnesota.

In 1992 Joe met Carol Ann Belanger and the couple was united in marriage on April 10, 1999 at the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Brunswick. Together Joe and Carol have made Braham their home since 1996.  In the most recent years, Joe was blessed to be able to work side by side with his son, Joe III at Average Joe’s Archery in Coon Rapids.

Joe loved the outdoors and his time spent fishing and hunting. He was also a tinkerer, taking apart things just to see how they worked. He was an avid collector of “stuff”, from hundreds of golf balls to 30,000 plastic googlie eyes. AA was a big part of Joe’s life. He was a sponsor and mentor, helping so many through his tough love. Joe treasured the time spent with his grandkids, teaching them from his life experiences. Joe loved to cook for his family and friends, especially Italian cuisine. Joe never had a recipe; whether in cooking or in life; and in both he experienced a few failures, but also many successes. Joe was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and friend. He lived a short but full life and will be dearly missed.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents, step-father Len Giersdorf, and uncle Franky.

Survived by his wife Carol of Braham; sons Joe III (Michelle) of Coon Rapids and Franky of Cottage Grove; daughters Dena of Sandstone and Jessica Ulve of Fridley; step-children: Kristin (Scott) Lobash of Andover, Paul (Tracy) Belanger of Moose Lake, and Jillene Belanger (Jeff Marthaler) of Egan; grandchildren: Samantha, Kaitlyn, Nathan, Zoe, Johnny, Jesse, Miranda, Jared, Allie, Michaela, and Dona; brother Daniel (Desiree) Giersdorf of Las Vegas; sisters Christine (George) Muellerleile of East Bethel, Lisa (John) Zimmerman of Janesville, and Renee Boyd (Dean White) Hugo; many other aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters in AA, and friends.

A Funeral service was held Monday, October 17, 2011 at the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham with Rev. Lori Blake officiating. Honorary Casket Bearers were Dave Dufresne, Brian Sexton, Mark Weyandt, and Mike Johnson. Military Honors were provided by the Minnesota National Guard Honors Team. Arrangements are by the Rock Ingebrand Funeral Home of Braham.