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Joseph P. Izzi

November 8, 1943 ~ September 5, 2022 (age 78)


     Joe Izzi, age 78 of Clarion, passed away after a long battle with cancer on Monday, September 5, 2022, while surrounded by his family.

     Born November 8, 1943, in New Bethlehem, he was a son of the late Mike and Irene Carvillano Izzi.

     He graduated from Redbank Valley High School in 1961, where he was a three-sport all-star: football, wrestling, and track and field.

     After graduation, Joe worked for a year in Washington DC for the Federal Trade Commission. Upon his return he attended Clarion State College where he was a wrestler until an automobile accident ended his athletic career. He graduated in 1967 with a degree in secondary education, with certifications in social studies and English. During his college years, he was sports editor of the Leader-Vindicator in New Bethlehem and later the sports editor of the Clarion News.

     Joe taught social studies at Clarion Area High School from 1967 to 1983. While there, he initiated a successful wrestling program and coached a number of state caliber wrestlers.

     He served as the chairman of the Autumn Leaf Festival in 1970.

    Joe had an entrepreneurial spirit. While teaching, he bought and rented mobile homes. He then bought two mobile home parks and began selling mobile homes. He eventually sold those parks and began developing Izzi Village Park in Strattanville.

     His lifelong ambition of owning an Italian restaurant was realized when in the early 2000’s he bought what had originally been Johnny Garneau’s. He successfully operated Izzi’s Ristorante for several years.

    Joe had a keen love of travel. In 1968 he undertook the first of many trips to Europe. In spite of being a motorcycle rookie, he bought a cycle and drove thousands of miles through Europe, making stops in Italy to connect with relatives. On two of his European trips, he escorted his mother back to her birthplace in southern Italy.

     In the 1980’s, after retiring from teaching, he undertook a trip around the world. Scandinavia and the Holy Land were other memorable destinations from his extensive travels.

     Joe was also well traveled in the U.S. In 1969 he and a friend drove to the west coast, logging almost 9000 miles.

     He was known to enjoy gambling and was even a guest at Donald Trump’s penthouse at Trump Plaza in Atlantic City. Joe enjoyed his high-roller status and often treated friends to some of the perks that went along with it.

     In his younger years he enjoyed boating on the Clarion River and snowmobiling on the family farm in Porter Township and in later years bought a large tract of land between Clarion and Strattanville, where he lived with his wife, YongFen, until his death. Always the businessman, Joe forested part of the property, stripped coal and drilled gas wells.

    Survivors include his wife, YongFen; stepdaughter, Kelly Caro, and two sisters: Catherine Swartz of Brookville and Lucille Souders of Norristown.

     In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by four brothers: Andrew, Clarence, Arthur and Bert, and three sisters: Joan, Teresa and Mary.

     A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Friday, September 9, 2022, at the St. Charles Catholic Church, 201 Washington Street, New Bethlehem. Father Samuel Bungo, parish priest at St. Charles, will serve as celebrant.

     Interment will follow in the St. Charles Catholic Cemetery in New Bethlehem.

     Memorial contributions may be given in the name of Joe Izzi to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 862, Carnegie, PA 15106 (online at or Clarion/Forest VNA, 271 Perkins Road, Clarion, PA 16214

     Online condolences may be sent to Joe’s family at

     Arrangements are under the direction of the Rupert Funeral Home and Cremation Service of New Bethlehem.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph P. Izzi, please visit our floral store.

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Mass of Christian Burial
September 9, 2022

11:00 AM
St. Charles Catholic Church
201 Washington Street
New Bethlehem, PA 16242


Clarion/Forest VNA
271 Perkins Road, Clarion PA 16241

American Cancer Society
P.O. Box 862, Carnegie PA 15106

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