basque heritage worldwide

In memory of

Joseph Andre Sallaberry

Joseph Andre Sallaberry
Joseph Andre Sallaberry (July 11, 1937 - May 12, 2023)

05/12/2023 - Turlock, California, USA

On May 12, 2023, the world lost a powerhouse of a man, an amazing father, a devoted husband, and a fun-loving grandfather. Joseph Andre Sallaberry, age 85 passed away shortly after joking and laughing, while working in his shop on his ranch.

Joe was the hardest working person you ever met and fearless doesn't even begin to describe Joe, as he pursued every goal he had with vigor, and he achieved the American Dream by living every day to the fullest.

Born in Anhaux, France in the Basque Pyrenees, Joe immigrated to the U.S. when he was 16 years old and worked as a sheepherder in Mono Lake, CA.

He taught himself to speak English by listening to a small radio, he worked hard and learned everything he could to be successful.

He was a farmer and ran a successful dairy business, established a cheese factory, owned a landscaping business, established a pump business, designed and built his traditional Basque home, and patented several inventions.

Joe wrote and published his autobiography which has been memorialized in Basque museums and libraries and for which he donated all the proceeds to Shriner's Hospital.

Joe was an advocate for local farmers and in his 80's Joe dedicated himself as the President of Reclamation District 2063 to maintain and protect the levees of the San Joaquin River from flooding to help local farmers by protecting their crops and property.

Joe was married to Jeanine Sallaberry for 60 years and they had a wonderful life together.

Joe had two daughters, Solange Sallaberry and Michelle Griffin, and two grandsons, Aden Sallaberry and Joseph Griffin.

Joe spoke six languages fluently and he and Jeanine traveled all over the world, had a home in the French Pyrenees and met so many strangers who quickly became lifelong friends.

Joe loved to go fishing and hunting and enjoyed sharing all his amazing adventures with his friends.

He loved Basque food (especially garlic soup) and music, often playing his harmonica at Basque events.

He kept himself in great shape and even in his 80's could out-hike most people in their 20's.

Joe was preceded in death by his wife Jeanine Sallaberry and his son Daniel Sallaberry.

There will be a Funeral Mass for Joe on June 10, 2023 at 9:00 AM, at St. Patrick's Parish, located at 673 E. Yosemite Avenue Merced, CA 95340.

Flowers or donations can be sent to St. Patrick's Parish in Merced.

(published by Modesto Bee, from May 31 to Jun. 4, 2023)

Goian Bego (GB) - May Rest in Peace

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