Joe Pinnella passed away gently, sweetly, beautifully, March 5, 2017, at home in Santa Barbara, with his wife, Tracy, and his son, Brian, at his side and holding him close.
Joe was born in Brooklyn, NY and grew up in the seaside town of Manasquan, NJ, the oldest of seven boys. He lived, for the past 30 years, in Ventura and Santa Barbara. Joe was a special man with many endearing qualities and he lived a fun, lively, and dignified life in spite of the many challenges presented over the years by multiple sclerosis. He met life head-on, bravely, calmly and gracefully, and without complaint, becoming an example of courage and strength that inspired others. He was a charming raconteur, quick to laugh and quick to offer his own keen, witty observations of the human condition with a warm, slightly sly smile. He was a kind man who possessed true compassion for all living things. Joe is survived by his wife, Tracy, his son Brian, daughter-in-law Cindy, grandchildren Nicole, Dylan, Justin, daughter Michelle, son-in-law Chris, grandchildren Christopher, Matthew, Evelyn, and all six of his loving brothers and their wives and families. He was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Evelyn Pinnella, and his firstborn son, also Joe.
There are many people to thank, so many people who cared about, loved, and cared for Joe over the years. We wish to thank his truly outstanding personal physicians who have provided many years of counsel and care, all of the medical and ancillary staff at Cottage Hospital who stood by our side over the past five months, his caregivers at home, the families of his caregivers who supported them as they supported us, all of our dear and loving family, friends and neighbors who provided moral support and occasional physical support, the Santa Barbara fire department for their several lift assists over the years, Joe’s remarkable and wonderful team at Hospice of Santa Barbara (www.hospiceofsantabarbara) and finally, in his last four weeks of life, his team from Visiting Nurse and Hospice (www.vnhcsb.org) . In lieu of flowers we respectfully request that donations be sent to Hospice of Santa Barbara, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (www.nationalmssociety.org), or Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Santa Barbara.
If he were still with us Joe would tell each of us “Every day, tell the people you love that you love them. Leave your cell phone at home and take a walk or, even better, a good hike in this wonderful world. Drink in the fragrances that are offered up and be amazed at the astounding colors of the sea, sky, rocks, and trees. Let the breeze wash over you and the sun warm your skin.” And, if you are so inclined the next time you’re in a good restaurant, order up something good to eat and a craft beer. Or, a good single malt. Or, a Hendrick’s martini, up, dry, with a twist. Then, toast Joe. You may not see him but he’ll be toasting you right back. A celebration of Joe will be held on July 29th in Santa Barbara, details to follow.