A war hero marine who won three medals for serving his country has been remembered as ‘fiercely independent’ to the last.
Joe Gizzie was awarded the Burma Star, 1939-1945 Star and a War Medal for his time in the Royal Marines during World War Two - something he never spoke of to his family afterwards.
The 91-year-old great-grandfather, of Sharrowvale Road, lost his two year battle with head and neck cancer at St Luke’s Hospice earlier this week.
His daughter Angela Henderson, who lives in Manchester, said: “Dad was very fit and well until he got poorly two years ago and would still go to all his appointments on the bus.
“He was a fiercely independent man.
“It was before I was born when he was given the medals. “All I know is he was involved in Burma, because he never told us anything about his war life.
“Dad was a character alright, he always looked very smart and wore an impeccable suit.
“He was a very private man and didn’t like fuss.”
Joe came from an Italian family and his ancestors were trapeze artists in a circus who settled in Rhyll, Wales.
After serving in the war he worked building hospitals across Yorkshire as a steel specialist and settled in Sheffield about 50 years ago.
Two of his grandsons are now in active service, one as a paratrooper and one in the Welsh Guards who was shot during a tour of Afghanistan but fortunately survived.
Keen bowler and dancer Joe frequented the William Hill bookmakers on Ecclesall Road, where he made friends with employee Megan Stuchfield and her sister-in-law Hannah.
They have been speaking to the British Legion in an attempt to have an honours guard at the funeral.
The funeral takes place on Wednesday, February 26, from 10.30am at Hutcliffe Wood Crematorium, Sheffield.
Friends and fellow servicemen are invited to attend the ceremony.