Green River Star -

Colonel Joseph John Giovale Jr.


Courtesy photo

Colonel Joseph John Giovale Jr.

An officer and a gentleman aptly describes Joseph John Giovale Jr., 83, who passed away peacefully at his home in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 10th, 2020.

Often described as a thoughtful, gentle soul, Joe's quiet confidence spoke volumes without saying a word. When he did speak, Joe's words were purposefully selected, filled with kindness and usually had something to do with family. Like any good Italian, he loved good food and valued his family more than anything.

Joe was born in Rock Springs, Wyoming on January 16th, 1937, to Helen Y. Giovale and Joseph J. Giovale Sr. He attended schools in Rock Springs and graduated from Rock Springs High School in 1955. Joe loved music and played the clarinet and saxophone in the high school band and marching band. He was also a member of several bands that played for various dances in town. Later, Joe often played the concertina and enjoyed squeezing out a lively polka for his wife and children.

An interest in chemistry took him to the University of Utah, where he obtained a B.S. in Pharmacy and became a lifelong Ute. During his time in Salt Lake City, he would meet his future wife, Karen Lee Jensen. They dated, fell in love and married on April 25, 1962. They were married nearly 40 years when Karen unexpectedly passed away on January 1, 2002.

Joe joined the United States Air Force during the Vietnam Conflict. He served in the Medical Service Corps and achieved the rank of Colonel. Joe loved his country and served as a proud soldier for 28 years. Joe's military career took him and his family on adventures in multiple states and a two-year tour in Izmir, Turkey. Joe retired from the Air Force in 1991 and eventually returned to Rock Springs to help his parents with their real estate business.

In 2004, Joe married a dear friend from Rock Springs, Karen Kolman. They resided together in Salt Lake City where they enjoyed the downtown culture, serving the church and cheering on his beloved Utes.

Joseph Giovale is survived by his wife, Karen Kolman Giovale; two children and their spouses, Joseph J. Giovale III and wife Dina, and Julie A. Hardesty and husband Quentin; his five grandchildren, Matthew Hardesty, Kaylee Hardesty, Ryan Giovale, Nicolaus Giovale and Dominic Giovale; and his brother, John Giovale and wife, Ginger. Joe is also survived by several nieces and nephews; and two stepsons, Greg Krasovec and wife Lori, and Kirk Krasovec and wife Susan, and their families.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his stepfather, Arthur Hafey; his first wife, Karen L. Giovale; and son, Paul James Giovale.

Whether he was serving his country as the Colonel, his church as the Bishop, his community as a friend, or his family as the Godfather, Joe positively touched many lives with great humility, grace and kindness.

As Joe would often say at family gatherings, "Here's to kindness ... Salute!"

Funeral services will be held at 11AM, Thursday, June 18, 2020 at Fox Funeral Home, 2800 Commercial Way, Rock Springs, WY. A viewing will be held from 6PM to 8PM Wednesday, June 18, 2020 and one hour prior to services on Thursday at the funeral home. Graveside services and interment with Military Honors will be held at the Rock Springs Municipal Cemetery.

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