Joseph Rocco Figliuzzi


Joseph Rocco Figliuzzi, 87, of Kelliher, MN passed away Sunday, April 19, 2020 at his home.

Interment will be next to his wife in Greenwood Cemetery in Bemidji, MN.

Joseph was born on February 17, 1933 in Chicago, Illinois to Domenico and Angelina Figliuzzi. He grew up in an Italian neighborhood in Chicago. He enlisted with the US Navy on July 3, 1952 and served with the Marine Photographic Squadron ONE. He was stationed for 28 months overseas, flying over enemy lines as an aerial photographer during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged with the rank of Photographer’s Mate Second Class (PH2) on June 15, 1956. He met Margaret (Peggy) Anne Love in California and fell in love at first sight. He took her picture at that very moment, which would then come to be a family treasure after all of these years. They were united in marriage on July 2, 1955 in Alameda, California. They lived for a time in Chicago while he attended the University of Chicago. In 1970 they moved to Saum, Minnesota where they grew wild rice. Joseph had a particular love for inventing many fascinating things. He enjoyed some woodworking and planted many apple and plum trees for an orchard surrounding the house and yard. He remodeled the family home and built a full size tennis court. His children nicknamed him “The Renaissance Man”, as they believed that he was so clever he could do anything.

Joseph is survived by 3 daughters, Theresa, Kathy, and Gina; 2 sons, Tom and Jim; 14 grandchildren; and many great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife.

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