Joseph De Loia

DE LOIA Joseph S. He always claimed that his family and his love of the outdoors made him the richest man on earth. Passed away peacefully on November 15, 2015 in St. Paul. Born December 15, 1917 in St. Paul, he was the first of eight children of Maria and Raffaele who emigrated from Italy in 1914. Preceded in death by son, Gary De Loia; sister, Connie Quasabart; and brother, John. He is survived by Lorraine, his wife of 74 years; children, Tom (Gail) De Loia, Halene (Paul) von Wiegandt, Betsy (Steven) Godmare, and Jeffrey (Karen) De Loia; daughter-in-law, Linda De Loia; siblings, Nellie Ewy, Sam, Angeline Williams, Dominic, and Anna Marie Fischer; eleven wonderful grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren. Joe graduated from Johnson High School in 1936 where he was an “All City” basketball player. He married Lorraine Kase in St. Paul on a sub-zero January day in 1941. Joe joined the Army after the U.S. entered War II. He was stationed at Ft. Robinson, NE, the home of the US Army K-9 Corp. He may have not realized it at the time, but his passion for working with dogs would later become his career. He was selected by his commanding officers for Officers Candidate School and moved to New Orleans. After completion of OCS he, along with Lorraine and son Tom, was stationed in Charleston, SC. He was discharged from the Army after VE Day and returned to St. Paul. Soon after moving back to St. Paul, he was approached by retriever enthusiasts from Duluth, MN who convinced him to move to North. In 1946 he established DeLoia Kennels in Duluth, to breed and train hunting and field trial dogs. His first Black Labrador became the mother of a long line of champion field trial retrievers and great hunting dogs. As business grew he acquired the land adjacent to their home, cleared the trees and created a pond resembling hunting conditions, a necessary ingredient in retriever training. Later he acquired acreage to establish a gun club and winter snowmobile racing and recreational facility. He started high tower shooting for a winter league of outdoorsmen to enjoy their shooting skills. For his entire career Joe was able to enjoy his passion for dogs and the great outdoors. Mass of Christian Burial 10AM on Friday, November 20, 2015 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 835 2nd Ave. NW, New Brighton, MN 55112 with a visitation from 9-10AM at the church. Interment, Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

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