Ferrara, Joseph 3/15/1953 - 1/8/2021 Hastings Joseph Michael Ferrara March 15, 1953 – January 8, 2021 Joe passed away in the care of his loving family in their Hastings home. He was born March 15,1953, to Shirley (Simonds) and Bud Ferrara. He was a twin to Joanne (Ferrara) Holmes and brother to seven siblings. He married Yvonne Dutton in 1978. Joe was a devoted son, husband, brother, father, and grandpa. Joe had an exemplary character and a pure, unselfish heart He had a wonderfully witty sense of humor. He was logical, down-to-earth, generous, and practical. He attended St. Augustine Elementary and Hackett High School. He worked at Carousel Ice Creamfor ten years as a "soda jerk" and ice cream maker. He received a bachelor's degree fromKalamazoo College in philosophy, a bachelor's degree in agriculture from Western MichiganUniversity and an RN from KVCC. Joe continued to hone his nursing skills through theyears with many certifications in advanced ICU care. He worked at Bronson Hospital for 40 yearsas a RN where he was appreciated by both patients and co-workers. He retired in 2018. Joe loved the outdoors – gardening, walking, kayaking, birds, bees, butterflies, plants and animals Joe and Yvonne lived in Gobles for 37 years on a 45 acre farm where they raised their childrenand a menagerie of farm animals. Joe also kept bees and cut hay. Joe had many hobbies: He was a third degree blackbelt and held a Judo national title for many years He created an archive of Kalamazoo Catholics as part of his ongoing research in genealogy His love of learning and innate problem-solving skills led him into diverse interests that kept him constantly inspired and astute. He is preceded in death by his parents, his uncles, Dr.James Simonds, Arthur Redmond and LanceFerraro. He is survived by his wife Yvonne, daughter Maiya Merrick, son Abram Ferrara, grandchildrenWillow and Dennon Merrick, his siblings James (Gina) Ferrara, Joanne (Mike) Holmes Dan (Karen) Ferrara, Mike Ferrara, Maureen (Dave) Ouvry, Colleen (Tom) Ferrara Frame, and Kevin (Laura) Ferrara, numerous nieces and nephews, an extensive Dutton Family, hisaunt, Barbara Redmond and lifelong family friend Mary Ann Anderson. Cremation has taken place. A virtual memorial service will be held on Tuesday, January 12, at 2p. If you wish to join us, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You'll receive aninvite to the service. A large celebration of life will be held after the Pandemic. In lieu of flowers donations in his name may be made to the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy in Galesburg, MI. In honor of Joe, go outside and get some exercise, notice the bird or frog sounds and drinka homebrew (or do something else recently legalized). A note from Joe: "Thanks to every one who spun the fabric of my existence, the family and friends, the lovers and villains. All of you created my life and I thank you. You too, Nature: you go girl! Bye now."