MISSOULA — Virgil Dale Joseph passed away on June 3 at home with his family by his side.
Virgil was born into a large, close-knit Lebanese family on May 27, 1931 in Missoula to Raymond (Ruby) and Tuttise (Tootsie) Joseph. The fifth of six children he attended Franklin and Missoula County HS.
In 1951 he joined the army and served as a radio operator in the Korean war until the end. After the war he drove dump trucks before entering the restaurant business with his brother Fred in Missoula. They owned the Pizza Oven (later Tower Pizza). Virgil then started Joseph's House of Pizza with his "CuzBro" Gary in Hamilton. That is where he courted his future wife Arlene Warner, marrying her in 1966. Their two children, Cindy and Kevin, were born during those early years in Hamilton. After owning restaurants in Kalispell and Hamilton the family returned to Missoula where Virgil took over his father’s sand and gravel business before working for his brother Fred at Sharief Pizza and The Windjammer. He later started a new career selling windows for his nephew. Mom often called dad a gypsy and that career took them to upstate New York and California for a few years before eventually returning to Missoula. Dad then started his final career in car sales. After working at Nickel Auto and Flanagan's he spent 13 years at Bitterroot Motors before retiring in 2010 at the age of 80!
He is survived by his wife Arlene, son Kevin, daughter Cindy (Rich) Sandau and his beloved grandchildren Ryan, Dylan and Morgan (all of Missoula). He also leaves behind cherished sister Thelma Rice, much loved "in-laws" Vic and Sharon Sandau, brothers in-law Sonny (Carrie Lou), Ray, Clyde (Evelyn), Rick (Darlene) Warner, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and surrogate kids.
He was preceded in death and being joyously greeted in Heaven by his parents Ray and Tootsie, siblings Fred (Jean) Joseph, Albert (Maxine) Joseph, Berta (Carmine) Piane and Freda (Pete) Rask, sisters in-law Judy Warner and Mary Jane Bean, along with so many other special family members and friends.
Virgil was a very kind, wise and loving man. We were so lucky to have him as a husband, father grandfather, brother and friend.
Funeral service is Monday June 18, at 2 p.m. at Christ the King Catholic Parish.