February 27, 1940 ~ August 6, 2017
Our loving partner, mom, nonnie, and aunt, Joanne Ballardini passed away on August 6, 2017 at 77 years old. A native Nevadan, she was born on February 27, 1940 to Ben and Cecile Caramella at Saint Mary’s Hospital. She attended Saint Thomas of Aquinas Grammar School and graduated from Bishop Manogue High School in 1958. On April 8, 1961, Joanne married her life-long partner of fifty-six years, Julius Ballardini; growing up together in the Reno ranching community, they were destined to dance a waltz through life’s many joys and hardships. In this journey, God gifted them three lovely daughters, Julianne, Antoinette, and Nicole that set the foundation for their legacy.
Born to hardworking parents, Joanne was ingrained with a strong work ethic. She began her career at a young age working at Comstock Insurance Agency for John Sweatt. In 1962, driven for success, she then built the booming business of Capital Sanitation in Carson City with her husband. Later joining their parent company, Disposal Services, owned by her father, Ben, and brothers, Jack and Sam Caramella which formed the Ballardini-Caramella partnership. After more than four decades of prosperity with heavy hearts, they decided to move on to other endeavors. Always an entrepreneur, Joanne continued to be an iconic and well-respected business figure in Carson City and Reno.
So many things made her life full. On any given day, Joanne could be found with her BFF (best friend forever), Cecile, whom was not only her mother but soulmate up until the day God called her. She treasured going to lunch and dinner with friends, especially Wednesday night with the ladies. She loved her parlays at the sportsbook and was nicknamed The Over-Under Queen. She had her standing appointment at Starbucks to get her daily dose of caffeine, current events, and chitchat. Her yard was her sanctuary, she often enjoyed perusing the local nurseries to fill her award-winning garden. Another delight near and dear to her heart was being compassionate and giving to those in need. Many have been fortunate to receive her love in all its forms.
Her biggest joy throughout life was time spent with family and friends. Raised on the Damonte Ranch, Joanne, Jack, Sam and cousins spent endless hours riding horses, swimming in the ditch, running amuck, and growing old together. They continued the tradition through generations by having parties and get-togethers in which they cooked, danced, and blended their families.
Joanne was so much to so many, she was a matriarch, a businesswoman, a confidant, and a mentor with a soft, loyal, generous heart that never left any promise unkempt. Most of all she was a wonderful caretaker for her husband, mother, father, children, and grandchildren.
Joanne was preceded in death by her father, Ben, and brothers, Jack and Sam. She is survived by her husband, Julius, mother of 102 years, Cecile, daughters, Julianne, Antoinette, and Nicole Ballardini, grandchildren, Ciara, Antone, Cort, and Racquele LeBard, Gabriel (Ciarra) and Savina Brown, and Luca Ballardini, and soon-to-be great grandbaby Gianna Rose Brown.
Visitation hours will be held from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm, with recitation of the holy rosary at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 13, 2017 at Walton’s Funeral Home, 875 W. 2nd Street, Reno. Funeral services will be at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Reno, Monday, August 14, 2017 at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests masses or gift to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Pl. MSC 512, Memphis, TN 38105-3678.