Joseph V. Biondi of Warroad, MN, 78 years old, passed away peacefully on April 14, 2023. He was surrounded by the love of his family at the Warroad Senior Living Center.
Joe was born on July 30, 1944 to Joseph and Lillian (Koski) Biondi in Chisholm, MN. He grew up with his six siblings, graduated from Chisholm High School, and later attended Hibbing Junior College, where he played football for two years.
Joe first met his wife, Marilyn Napoli, in junior college. They got married on August 18, 1965 before Joe attended Moorhead State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s of Education in 1969 and continued playing football for the Dragons. Sports writers often referred to him as “Joltin Joe” for his strength and power as a running back.
Following his college years, he began his seven-year education and coaching career at Glyndon-Felton High School, teaching phy ed and health and coaching both basketball and football.
In 1976, he moved his family to Warroad, MN, beginning a new teaching and coaching legacy for Warroad High School. In his 17 years, he coached junior high and varsity football, junior varsity basketball, and varsity track. As once shared by a friend and colleague, “Joe probably could have coached any sport and been successful at it. He just had the knack.”
He was instrumental in the creation of Warroad’s football field in the early 80s and also served as Warroad’s first full-time Community Education/Activities Director. He was also the man behind the wheel and taught driver education for several years. He was a well-respected mentor to hundreds of student-athletes and left an indelible mark in the community before retiring.
Marilyn and Joe planted their roots in Warroad and raised their four children, Lisa Hebel, Joe Biondi, Kristin Biondi-Rislov, and Lyndsey Cole. He instilled the importance of family in all of them, guided with tough love and his signature smirk, and reminded them often that any type of hurt was “a long way from the heart.”
Throughout his life, Joe was an avid hunter, fisherman, and dog-lover. He enjoyed fishing trips to the family cabins in Blackduck, Pelican, Morson, and Sioux Narrows. They were his much-loved retreats. He also cherished time at hunting camps with family and friends at Four Town, Schmitty’s Shack, and CBS.
As a well-known gardener, another place became the source of Joe’s pride and joy: his garden. Come harvest time, Joe never failed to share; he would drop off produce to friends and family all over town. Anytime he could, he would take his grandchildren outside to show them the ins and outs of gardening. They were the lucky ones, as his own children had to pick the weeds and haul water from the river when they were growing up!
Joe embraced his Italian heritage in the kitchen; his cooking brought his family together. Dad’s/Grandpa’s spaghetti wasn’t just for holidays; it was a weekly tradition. Every grandchild’s first taste was a shirtless, orange face-staining, and meatball-loving feast. This was his love language; it was felt by anyone gathered around his table.
Joe was soft spoken yet assertive; he only had to state things once to be understood. He will be remembered for his humble heart and dignified nature. His gentle presence will be missed but never forgotten.
Surviving Joe is his wife of 57 years, Marilyn, and their children, Lisa (Dion) Hebel, Joe (Kelly) Biondi, Kristin (Aaron) Biondi-Rislov, and Lyndsey (Ty) Cole. Along with his eleven grandchildren: Brittany (Matt) Gearman and Brett Hebel, Blake, Kellyn, and Lauryn Biondi, Nickolas, Zander, and Hadley Rislov, and Maddex, Avery, and Jax Cole. Brother Jeff (Carol) Biondi. Sisters-in-law Jonelle (Jerry) Krause and Susie (Bob) Fryckman, along with several nieces and nephews.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Lillian (Koski) Biondi. Along with brothers James and Michael Biondi and sisters Barbara Stampohar, Loretta Peterson, and Karen Biondi.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Joe Biondi family.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Joe Biondi of Warroad, MN will be held on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at 11:00AM at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Warroad, MN. Visitation will be held on Friday, April 21, 2023 from 5-7PM at St. Mary's Catholic Church with a prayer service at 7PM. Visitation will also be held one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.
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