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May 15, 1925 ~ July 22, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old
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Joe Gratianne, a devoted husband and father, passed away peacefully on July 22, 2023, at the age of 98, in Sonoma, CA. Born on May 15, 1925, in the Pyrenees near St. Marie-Oloron, France, Joe spent his early years laboring on the family farm, experiencing a childhood marked by hard work. At the age of 21, seeking a brighter future, he left behind the arduous farm life in France and emigrated to the United States. He found solace and support in Los Angeles with his cousins, the Arrouge and Sarrail families. Joe started his American journey working at a local dairy in Los Angeles. His ambition and pursuit of better opportunities brought him to San Francisco. There, he became a licensed landscape contractor and opened a successful gardening and landscaping business in Marin County. Until his retirement at the age of 58, Joe dedicated himself to beautifying Marin County through his work, leaving behind a legacy of many beautiful gardens. A passionate participant in the San Francisco French community, Joe actively contributed to several social clubs, including Les Chasseur, Les Faneurs, Les Jardinier, and La Ligue Henri IV. Alongside his son, Claude, he served on the board and held the position of President of La Ligue Henri IV. Joe's enduring love story with his beloved wife, Jacqueline, spanned an incredible 71 years. They loved to travel together, visiting various places throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe. Joe was a devoted father to his son Claude. He and Claude's partner, Tani, were blessed to be part of Joe's life until his final moments. Joe’s family was truly at the core of his life and brought him great joy. Known for his love of hunting, fishing, and cooking, Joe's grilling skills and the bounty from his hunting and fishing trips often took center stage at the memorable dinner parties he loved to host. In his retirement, he continued to express his love for gardening by meticulously tending to his own yard. Joe was preceded in death by his mother, Jeanne Gratianne, and his in-laws: Adrienne Louvigny, Yvonne and Jean Avenel, Gerard Avenel, Louis and Christiane Louvigny, Marcelle and Josette Louvigny, and numerous cousins from Los Angeles and Mexico. Joe's life was a testament to the power of perseverance, the joy of community, and the enduring bond of family. His legacy of love, resilience, and friendship will continue to live on through those who knew him.
A funeral mass will be held at 10:00 AM Friday, August 11th at St. Francis Church in Sonoma, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.