Joseph ‘Jo Jo’ Cortese, 67 of San Juan Capistrano, CA and formerly of Fort Sumner died Thursday, November 6, 2008 at 6:52 pm in a Lubbock, TX hospital following a sudden illness.
Joseph was born July 26, 1941 in Fort Sumner, NM to the home of Joe and Edith McFadden Cortese. He attended high school in Fort Sumner; undergraduate studies at NMSU and completed his studies at Fort Collins Veterinary School. JoJo was interested in how those crazy Californians lived; he moved there and loved it. He married Goldee Peters on June 3, 1990 in Dana Point, CA.
Joseph began his veterinary practice in La Canada, CA. For the past 36 years he owned and operated Capistrano Veterinary Clinic in San Juan Capistrano. He served as chairman of the Animal Health Foundation; president of Southern California Veterinary Medical Association; formed the Veterinary Wellness Committee an organization to promote a drug free work environment for all veterinary clinic employees.
Joseph was an active member of San Juan Capistrano Rotary Club where he served two years as president; he was voted Citizen of the Year of San Juan Capistrano in 2000.
Joseph was preceded in death by his mother, Edith Cortese in 1974; father Joe Cortese in 1998; a sister Betty Joe Caffo, brother-in-law Louie and their three sons who died in an automobile accident in 1960.
Survivors include his wife Goldee Cortese of San Juan Capistrano, CA; son Jeff Cortese and wife Brenda of Portales, NM; daughter Kristy Cortese Warner and husband David of Boston, Mass.; step mother Zela Cortese of Fort Sumner; a brother Gerald Don and wife Lou Ann Cortese of Fort Sumner; four grandchildren Rye Cortese Warner, Caleb Dwette, Mariah Cortese and Joey Cortese. Also surviving is the mother of his children Annette Wallace of Palm Springs, CA; a step-daughter Kathi Helbing and husband Scott of Murietta, CA and their children Max, Brooklyn and Lauren Helbing. Other survivors include a host of relatives and friends.