Joseph Michael Gatto

February 1, 1949 - January 22, 2024
Joseph Michael Gatto

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Joseph Michael Gatto, a devoted father, brother, and friend, passed away on January 22, 2024, at the age of 74. He was born on February 1, 1949, in Jamestown, NY, and his journey came to an end in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Joseph began his professional life by serving his country as a Veteran of the US Air Force. He dedicated his time and skills to the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Goldsboro. After years of honorable service, Joseph was Honorably Discharged on June 21, 1980 with the rank of Staff Sgt.
Following his military career, Joseph transitioned into working with Civil Service in the US Government. Throughout his tenure, he displayed a strong work ethic and unwavering dedication to his duties.

Upon retiring from his civil service role, Joseph ventured into entrepreneurship. He established Mile by Mile Limousine Service in Oxon Hill, Maryland, where he became affectionately known as “Joey Stretch” by those who he served.

Joseph leaves behind a legacy of love and cherished memories. He will be dearly missed by his children: Christopher Gatto, wife Dorothy, Celeste Glover, husband Dean, Anna Marino, husband Justin, and Hilary Maready, husband Jamie Lane. Additionally, Joseph is survived by his sister, Kathy Rizzuto, who shared countless memories and moments with him.

While Joseph’s grandchildren hold a special place in his heart, Meredith Glover, Harriosn Glover, Lilly Lane, Vera Marino, Jack Marion, and “Bella Gatto” (grand dog). Their bond with him will forever be treasured.

A service to honor Joseph’s life will be held at 2 pm on Tuesday, January 30, 2024, at the Coastal Carolina State Veteran Cemetery in Jacksonville, NC. Military Honors will be provided by the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base Honor Guard.

A Celebration of Life will follow the service. Contact his family for details.

Joseph’s passing has left a void in the lives of those who loved him, but his memory will continue to live on in their hearts. May he rest in eternal peace along with his parents, Frank Gatto and Fran Rigoli Gatto, who preceded him in death.

Share memories and condolences by visiting the “Tribute Wall”.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation 1535 S. 41st Street Wilmington, NC 28403 910-791-9099.


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  • February 02, 2024
    Sharry Russo says:
    You’ve been a crazy, fun friend of our family. I loved your high energy zest for life! I remember a time you were at our house in the backyard by the pool, working on your dark tan and you called into the house trying to order a mint julep! When it’s my time to come meet you, I’ll bring us some mint juleps. Love and miss you already Joe!

  • February 01, 2024
    Tom Rigoli says:
    Joey became my nephew when I was just 7 years old. His mother, Fran (Rigoli) Gatto, was one of my 7 older siblings. Joey and I grew up at "Rigoli's Grocery" at 1 Barrows Street, and shared many adventures together including a memorable first trip to California to visit my oldest brother and his family in 1955. Joey "Stretch" was a regular visitor to our California home. We will miss his enthusiasm for adventures and great sense of humor. Our deepest sympathy to his sister, Kathy, and his many children and grandchildren.

  • January 31, 2024
    Louis Russo says:
    Rest in peace Joe! I did understand.

  • January 30, 2024
    David Holmes says:
    I meet Joe at the Daytona Flea Market many years ago all because I seen his Richard Petty Car parked next to me! I told him I had one and we hit it off from there! Joe and I both were big Petty fans and he flew to Michigan just to see my lifetime collection of Petty stuff he couldn't believe his eyes! I was very lucky to be on a Nascar Pit Crew for many years and Joe even helped sponsor the racecar for a few races. I talked Joe into driving a race car he had the time of his life! I am very lucky that I have so many memories with him. He was the best thing I ever got from the Daytona Flea Market. When I catch up with you someday we will be heading to the race track and go 43! God bless Joe and his family. David Holmes New Baltimore Michigan

  • January 28, 2024
    Joe Buffone says:
    God bless Joe and his family You will be missed my friend