It is with great sadness that the family of Giuseppe (Joe) Cerasa of Quesnel, B.C. announces his passing on January 11, 2007 while visiting family in Italy.
Joe was born in Piano D’Orta, Italy on January 19, 1947 where he grew up and completed technical school before emigrating to Quesnel to work with his uncle on the railroad in 1967. Subsequent years found Joe working at Weldwood, attaining certification as a millwright at BCIT, and building a number of houses and apartment buildings in town.
With experience in the wood products industry and a wealth of innovative ideas, Joe left Weldwood in 1976 and began C & C Wood Products with the vision of manufacturing value-added wood products such as those found in Europe. Under his strong leadership and dedication C & C grew to become an industry leader in value added manufacturing, with product lines ranging from wall panelling to wood pellets and operations in Quesnel, Bella Coola and Grande Cache, Alberta. Never one to be content with the status quo, Joe was always looking forward to the next challenges and opportunities. After establishing logging, hauling, fabricating and printing operations to service C & C, Joe worked with his brother Mario in Italy to develop a European sales base and even opened an Italian restaurant in Quesnel with nephew Kris.
With his passion for life and charismatic manner, Joe created an immediate impression upon anyone he had contact with. With his knowing smile and uplifting spirit, he would always look at the bright side of any situation and was able to inspire the best from those that were around him. Family, friends and co-workers were always welcome at his kitchen table and could look forward to good espresso and great conversation at any time of day or night. Always the entertainer, Joe could often be found cooking incredible meals for people close to him. From freshly caught seafood onboard his boat to local steak at the mill in Grande Cache, any meal that Joe prepared was a special event.
Joe believed that education was the cornerstone of a vibrant community and strong economy, and in order to further this cause he became involved with the Economic Development Corporation to promote the idea of a local technical training institute. His dedication and creativity led to an appointment in 1995 to the Open Learning agency by Minister of Skills, Labour and Training, Dan Miller.
From astronomy to wine making to Formula 1 racing, Joe’s interests outside of work were many and varied. He especially enjoyed returning to Italy with family and friends, travelling around the country to experience the local culture an cuisine.
A celebration of Joe’s life was held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church on January 17, 2007. Joe will be missed and lovingly remembered by his parents, Nicola & Doralda, brother Mario (Gabriella), niece Alessia, nephews Gian Mari (& family) and Kris, many cousins and countless co-workers and friends that Joe made during the course of his life. The family would like to thank Father Dale Normandeau for a beautiful ceremony, Dr. LeRoux for his touching eulogy and continued support, and the Sweet Harmony Choir. Also, thank you everyone who was able to attend the ceremony and all of our friends for the flowers, cards and support during this difficult time.