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From the day Joey was born, we knew he was special. His vibrant personality and contagious smile could light up any room, and his natural confidence gave him the ability to do anything he set his mind to, even from a young age. He started bussing tables at our family restaurant, Joey D’s, when he was only 6 years old to save up money to buy an iPad. He loved talking to all the customers (and didn’t mind the tips they gave him either). Most of all, he adored his family, and was never embarrassed to hug or kiss us in front of his friends. Joey made sure we knew how much he loved us, no matter what.

Football was Joey’s first love. He began Pop Warner football at just 5 years old as a part of the Naples Hurricanes, and soon became obsessed with sports. He loved playing sports, watching sports and learning everything there was to know about sports. Joey continued to play football until high school, where he also found his passion for lacrosse. Most of the other kids had been playing for years, but Jojo caught up to them in no time. Joey was very determined, showing us again what we had always known - when he set his mind to something, he found a way to succeed. 


When Joey turned 16, he got his most prized possession: his Mustang. Joey loved spending time driving and working on his car, and put just as much passion and care into his Mustang as he did into every other part of his life. He was always working hard and saving up from his job at Joey D’s to get something new for his car.


Joey’s passion for sports was something he was planning to make a part of his future, and his goal was to pursue a career in sports management. He attended Florida State University, and planned to further his education at his dream law school, UCLA. Anyone who knew Joey knows there is no doubt he would have accomplished these goals and found success doing anything he set his mind to.


Joey’s confidence meant that he was also unapologetically himself. Joey was always willing to help someone in need, whether it was a kid getting bullied at school or a new player on the team who needed a few pointers. Joey was the kindest, sweetest, happiest person, and had a way of lighting up a room as soon as he walked in. He made everyone feel special, as if his smile was just for them. 


Our family was devastated when Joey was involved in a fatal car accident on April 10, 2021 in Tallahassee, Florida. The accident took place at night on Springhill Road. Upon further research, we have been saddened to discover that there have been many accidents, several leading to fatalities, on that same road in similar conditions. It is now a goal of ours to implement the proper safety measures to ensure another family will never have to endure the pain we are feeling.


Even though Joey is no longer here, his memory is something that will stay in our hearts and the hearts of all his friends and family forever. His incredible kindness, sense of determination and genuine love for others continue to motivate and inspire us every day.


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