Joseph Michael Ganino [Courtesy photo]

Joseph Michael Ganino passed away in Soda Springs, Idaho on March 20 from cardiac arrest. He was born in Stamford, Connecticut on February 7, 1958, to Edna Millius Ganino and Rosario Aloysius Ganino. He was the fifth of seven children. At a young age, the family moved out west to Utah. He attended school in Emery County, but always considered Moab home.

Ganino was far from being materialistic, but rather a free spirit, a wanderer at heart. His smile as well as his laugh was infectious and he had a sense of humor that would keep you laughing until your stomach hurt. He was a certified pipefitter/welder by trade, and though he worked many types of jobs, his passion was industrial construction which took him throughout most of the western U.S.

Ganino had many passions: playing his juice harp, listening to and singing music at the top of his lungs, and playing the air guitar and the dash piano. He was an adamant rock hound and collector of old bottles and eagle statues. He loved family gatherings and never turned down a good barbecue.

Ganino married Riata (Blondie) Holyoak in Pensacola, Florida on May 13, 1977. Together they have two children, Ganino (Maria) Ganino II, and his baby girl Jennifer (Ryan) Rudd. After 29 years of marriage they divorced but remained close friends.

The last years of his life were spent in Soda Springs, Idaho, where he purchased a home and lived with his partner, Queeny.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather Darwin Jensen; brothers Bruno and Tony; and nephew Brandon Curtis.

He is survived by his son, Ganino, of Moab; daughter, Jennifer Rudd, of Grand Junction, Colorado; grandchildren Jacky Ray Ganino, Justin Ganino, Jordynn Silva, Keith Stoughton, Kiara Stoughton, Natalee Ganino and Ryland Rudd; his brothers, Rusty, of Rocksprings, Wyoming, and Danny, of Moab; and sisters, Maria, of Moab, and Susan (Ervin) Feichko, of Huntington, Utah.

Cremation has taken place and a celebration of life will be held on May 19. Ganino’s memory and legacy lives on through his children and grandchildren whom he fiercely loved with all his soul. He is leaving behind many broken hearts, is dearly loved and will be remembered and cherished forever.