Joseph Michael Gianantonio

Joseph Michael "Joe" Gianantonio

1945 - 2024

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Joseph Michael

Obituary of Joseph Michael Gianantonio

Joseph Michael Gianantonio, 78, of Palm Bay, Florida passed away on January 10, 2024, at Palm Bay Community Hospital. “Joe” was born April 4, 1945, at Portland, Oregon Army Air Base, he was the son of Joseph and Josephine (Belles) Gianantonio. Upon his father’s honorable discharge from the Army, the family moved to Columbus, Ohio, where Joe attended school. He started his volunteer firefighter career, while still in high school, with the Clinton Township Volunteer Fire Department, in 1960.

After he graduated from Central High School, he went to the Ohio State Fire Academy and became a certified firefighter. Joe joined the United States Air Force in 1964 and attended the Chanute AFB, Ill Fire School. He graduated as a fire protection specialist. Joe had many assignments and deployments, over the years, including Korea, Vietnam, Thailand, and Europe. He served three tours in Vietnam at Ton Son Hut Air Base during the Tet Offensive. Through all these experiences, Joe continued to maintain his skills and knowledge, continuing his education in management, supervisory, and fire officer courses over the years, in the fire protection career field. As often as he could, he volunteered his off-duty time to train fellow firefighters and was a member of the local volunteer fire force.

Joe has held many positions, with various ranking scales, in both volunteer and career fire departments, throughout the years. While in the U.S. Air Force, he notably worked at Rickenbacker AFB in Ohio, the Orlando Naval Training Center, Orlando/McCoy Jetport in Florida and Patrick AFB in Satellite Beach, FL. He rose to the rank of Senior Master Seargent and Deputy Fire Chief (on the Civil Service side). Joe served 35 years, in the U.S. Air Force Reserves. Once he retired from the Air Force Reserves, he continued his fire service dedication by taking Fire Chief positions with various contractors, which took him to Antigua, Johnson Atoll, Hungary, and Kuwait. He returned stateside to assume a position as Fire Chief of Malabar Fire Department and served as the first paid Fire Chief. After 5 years with Malabar Fire Department, he left to assume the role of SCBA technician at the Palm Bay Fire Department. He retired from active service in 2017 and became an Administrative Deputy Chief at Malabar Fire Department.

Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Mildred “Millie” (Villano) Gianantonio. They spent 49 blessed years together, filled with love and adventure. Joe is survived by his three children, Jean M. Gianantonio, Joseph M. Gianantonio and Anthony N. (Stephanie) Gianantonio; grandsons, Anthony (Brittney) Gianantonio, Brice Gianantonio and Jayson White; granddaughters, Emily and Lauren Poliquin and Natalie White and a great-grandson; his sibling, JoAnn (Gianantonio) Ortman, her children Tina Snyder and Stephen Ortman. Joe is also survived by many nieces, nephews, cousins, great-nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews. He also loved his fur grandchildren, Rocky and Mr. Muphrey.

Joe’s stories, the nicknames he gave everyone and his wonderful sense of humor will be forever missed.

A funeral mass will be held Monday, January 29, 2024, at Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, 300 Malabar Road, Palm Bay, FL 32907, at 1pm, with a celebration of life reception immediately following.


Funeral Mass

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Monday, January 29, 2024
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
300 Malabar Rd SE
Palm Bay, Florida, United States
(321) 725-3066