Joseph J. Ballarini, born April 18, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois to Nicholas and Angela M. Colletti Ballarini passed away in Boca Raton, Florida on February 26. He was 77.
A rebellious teenager with a prodigious gift for building and repairing cars and motorcycles, Joe found focus and discipline when he enlisted in the Army at age 18 and joined the 101st Airborne division. When he wasn’t jumping out of airplanes, Joe discovered a new talent he had for food services. After the Army, he rose through the ranks at Continental Motors where he met his wife, Carol, who first noticed his beautiful blue eyes, his determined stride to rise above his station, and his entertaining, larger than life humor.
Creative and hard-working, Joe relentlessly pursued his dream to go into business for himself and found his opportunity with the McDonalds Corporation. He impressed the company with his inventions in kitchen efficiency and keen management style. Joe moved his family to New England where he soon became a successful restaurateur.
At the age of 42, Joe retired and moved his family to sunny Boca Raton, Florida where Joe was able to devote his time and love to his family. He imparted his can-do confidence and mantra that “persistence shall prevail” to his children and supported their every endeavor. He maintained his youthful, creative spirit and collected over 50 classic cars and motorcycles, winning numerous car show awards. To his friends, Joe was the life of the party and a beloved prankster, loyal and fun-loving, always ready with a joke. To his family, he will forever be remembered as a devoted, loving husband and an inspiring, big-hearted father. Joe leaves behind his beloved wife Carol Ballarini (née Meineke) of 53 wonderful years, his older brother, Nicholas Ballarini, his daughter Joanna Myers and her husband Stephen Myers, his son Joe Ballarini and his wife Cara Ballarini, and their children, Theodore and Elodie Ballarini.
He will be laid to rest at Mt. Emblem Cemetery in Elmhurst, Chicago, April 30.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Wounded Warriors.
Professional arrangements by:
Gary Panoch Funeral Home
6140 N. Federal Highway
Boca Raton, FL 33487