Gary “Joe” Giannonatti1947-2017
Gary “Joe” Gene Giannonatti was born July 20, 1947 in Bowman, North Dakota. Joe died at the age of 69 on July 1st, 2017. He was the son of John Raymond and Verna Frances (Johnson) Giannonatti. Joe was raised on the family ranch near Ludlow, South Dakota. He attended the Lincoln Country School near Ludlow and he was a 1965 graduate of Bowman High School. Following high school he attended a welding trade school for a short time and worked as a ranch hand. During the Vietnam War, Joe served his county in the U.S. Army for 19 months. He was honorably discharged on December 1, 1973 and was honored to receive The Army Commendation Medal. On December 16, 1971 Joe was united in marriage to Cora Papka in Belle Fourche. To this union three children were born: Tanya, Lance, Lana. Shortly after their marriage, Joe and Cora settled into their home and ranch southeast of Ludlow.
1993 was an important year to Joe because that was the year they purchased the ranch. He loved the ranch life and everything it had to offer. There wasn’t a season he didn’t appreciate. Whether it was calving, branding, haying, or buying and selling cattle, Joe loved it all. He was a hard worker, he took great pride in his livestock, and he always found ways to improve something along the way. He also had a keen eye for a good horse and one of his highlights in life was learning to fly an airplane to check cattle.
Joe will be remembered for his sense of humor and his stubbornness. One thing he didn’t enjoy was the spotlight. He didn’t like to be the center of anyone’s attention, and this is why he requested to not have a funeral service. Joe was very loving, especially toward his grandchildren. He had a unique and special relationship with each one. He was accepting of others, wise, and loved by many. Joe will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Joe is survived by his wife, Cora of Ludlow; daughter, Tanya (Colby) Crago of Belle Fourche, and their children Chloe, Lainey, and Brylee; son, Lance (Nel) of Ludlow, and their children Sydney and Bracin; daughter, Lana Giannonatti (and fiancé’ Ryan Barber) and their children, Khloe, and Henlie; brother, Donald (Shelia) of Ludlow; sisters, Judy (John) Haivala of Spearfish, Peggy (Frank) Edgar of Buckeye AZ; and he is also survived by Nathan Hedin of Rapid City who is considered a son.