Joseph M. Cook, Jr., of South Bend, passed away at his home on November 24, 2020, surrounded by his loved ones, after battling an extended illness.
Joseph, "Joey" as known to his large, Italian family (the Tirottas), was born on December 3, 1956 to the late Joseph M. Cook, Sr. and Edith (Miki) Tirotta Lansford. He was born in Benton Harbor, MI and grew up in South Bend. Joey attended Clay High School and Ivy Tech Community College. Over the years, he held several positions in computer business, construction, maintenance and the one he talked about the most, a position with "Pitney Bowes".
At the age of 17, Joseph left Indiana and lived in several cities across the country. He often referred to himself as having a "nomad, gypsy soul". His favorite city was San Francisco, where he met his first wife, Enriqueta. They moved back to South Bend around 1997 to be closer to his family. He loved to tell stories about growing up as a Tirotta, spending Christmas at the "Trim Shop", his grandma's "crib" and camping at Bear Lake.
In 2006, Joseph was diagnosed with his first cancer and since then, battled multiple illnesses. Despite illness, he fought off death several times. He had more than 9 lives.
Joseph enjoyed many things: animals, watching the news, boxing, Westerns on TV, riding Harley Davidson motorcycles, camping and going to the "Boogie" with his cousins. He always loved to give his opinion, even when you didn't want it.
His family was always important to him, however, his illnesses limited his ability to spend time with them over his last few years.
Surviving are Joseph's significant other, Lisa Osthimer and her daughter, Brandi Osthimer, whom Joseph raised as his own daughter, both of South Bend; his biological daughter, Mary Jane Stroup; sisters Becky (Jim) Betz of Granger, IN, Colleen (Bill) Dobslaw of South Bend; stepchildren Daria Vite de Martinez, Yuri Vite, Reyna, Lorenzo, Silviono; several step-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren; aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and a host of other extended family members and friends.
Joseph was preceded in death by sisters April Mansfield and Dawn Cook; stepfather Joe Lansford; parents Edith Lansford and Joseph M. Cook, Sr.
A very special thanks to Joseph's doctors, Bilal Ansari and Richard Stoldt, Center for Hospice, nurses Brittney and Libby, Jade Williams (whom Joseph called JJ), who helped out with all of his care in his final months, Rena Kizar and Jill Burdick, who helped care for Joseph's special dog, Sprout, who was able to be with Joseph until his dying day.
Joseph will be missed very much. There will be no services at this time, due to Covid-19. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Palmer Funeral Homes - Bubb Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. Memorial donations may be made in Joseph's honor to Center for Hospice of St. Joseph County, 501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545. Online expressions of sympathy may be left at www.palmerfuneralhomes.com.
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Center for Hospice Care - Mishawaka
501 Comfort Place, Mishawaka IN 46545