Joseph Venera, 85, died of natural causes on March 22, 2020 at the Gentle Care Adult Home in Renton, Washington. He was laid to rest in a private ceremony at the Laurel Hill Memorial Park in Cle Elum and a memorial service will be held at a later date.
Joe was born on June 2, 1934 in Seattle, Washington to Joseph Batista and Clara Marie (Rodella) Venera. He graduated from Cle Elum-Roslyn High School with the Class of 1952. He attended Central Washington College (now CWU) and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Education in 1957. He married Janet Marinsic and they settled in a home in Renton. They celebrated 57 years of marriage on December 22, 2019.
Joe was a teacher for the Kent School District for 36 years including his time as the Industrial Cooperative Educational Coordinator assisting many students with securing employment, starting businesses, entering military service, or pursuing educational and training endeavors. He supported Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (VICA) with many students competing in national and state competitions for small gas engines. His support for students was far reaching from home coming events, chaperoning proms, to selling Christmas trees for fund-raising activities, to advising the senior class. He also was the Washington State President of Trade and Industrial & Technical & Health Occupations and the Technical Advisor for Renton Technical College.
Joe successfully developed a building trades construction program at Kent Meridian High School which led to the building of seven homes in the Kent community designed and built by local builders and students from three high schools (Kent Meridian, Kentridge, and Kentwood). Another community project which students were involved in was the building the Burlington Green Gazebo in Kent. Students learned how to be involved and connected to their community with these efforts.
His passion for students extended in many of his accolades and achievements to include a certificate of recognition from the Washington Education Association (WEA), 25 years of outstanding service in Industrial Arts Education, the United States Navy – Educator Orientation Visit Program, Trade & Industrial Technical & Health Occupations, Kent School District Advisory Committees and the City of Kent Proclamation for Joe Venera Day on June 14, 1994.
Joe was a member of the Cle Elum Eagles for 67 years, a Cub Scout Master for the Boy Scouts of America troop number 489, and a baseball coach for Renton Little League for several years. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and mechanically rebuilding automobiles. He was a member of the Roslyn Cemetery Board, Sons of Italy Lodge, and Coal Miner’s Monument Committee.
Joe’s greatest love was for his family and pride in attending numerous activities for his children and grandchildren over the years; celebrating many milestones and accomplishments. He loved to share all the memories with his friends and neighbors, whom are an extension of his family.
Joe is survived by his wife Janet (Marinsic) Venera at the family home in Renton; sons Glenn Venera and wife Lana of Renton and Scott Venera and wife Teri of Hayden Lake, ID and daughter Linda Venera of Renton; four grandchildren Giovanna Venera of Mesa, AZ, Jarod Venera of Renton, Hanna Venera and Katie Venera of Hayden Lake, ID.
Those who wish to remember Joe in a special way may make gifts in his memory to one of the following: City of Cle Elum Fire Department Association, ATTN: Chief Ed Mills: 119 W 1st, Cle Elum, WA 98922 or Saint John’s the Baptist Church, 303 W 2nd, Cle Elum, WA 98922 or Providence Hospice of Seattle Foundation 211 S. 102nd St, Suite 220, Tukwila, WA 98168.
Cascade Funeral Home of Cle Elum has been entrusted with caring for Joe’s family. Online condolences may be left at www.cascadefuneralhome.com
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