Joseph John Sanfilippo

Jan 2, 1952 - Nov 2, 2015


Joseph John Sanfilippo January 2, 1952 – November 2, 2015

Joseph John Sanfilippo passed away November 2, 2015 from a heart attack. Joe was born to Michael and Jennie Sanfilippo on January 2, 1952 in Sacramento, California. In 1965, Joe’s father purchased an orange grove in Woodlake, California and moved his family of five boys and one daughter from city life to country life. Joe attended Woodlake High School, played junior varsity football, and got up to no good with his five brothers. So much for country life! He attended College of the Sequoias and Fresno State College, majoring in engineering. During high school and college, he worked at the White Horse Inn in Three Rivers near Sequoia National Park. He met his lifetime friend, Brad Murchison, in elementary school at the age of six. After attending college and carpenter school, he worked for Brad’s family business, Murchison Construction Company. He was a superintendant on many commercial projects including Northstar California Resort. Joe loved the snow and was an expert, black diamond skier. He loved water-skiing, jet-skiing, white-water rafting and was a train buff, with a collection of G-scale model trains. He loved Halloween and Christmas and created intricate holiday displays, painstakingly creating villages with landscapes, characters, and multiple trains running simultaneously.

Joe met Ruth Lundsten in 1998 and instantly fell in love. They got married in 2008 at the White Horse Inn and spent their honeymoon in Italy. Ruth and Joe hosted fun parties at their home – annual Italian Christmas dinners, a Halloween party, and even weddings. One year, Joe and Ruth created a Christmas train shop display for the neighborhood and had 250 visitors. This past Halloween, they won the grand prize in William Glen’s Halloween display contest. Joe was proud to serve on the board of the Dante Club, where his father, uncles, brothers and other family are members.

Joe was known for always being available to help anyone, anytime, with anything, from removing trees to hanging wedding lights, always with a big smile. He loved to tell stories and was blessed with an infectious laugh and the power to make friends wherever he went. To know him was to love him. All felt lucky to have him in their lives.

In addition to his wife, Ruth, Joe is survived by his father, Michael, his brothers Dick, Chuck and Phil, aunts, uncles, many cousins, nieces, nephews, son-in-laws, daughter-in-laws, grandchildren, and countless wonderful friends.

A celebration of Joe’s life will be held on Sunday, November 15, at the Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Sacramento, California, 95825. In lieu of flowers, a charitable contribution can be made in Joe Sanfilippo’s name to the American Diabetes Association or the California State Railroad Museum.

Funeral Home:
East Lawn Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Sacramento, CA
US 95841


  • Albie says:

    Gonna miss ya Joe all the best Ruthie

  • Lynne McKay says:

    HI my name is Lynne and I’m from Australia -I have been searching for a while on facebook for Joe and a few other friends that my friend and I made in Sacramento in 1989/90. Joe was so kind (we met him in London) and he gave us a place to stay for a while when we came to the States. I am so sad to see that I have finally found him to catch up on what he’s been up to and have found out that he is no longer with us- my deepest condolences to his family- so sorry to bring up any sadness but remembering Joe I know that there are plenty of good memories xx

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