Joe G. Duarte, born on March 4, 1948, in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, passed away on October 21, 2023, in Tucson, AZ. He was a loving husband, dad, pops, daddy, tata and great-grandfather. Joe lived a remarkable life filled with love, laughter, and passion.
Joe's career was characterized by dedication and a strong sense of duty. After proudly serving in the United States Navy during the Vietnam War, he began his professional journey in banking and also served as an Enforcement Agent for the State of Arizona Department of Revenue before embarking on a new path as a United States Customs Agent. A proud member of law enforcement, Joe joined the United States Customs and Border Protection in his 40s which was a testament to his unwavering determination and commitment to serving his country.
Born with an innate sense of humor and a playful spirit, Joe had a knack for making others laugh. He delighted in creating his own jokes and was always the first to laugh at them. His zest for life extended to the kitchen where he showcased his creative culinary skills. Joe could transform simple ingredients from the refrigerator and pantry into flavorful meals that were never short on spice.
Education played an essential role in shaping Joe's life. He attended Douglas High School and Cochise College before furthering his knowledge at the Institute of Banking. In pursuit of his dream to serve as a United States Customs Agent, he completed rigorous training at the United States Customs Training facility in Georgia.
Joe's warm personality endeared him to all who knew him. A true jokester at heart, he always had an infectious smile on his face and a witty remark ready for any occasion. Joe's generosity knew no bounds. He was quick to lend a helping hand to anyone in need. His humility and love for his family were evident in every aspect of his life.
Through both sunny days and stormy nights, Joe found solace in his unwavering faith and devotion to the Lord. This deep spiritual connection guided him throughout his journey and provided him with strength and comfort during difficult times.
Beyond his distinguished careers, Joe cultivated a wide range of hobbies and interests. He was an avid fisherman, finding solace and joy surrounded by nature. Music had always been a significant part of Joe's life, having picked up various instruments at an early age. Since the age of 11, he honed his musical talents and played the saxophone, piano, and bass guitar with skill and passion. He was also a devoted member of the Continental Band in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. Adventure called to Joe in the form of camping trips and outdoor escapades. His love for classic cars led him down the winding roads of nostalgia, and he relished every moment spent behind the wheel. In addition to his many interests, Joe loved the open road on his motorcycle—a symbol of his adventurous spirit.
Joe's proudest accomplishment was undoubtedly his loving family. For 38 years, he shared a beautiful journey with his beloved wife Elsa G. Duarte. Together they created a home filled with love, laughter, and memories that will last a lifetime. Joe was an exceptional dad, pops and daddy to his children: Lupita Encinas (Juan Encinas), Zorina Wasilewski (Leonard Woehr), Marisela Lindley (Sebastian Lindley) and Alejandro Ramirez (Christina Ramirez). His guiding hand helped shape their lives, imparting valuable life lessons rooted in love, respect, and perseverance.
Joe cherished being a tata to Cassandra Ramirez, Dimitri Ramirez, Evan Wasilewski, Erik Ramirez, Jake Wasilewski, and Gabriel Encinas. Their innocent laughter brought immense joy to his heart. In later years, Joe had the privilege of becoming a great-grandfather to Irely Ramirez, Hazel Wasilewski, Amari Ramirez, Easton Wasilewski, and Brooklyn Wasilewski. He treasured each precious moment spent with them, their presence serving as a reminder of the legacy he leaves behind.
In addition to his immediate family, Joe's life was enriched by his close canine companions, Chacho and Baby, who brought him boundless love and unwavering loyalty.
We mourn the loss of Joe G. Duarte, a beloved husband, dad, pops, daddy, tata, great-grandfather, and friend. He was preceded in death by his parents, Abelardo and Josefina Duarte, and his sister Linda Necochea. Although our hearts ache with grief at his departure, we find solace in the memories we shared with Joe throughout the years.
Joe will be remembered for his infectious laughter, his genuine kindness towards others, and his humble presence. May he rest in eternal peace, knowing that he touched the lives of many with his warmth and love. As we bid farewell to a dear soul who brought so much joy into our lives, let us honor Joe's memory by cherishing our loved ones and living life to the fullest just as he did.
There will be a an upcoming Celebration of Joe's Life at the American Legion at 4724 S. 12th Avenue on Sunday, 12/3/2023 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Please R.S.V.P. to Alejandro at (520) 339-8980.