November 7, 1950 – August 8, 2020
It is with great sadness we announce the passing of our beloved Joe.
Joe was born in Zagreb, Croatia on 7 November 1950, and moved to Port Edward, BC with his parents in 1964, his sister and family joining them in 1971. Always devoted to his family, he was a loving uncle to his niece.
Joe attended school in Port Edward, and graduated from PRSS in 1970. He started work at the mill shortly after graduation where he remained until it closed its doors.
In 1978, Joe met his beloved Mary Ann (Bellis). Along with Mary Ann’s son Andrew, the three quickly became inseparable and started the pursuit of many years of adventure, family gatherings, and travel in the early years. He was an incredible loving, generous, and supportive stepfather. Joe’s world remained centred around Mary Ann, Andrew, and his grandchildren until we lost him.
Joe was never happier than when he was helping and caring for others. Generous to a fault, Joe had more friendships than words can capture. Throughout his life, Joe was constantly curious, a prolific reader, and developed an encyclopedic knowledge. As with everything else, Joe used this to help others. He was a 24 hour a day on call researcher, handyman, and confidante to all who knew him.
Grandpa Joe overflowed with love and pride for his grandchildren, Heidi and Simon. He beamed every time his saw them, which was often, and celebrated their every milestone and accomplishment. Nothing filled Joe with more joy than spending time laughing, sharing memories, and telling stories with his friends and family.
Many knew “Big Joe” from his many years at the pulp mill. As a stationary engineer at the powerhouse, he maintained an industry-wide reputation for his knowledge and his willingness to help and mentor others. He made numerous friendships over this time that would last his lifetime. Always a strong advocate and union supporter, Joe worked on behalf of the PPWC Local 4 for many years, serving as shop steward in the powerhouse, and later as co-chair of the Islander Hall Society.
He shared many hobbies with his friends throughout the years, including photography, his love of music, woodworking, and golf. In his later years, Joe enjoyed taking care of his cats (and rescuing strays).
The restaurant industry of Prince Rupert will deeply miss Joe, as one of his favourite things to do with Mary Ann was to dine out. His McDonald’s coffee club kept Joe in the know of all the latest town gossip, and his anecdotes and laughter will surely be missed.
Joe was predeceased by his parents Josef and Katarina, and his sister Blazenka (Bea) Mordus. He is survived by the love of his life, Mary Ann Bellis, his step son Andrew Bellis (Joanna Larson), grandchildren Simon and Heidi, and his niece Hrvojka (Steve Bailey) and their children Joe and Senna, of Revelstoke.
Joe had a particular concern for the feral cats in the city. As such, donations can be made to the BC SPCA’s “Trap, Neuter, Return Program” (TNR). Donations can be dropped in the mailbox or mailed to the local branch at 1740 Prince Rupert Blvd. V8J 4R8. If you would like to make a donation in cash or other means, please contact the Prince Rupert SPCA to set up an appointment. Please include a memo for Prince Rupert TNR, or in memory of Joe Vukovic. All donations made to the local SPCA shelter remain local, and assist the SPCA in running programs like TNR here in Prince Rupert.
Due to COVID-19 considerations, a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.