Joe Gilbert Oliveira, 68, died Wednesday, Nov. 28 at his home with his family by his side after a battle with cancer.
He was the youngest of five children. He was born on the island of Pico in the Azores. He lived there until he was 17 years old. After serving in the Portuguese Navy for seven years, he moved to the United States without knowing a word of English. He became an American citizen in 1980.
In 1970, he met the love of his life, Umbelina Machado; they were both employees at the Banquet Foods factory in Turlock. He needed an interpreter and she acted as his interpreter; they married nine months later. They remained devoted husband and wife for the next 41 years.
Mr. Oliveira and his wife started a dairy farm in 1974 on Eleanor Road in Oakdale. A few years later, the two moved their farm and their family to Langworth Road, and lived there ever since. In 2000, he retired from the dairy business but continued to farm corn and oats, and later, almonds.
He took great pleasure cultivating his backyard garden. He grew tomatoes, fava beans, inhames, watermelons, and many other fruits and vegetables. He also loved fishing and was an avid sports fan. In his final years, he spent two months a year at his adega in the Azores and spent the remaining 10 months talking about doing so. While in Pico, he would not allow anyone to pass by his porch without having a glass of wine or a shot of aguardiente. More than anything, he loved to spend time with his family, particularly his grandchildren.
He served as President of the Festa do Espirito Santo in Oakdale in 1986.
His family thanks Dr. Chet Mahida for his kind care and support.
He is survived by his loving wife, Umbelina; children, Joseph Oliveira, James (Jaime) Oliveira, and Jenice (Francisco) Paniagua, all of Oakdale; brother, Manuel; sister, Evelina; and six grandchildren, all of Oakdale.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Manuel and Isabel Oliveira; brother, Gilbert; sister, Deodette.
A Rosary will be at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Dec.6 at Oakdale Memorial Chapel. A Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 7 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Oakdale. Burial will be at Burwood Cemetery, Escalon. A celebration of life will be held at the Oakdale F.E.S. Hall.
In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Oakdale F.E.S., P.O. Box 709, Oakdale, CA 95361; or to Y.L.I. Helping Hands, P.O. Box 970, Oakdale, CA 95361.