Harrell Funeral Home of Austin
4435 Frontier Trail
AUSTIN TX 78745
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Joseph Peter Genuard, 97, of Austin, Texas passed away at home, surrounded by his family, on February 23, 2023. He was born on January 6, 1926 to parents Julia Byrne and Vincent Genuard in Manhattan, New York.
As a young boy, ... Read More
Joseph Peter Genuard, 97, of Austin, Texas passed away at home, surrounded by his family, on February 23, 2023. He was born on January 6, 1926 to parents Julia Byrne and Vincent Genuard in Manhattan, New York.
As a young boy, Joe enjoyed taking everything apart to see how it worked. Growing up during The Depression, Joe left school in the 10 th grade so he could work at a fruit store to help support his family.
Joe was 18 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II in 1944. He served as a rifleman with the 311th infantry in the European Theater. While serving, he was wounded and was honored with two Purple Hearts. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He received a Good Conduct Medal, a European-African-Middle Eastern Theater Campaign Ribbon, and an American Theater Campaign Ribbon.
When he returned home he began working at the Gottfried Baking Company where he met the love of his life, Castrenza "Nina" Virga. Joe was an oven-man and Nina wrapped the bread. They married in 1950 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. Their first child, Julie, was born in 1952 and their second child, Mary, was born in 1956.
With his GI Bill he went to trade school and took up the craft of sign painting, making signage for grocery stores. Calligraphy remained a life-long hobby for him. He later secured a position with the Department of Defense in security, and continued sign painting in the evenings. Despite working long hours to support his family, he always made time for his children. Joe was a very involved father, even making clothes for his daughters' Barbie dolls.
With the Department of Defense, he rose through the ranks, and ultimately was named chief. His assignments over the years included security for the Army Pictorial Center, and subsequently, the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
He retired from the Federal Government at age 55 and moved to Austin, Texas with his wife Nina in 1981. He took a civilian job in security at Bank One in downtown Austin for 10 years before retiring for a second time.
Joe and Nina were then able to spend their time enjoying old movies, home repair shows, and helping extensively with the raising of their only grandchild Michelle.
Joe spent many happy years doting on his wife Nina and ultimately caring for her until her passing in 2012.
For the last two decades, Joe has resided with his daughter Mary and her husband Dennis where he has been able to spend his time reading, drinking copious cups of coffee, eating homemade meals, and watching his immediate and extended family grow and flourish.
Anyone who has had the privilege of knowing Joe can tell you that he was the most kind, most humble, hardworking, honest, reliable, and loyal person they've ever met.
Joe is described best by Nina in a letter she wrote him in 1975, found posthumously hidden in a drawer with Joe's most precious possessions in the days after his death:
"When they made you there was nothing left for any other man because you are all that is a man."
His stoic, yet strong and dependable presence has been a rock in more people's lives then he likely ever realized. He was a father and grand-father figure to many and he will be deeply missed.
Joe is survived by his daughter Julie Adamec and husband John, his daughter Mary Wright and husband Dennis, his granddaughter Michelle Banister and wife Katherine, and his great-granddaughter Matilda "Millie" Banister. Joe is preceded in death by his parents, his older brother John Genuard, and his wife Nina.
Graveside service will be held on March 6th, 2023 at 10:00 am at Onion Creek Memorial Park. Funeral reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hospice Austin.
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