Mr. Joseph Robert Nelli, 86, of Rock Hill, formerly of Gastonia, died Tuesday, September 10, 2013 at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, S.C.
He was a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and the son of the late Nicola Nelli and Giovaninna DiSanto Nelli.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Father Agustin Guzman, C.O. 10:30 AM Saturday, September 14, 2013 at Saint Mary Parish-Catholic Church, 902 Crawford Road, Rock Hill, S.C. 29731.
Interment will follow in Gaston Memorial Park, Gastonia, N.C.
A rosary service will be held 7 PM, Friday, September 13, 2013 in the Founders Chapel of McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia where the family will receive friends immediately following the rosary.
Joe was a member of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Gastonia, Charter member and 4th Degree Knight in Knights of Columbus Council 6700 at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, member of St. Michael’s CCD, Co-founder and Director of the St. Michael’s Saturday Morning Basketball League, member of Gastonia Kiwanis, Founder of the Nocturnal Adoration Society of St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Board Member of the Boy Scouts of America Troop # 503, Mentor with Gaston County Schools, N.C. and a member of the North Carolina and National Right to Life organizations.
He retired in 1991 from FMC Lithium Division after a career of 31 years in process research, new product development, and business development.
Joe was a devoted husband and the consummate father, raising his eight children with the love, compassion and discipline that only a devoutly religious man could provide. Joe was an avid golfer and bowler and loved playing backyard badminton games with his children. Joe loved to travel and visited over 25 countries with his beloved wife. For over 60 years, he embarked on his yearly vacation to Long Beach, N.C. where the extended family would gather for a week or more of fun and togetherness. Throughout his life, he organized family outings to museums, amusements and historical settings for the enjoyment of all.
Survivors include sons and daughters-in-law, Rob and Eileen Nelli of South Windsor, CT, Mrs. Pat Nelli of Cary, NC, James and Kathy Nelli of Gastonia, Tom and Cortney Nelli of Fishersville, VA., Bill and Kristen Nelli of Greenville, SC, Chris and Michelle Nelli of The Woodlands, TX, and Steven and Stacey Nelli of Las Cruces, NM., daughter, Jeanne Marie Vick of Houston, TX, sister, Rita Leone of Cinnaminson, N.J.; grandchildren, Cheryl Bibbins, Andrew Nelli, Stephanie Nelli, Nicholas Nelli, Nathan Nelli, Garrett Nelli, Austin Nelli, Patrick Nelli, Katie Gray Conner, Emma Nelli, Daniel Nelli, Lexi Vick, Madison Vick, Jed Vick, Emily Nelli, David Nelli, Lia Nelli, Olivia Nelli, Christopher Nelli, Ainsley Nelli, Annaliese Nelli, Anthony Nelli; great-grandchildren, Aliyah Bibbins, Preston Bibbins and a number of nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by his wife Rita Nelli and sons John and David.
Memorials may be made to St. Michael’s Catholic Church, 708 St. Michael Lane, Gastonia, N.C. 28052
Condolences may be sent on line to www.mcleanfuneral.com
McLean Funeral Directors of Gastonia is serving the Nelli family.