Jose “Joe” Buenaventura Fernandez, 77, of Jerome, Idaho, passed away early Wednesday morning, March 2, 2005, at St. Benedicts Family Medical Center.
Joe was born Sept. 25, 1927, in Wagon Mound, N.M., the son of Jose Natividad Fernandez and Margarita Medina Fernandez. He attended local schools and started working for the railroad at an early age. Joe was drafted into the U.S. Army at age 18 and served in Japan during World War II. He married the love of his life, Josie Branchal, on Dec. 22, 1957. They shared 47 years together.
In June of 1960, they moved to Jerome, where Joe spent 29 years working for the Jerome County Highway District.
In his earlier years, he enjoyed singing, dancing and working with racehorses. Joe was a God-fearin man. Joe was a member of St. Jerome’s Catholic Church and was involved in Cursillos and The Holy Name Society. After retiring, he enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren. Our father’s lifelong ambition was to build a strong, tight-knit family with high morals, fortitude and a will to live by the Golden Rule. In his passing, we are weakened, but his ideals are with us forever and will certainly be carried on throughout his family.
Joe is survived by his beloved wife, Josie; and their seven children, Ron and wife Jill, Margaret and husband Mike, Joe Jr. and wife Ardie, Tim and wife Kathy, Tom, Mike and wife Dawn and Paul and wife Nichole. He is also survived by 20 grandchildren, one great grandson; six siblings, Felix, Benjamin and wife Alfonsa, Ernest and wife Fidelia, George, Elsie Kurtze and Tony and wife Jane; several nieces and nephews and many extended family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter, Melissa.
He will be dearly missed by all of us who knew and loved him.
A vigil for Joe Fernandez was held at St. Jerome’s Catholic Church. The funeral Mass was celebrated March 5, with Father Ronald Wekerle presiding. Interment followed in the Jerome Cemetery.
Arrangements were under the care of Farnsworth Mortuary, 1343 S. Lincoln, Jerome, ID.