Joseph Baffa

Joseph Baffa

September 03, 1925 - August 05, 2014

Joseph Baffa

September 03, 1925 - August 05, 2014


Joseph ‘Joe’ Baffa passed away peacefully at home on August 5, 2014 of natural causes. He was born in Santa Sofia d’ Espiro, Italy, on September 3, 1925. He and his parents, Louis and Anna Maria Baffa, along with his younger brother, Frank, emigrated to the United States when Joe was two years old and Frank was two months old. They settled on the East Coast where Joe’s sister, Rose, and his youngest brother, George, were born. The family moved to Los Angeles, California in 1940.

Joe attended George Washington High School in Southwest Los Angeles where he was active in the student band playing his life long favorite instrument, the trumpet. At the age of seventeen, he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard where he engaged in many large naval battles in the Pacific during World War ll. He served bravely and received the Purple Heart, among other decorations, and was honorably discharged in 1946 with the rank of Signalman First Class.

After the war, Joe attended Pepperdine University at its original location in Southwest L.A. where he pursued his love of music, majoring in music and education, and also pitching on the varsity baseball team. He later became an avid golfer and enjoyed playing throughout his life. In 1957, he married the love of his life, Lorraine Johnson. He continued his education earning a Masters degree in Education at U.S.C. and teaching music for many years in the Inglewood School System until he went into administration and became an elementary school principal.

In 1973, Joe and Lorraine moved to Orange County where he was principal of Valencia Elementary School in the Saddleback Valley School District until his retirement in 1986. During his 35-year career in public education, Joe had a positive impact on thousands of children. Throughout his life, he also remained the ‘Music Man’ playing his horn for family and friends, being the leader of a big band or combo well into his sixties and giving music lessons to many grateful students, young and old, into his eighties.

Joe is survived by his wife, Lorraine, his sweetheart for 56 years, who supported his activities and devotedly cared for him during the last few years of his life when his health was failing. He is also survived by his brother, George, and many loving nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

A memorial service will be held for Joe on Sunday, August 17th at 1 pm at the O’Connor Mortuary Chapel in Laguna Hills.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the charity of your choice.

No Events & Services

No Charities & Donations

No Videos

4 responses to Joseph Baffa

  1. Rosemary says:

    I knew Joe while he was the principal at Valencia Elementary School while my children attended there long ago. I was also a parent volunteer during that time and had the opportunity to speak with Joe often. I will always remember him as caring, concerned and smiling just as he is in this photo.

    My thoughts and prayers are with Mrs. Baffa and with all of the Baffa family during this sad time. Joe will be missed by all who knew him!

  2. Steve Myrick says:

    Mr. Baffa was my 5th Grade school teacher at Daniel Freeman Elementary School in Inglewood, California in the 1950’s. I had just moved to Inglewood from Los Angeles. Mr. Baffa was my first male teacher. He was a vey good teacher who expected much from his students. The bar that he set was higher than the one I was used to. But it helped me to perform at a higher level. It was a gift to have been one of his students.

    Steve Myrick

  3. Joni says:

    I Googled Joe’s name just wondering where he was and what he was up to today and found this site.

    I took trumpet lessons from Joe while in high school in the early 90’s. He was always kind, patient and excited to start our lessons. Thanks Joe for being a positive influence and all the duets we played together, I’ll put on a Herb Albert song tonight for you.

  4. Mr. Baffa was my 6th Grade Teacher at Daniel Freeman Elementary School in Inglewood, California! I’m sure his impact on my life inspired me to become a teacher! When I was 8 months pregnant with my son, Michael, I was called to substitute the Gates Class at Valencia Elementary School in Laguna Hills. Mr. Baffa was the Principal!!! We had a precious “Reunion”! Years later, he ended up being the instructor for one of my students who played the horn! GOD BLESS YOU, MR. BAFFA!!! I’ll see you, again, in Heaven!!! XOXO

Leave A Condolence

Choose a Candle