Tributes pour in for well-loved ice cream man
- Credit: Tracey Giubba and Connie Hardy
Tributes have been paid to Giuseppe “Joe” Giubba, known by many in St Albans as Joe the Ice Cream Man.
Joe, who passed away on Saturday, January 9 at the age of 57, lived and worked in St Albans all of his life.
Joe was born in the city and had lived in Brampton Road until his family moved to Marshalswick when he was around 16 years old. Joe met his wife, Tracey, in 1982 and they later married in 1987. They had four children; Connie, Vittorio, Alessandra and Gianmarco and in the past three years he became a granddad to his two beautiful granddaughters who he cherished.
His career began in 1978 when he took up an apprenticeship within the motor trade. He later qualified as a motor technician and continued to work within the industry until 1989.
His late father, Vittorio, had been an ice cream man around St Albans and Hemel for about eight years prior to his death in 1984. It was then that Joe decided to follow in his father's footsteps.
He wanted to continue as his father had done and so built himself his own round which covered mainly St Albans and London Colney. Joe was dedicated to his job and made many friends along the way. Everyone that got to know him loved him for his kindness, strength and humour. He was a well-known face at many charity events, including the annual open days at St Albans fire station and Harvesters football club.
A statement from St Albans fire station said: “The station was always grateful that Joe attended our open days and other organised events and he helped support various charities over the years, he always had a queue of people waiting for an ice cream too.
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“Joe liked to occasionally call in at the station on a hot summer’s day on his way home which was always welcomed by the duty crews, Joe was a delight to talk to with a big warm smile.
“Joe will be missed, we offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
Graham Roberts, who used to organise football tournaments and other events for Harvesters FC, paid tribute: “Joe was simply one the kindest men you could hope to meet and I was privileged to call him my friend.
“He would do anything for you and was a huge favourite with the kids at all the events he supported, with his happy disposition and genuine compassion. His kindness just shone through and he will be sorely missed in and around St Albans.
"I could always rely on him being at my events whatever the weather and no matter how good or bad he was feeling that day – he would never let you down.
“He would always stay until the last child had got their ice cream, and would never abandon his post! Many times we would be the last two people to leave the event and if I didn’t have my car with me, he would insist I jump in the back of the ice cream van and he would drop me home - right to my door. Nothing was ever too much trouble for Joe.
“We think they are small things but actually it’s all the very many small things that hold friendships and communities together.
“Before the pandemic, when I walked to work, Joe would often pass me on his travels. He would always give me a toot on his horn or stop for a chat. I will miss that. I will miss Joe, we all will.”
The funeral will take place on Monday February 15 at 10am at St Albans and St Stephen Church, followed by a burial at London Road Cemetery. Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, only immediate family will be able to attend, but it will be livestreamed at https://www.albanstephen.org/
There will be a farewell journey for Joe, with details set to be revealed on social media. The family ask mourners to consider current restrictions on social distancing. A donation page has been set up in Joe's memory - https://www.dignityfunerals.co.uk/funeral-notices/09-01-2021-giuseppe-giubba/