Passed away on June 9, 2012 in his home, surrounded by his family. Joe battled heart disease most of his adult life. He was born to Joseph and Margaret (Renga) Bilotta, in New York on January 21, 1936. The family moved to Santa Barbara in the early 1940's. Joe attended Harding Elementary School, La Cumbre Junior High, and Santa Barbara High School. Joe was part of the Dons football and baseball teams and helped lead both teams to many championship playoffs. Joe attended SBCC for a short time before entering the U.S. Armed Forces where he traveled through Europe extensively. He continued to play baseball while in the Army, leading the team to a 2nd place spot in the European World Series. Once out of the service he went to work in the family upholstery business known as Bilotta Studios, which he eventually took over and successfully ran for over 50 years. He continued to play baseball with the Santa Barbara Semi-Pro Ball league for the Hildago Plumbing team with many of his former SB Dons teammates. In 1959 Joe married his beloved wife of 53 years, Peggy. They had two daughters, Bonnie Bilotta of Santa Ynez and Nancy Smith of Goleta. Joe was a member of the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge for 54 years, and President of the DB club for 20 years. Joe was also an avid golfer and organized the Santa Barbara Scramble for 27 years, in which there were over 200 golfers. He also played in many of the charity golf tournaments in the community. Joe and Peggy enjoyed traveling and going on cruises with their many friends and relatives. Joe is survived by his loving wife Peggy and their two daughters, Bonnie Bilotta and Nancy and husband Don Smith, his grandchildren, Joseph, Garrett and Ty Smith and his sister and brother in law, Margaret (Bilotta) and Leonard Cordero. Joe has many nieces and nephews that feel their Uncle Joe was more of a father figure than an Uncle. His three Grandsons meant the world to him and he was very involved in their lives. All three grandsons attended Dos Pueblos High School and were very active in sports. Joe never missed an event, even through his illness, he was there to support them. The boys will miss their Grandpa, he was a very important part of their lives. Joe's path through the years has touched so many Santa Barbran's that just the mention of his name and his wonderful smile is familiar to all the community. He will be deeply missed by so many. Joe was a wonderful, loving, and caring individual. Rest in Peace, Joe. CIAO MI AMORE. A celebration of life will be held at the Santa Barbara Elks Lodge on June 29, 2012 from 11:30-3:00. Donations can be made to the Hospice and Visiting Nurses of S.B. 222 E. Canon Perdido Street, SB 93101.
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