Joseph Raineri

April 22, 1945 — June 12, 2015

Joseph Raineri

Joseph Earl Raineri (Papa Joe) 70, of Berrien Springs, MI, passed away in South Bend, on Friday Morning, June 12, 2015. Jesus came and took Joseph, the dearly loved center of our family, to Heaven, after he’d overcome enormous health challenges for years, valiantly cheating death again and again. We are blessed beyond words that he fought courageously to live against all odds and we count dear every moment we had with him. After a number of hospitalizations over the previous year, we are deeply grateful to God that Joseph was surrounded by family in the last moments of life. A man has never been more loved by his family than Joseph Raineri. He taught us well and loved us well. He kept us laughing with his beautiful sense of humor. He was the center of our family and yet he was humble. We witness countless acts of selflessness as he helped anyone that came into his path. He was always happy if he was helping someone else. He laughed and told stories and jokes, and ALWAYS had a SMILE on his face. None of us has to wonder how he felt about us. We were told often how much he loved us.

We are grateful for the doctors and the nurses at Lakeland Hospital in St Joe, MI and Saint Joseph Hospital in Mishawaka, IN as well and South Bend Memorial Hospital and all the people at the cancer center, and especially Dr. Rafat Ansari, who knew him well from his many visits and loved him.

Joseph was born in Peoria, IL on April 22, 1945 to the late Verne and Polly (Searle) Raineri. He was raised from the age of two to adulthood, by his foster parents the late Shelby & Martha Iona (Pippin) Cook, and they were his parents until their deaths. On November 21, 1965 Joseph married the love of his life, Roberta N Bell, and they have been each others constant companion and best friends for 49.5 years. Joseph and Roberta were looking forward to celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary this November. There was hardly a moment that went by when Joseph did not call out to his beloved Bertie, that he loved her. Theirs was a special life-long bond of true love and devotion upon one another.

Alongside his beloved wife, Joseph was a devoted Christian, and his faith in Jesus Christ grew dearer and dearer to him. They were members of the Village Seventh-Day Adventist Church and retired from Lake Union Conference of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church. Joe enjoyed his flower gardens, tending his lawn, many adventures on his bicycle, and the Berrien County Youth Fair. He had a great love for animals and adored his faithful K9 companions, Emma and Truman Robert.

He is survived by his wife Roberta, along with a daughter - Laureen (David Withers) of South Bend; an adoptive son and daughter - Matthew and Delisa Purchase of Berrien Springs; granddaughters - Madelin Withers and Ellie Purchase; two brothers - Donald Raineri of IL and Verne Raineri of TN; a sister - Eloise (Milton) Trump of IL; many nieces and nephews; his sister-in-laws Linda Burks and Peggy Shine of Bloomington, IL; his best friend for life, Bill Morgan of IL; and his Italian brother Pete Rago of Eau Claire, MI.

Joe was preceded in death by a son, Joseph W. Raineri in 2013; his foster brother Wayne Shelby Cook; and his brother, Larry Raineri; his Father and Mother-in-laws, William and Della Mae (Handley) Bell; brothers-in-laws, William D Bell and Michael H Bell.

A Celebration of Life will be held 3:00 PM, Sunday, July 12, 2015 at The Berrien County Youth Memorial Building, Berrien Springs, Michigan. Friends may meet with the family from 1-3 PM prior to the service. As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be given to the Humane Society. Online condolences accepted at

People process grief in different ways. We have never been more grief stricken over losing someone. He was just such a force in our family. Joseph was such a wonderful man, and he always had so much fun. He was just one of those kinds of people who can never be replaced. We, his family, feel like we have a huge gaping hole left where he always was.

Gathering of Family and Friends

1 - 3 PM ,Sunday, July 12, 2015
Berrien County Youth Memorial Building
9122 U.S. Highway 31 Berrien Springs, MI 49103

Celebration of Life

3 PM ,Sunday, July 12, 2015
Berrien County Youth Memorial Building
9122 U.S. Highway 31 Berrien Springs, MI 49103
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Raineri, please visit our flower store.

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