October 12, 1919 – May 6, 2020.
Joe was a hard-working man of integrity and generosity, adventurous and curious, intelligent and inventive. He loved his family and was proud of them all. He was accepting of different lifestyle choices and orientations. His love always shone through.
Wife Gussie was the one and only love of his life. They were married in 1945 in Hartford, Connecticut and then packed their belongings into their 1937 Chevy and headed west to California. In 1946, Joe and Gussie founded Kit Kraft, a one-of-a-kind hobby, arts, and crafts shop, originally located on the west side of Los Angeles and moved to Studio City, Calif in 1954. Joe was an astute businessman and business boomed. When he retired (in his 80’s!), son Mike took ownership and the iconic store still attracts customers from all over the world.
Joe had a lifetime love of gardening – endlessly tinkering with his drip irrigation system so that every plant was nourished. He was an avid bridge-player, theatergoer, and the family archivist.
Joe and Gussie traveled the world, bicycling through scores of countries.
Joe took up water-skiing in his 50’s after his children learned to ski. He pursued many hobbies, from stamp collecting to mosaic tiling to photography.
Joe kept up with technology and moved smoothly through generational changes. He kept up with happenings in the global economy, world and local politics.
At 100, he was still driving – although only his wife agreed to be a passenger.
Joe is survived by his wife of 75 years, Gussie, daughter Ella and husband Grubb, son William and wife Chinle, son Michael and wife Mary Pat, sister Betty, grandchildren Shanon and partner Scott, Keagan and wife Beth, Jordan and partner Cyrelle, Brendan and wife Brie, Sarah and partner Andy, Logan and husband Steve. He is also survived by great-grandchildren Myriam, Amelia, Ryder, Octavia, and Julia. Joe also leaves behind a plethora of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends – every single one of whom he cherished. Joe was pre-deceased by parents Dave and Dora Sitkin, sisters Irma and Ruth, and brother Harold.