Joe Gilbert Oliveira died on the afternoon of Wednesday, November 28, 2012, at his home with his family after a battle with cancer. He was sixty-eight years old.
Joe was the youngest of five children. He was preceded in death by his parents, Manuel and Isabel Oliveira, his brother, Gilbert, and his sister, Deodette. He is survived by his loving wife, Umbelina, his brother, Manuel, and his sister, Evelina. Joe also leaves behind his three children, Joseph Oliveira, James Oliveira (Jaime), and Jenice Paniagua (Francisco), and his six grandchildren, Michael (16), Micaela (12), Samantha (4), Allison (3), Isabella (3), and Kate (6 months), all of Oakdale.
Joe was born on the island of Pico in the Azores. He lived there until he was seventeen years old. After serving in the Portuguese Navy for seven years, Joe moved to the United States without knowing a word of English. He became an American citizen in 1980.
In 1970, Joe met the love of his life, Umbelina Machado. They were both employees at the Banquet Foods factory in Turlock. Joe needed an interpreter. Umbelina acted as his interpreter and they were married nine months later. They remained devoted husband and wife for the next forty-one years.
Joe and Umbelina 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 have been there ever since. In 2000, Joe retired from the dairy business. He continued to farm corn and oats, and later, almonds.
Joe took great pleasure cultivating his backyard garden. He grew tomatoes, fava beans, inhames, watermelons, and just about every other fruit and vegetable possible. 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 ten months talking about doing so. While in Pico, Joe would not allow anyone to pass by his porch without having a glass of wine or a shot of aguardiente. More than anything, Joe loved to spend time with his family, particularly his grandchildren. In 1986, Joe was the President of the Festa do Espirito Santo in Oakdale.
There will be a Rosary at Oakdale Memorial Chapel at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 6, 2012. A Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Oakdale at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 7, 2012. Burial will be at Burwood Cemetery in 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 Y.L.I. Helping Hands (P.O. Box 970, Oakdale, CA 95361). The Oliveira Family wishes to thank Dr. Chet Mahida for his kind care and support.