Dr. Joanne Savio Garofalo, MD

Date of Birth

July 20, 1934

Date of Death

January 4, 2021

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

Dr. Joanne Savio Garofalo MD, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and Santa Barbara Family Physician went home to be with our Lord and Heavenly Father the morning of January 4, 2021 in Santa Barbara. She was 86. She was gracious, kind, intelligent, spiritual, and so giving. She lived an amazing life and leaves behind a huge legacy.

Born on July 20, 1934 in Chester, Pennsylvania, she was the third of four children to be born to Anthony and Mary Natale. Joanne’s father had been born in Avellino, Italy and emigrated to the United States at the age of nine. Her mother, Mary, was born in Pennsylvania, the child of Italian Immigrants. Her father served in the United States Army in World War I. Her childhood was spent at the family home in Springfield, Pennsylvania. She often spoke of great traditions her parents taught her about life and her Italian Heritage. From an early age, Joanne was a lover of Science. She never imagined being anything other than a Doctor when she grew up. Joanne was a top scholar throughout her education, and excelled academically wherever she attended. Graduating with Honors from Chester High School, she went on to study Chemistry at Immaculata University in East Whiteland Township, Pennsylvania, where she graduated with the highest honors. She received her Doctorate Medical Degree (M.D.) from the University of Irvine School of Medicine in 1960 and from then on devoted her professional life to Family Medicine and helping others. In the 1960’s she ran a prominent Family Medicine Clinic in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.

In 1972, Joanne married Dr. Joseph Garofalo, a Santa Barbara Podiatrist and together they built a beautiful partnership for 49 years. She was extremely dedicated to serving her patients, as many had been in her care for 40+ years.

Joanne was an accomplished Physician but considered her greatest joy to be a mother to her 8 children. Throughout the years, she instilled her values in them: faith, family, and humility. She was a devout Catholic and had a special devotion to Mary, the mother of Christ. She would recite the rosary daily and relied on her faith to get her through the trials and tribulations of life. Sunday dinners were a “must” in the Garofalo house, as Joanne enticed the whole family with her world-class cooking of appetizing dishes, especially pasta marinara, eggplant parmigiana, and homemade lasagna, everyone’s favorite Christmas meal.

Joanne enjoyed Traveling to many destinations around the world. She particularly enjoyed family trips to Italy, time spent at a family home in Lake Tahoe , and frequently cruising different European ports of call. Her favorite was to cruise the Mediterranean and Caribbean.

For the past few years, Joanne had numerous struggles with her health but “pulled through” with her strength, determination, and excellent Medical Care received. The family would like to Thank Dr. Daniel Greenwald and Dr Richard Belkin for their exemplary care.

She is preceded in death by her parents and siblings. She is survived by her husband, Joseph Garofalo, her children Michael Bucci (Dana), Monica Casas (Tom), Maria McGuire (Tom), Anita Kuskey (Eric), Vincent Bucci (Sasi), Alicia Garofalo Foschi (Ubaldo), Joseph Garofalo (Alexis), Salvatore Garofalo (Amy), 25 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

A funeral Mass will be held at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Saturday, January 16 with burial to follow at Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Santa Barbara. Due to Covid 19 Restrictions, these two ceremonies are for Immediate Family Only. A more public celebration of her life will take place at a date to be determined.


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