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Obituary - Joseph A. Amato


Last updated 9/13/2021 at 11:53am

Joseph Amato

Joseph A. Amato, 83, passed away suddenly on September 9, 2021 at his home in Havre, MT.

He was born on July 28, 1938, in Detroit, Michigan, to Antonio and Beulah Amato. Although his birthdate was officially recorded as July 28, he was always told his birthdate was July 6th. This day was reserved to celebrate him throughout his life. He spent his childhood in Detroit attending school and working odd jobs. 

At the age of 18, he volunteered to join the United States Army on September 10, 1956. While at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the army was deciding where his next tour would be. His two choices were Iceland and Korea. He was told to get in the line for Iceland and was excited to go there. He was pulled from that line and found himself in Korea on March 21, 1958. He returned to the United States and was discharged from the Army in August 1961.

After leaving the Army, Joe moved to Wolf Point, MT, and worked in various places. He was a man always looking for opportunity to better himself and his family. He began driving a delivery truck for the Wolf Point bakery and was able to work his way into baking. He continued to perfect his baking skills when he moved to Glasgow, MT. In 1966, he returned to Wolf Point. He purchased the Hiway Market, later purchasing the Wolf Point Bakery, and saw the opportunity to open a coffee shop around the corner. 

In 1968, he moved to Great Falls, MT, and was able to find a job at North IGA as a meat cutter. He became a skilled meat cutter and was shortly promoted to Meat Department manager. He later transferred to East IGA's meat department. In 1982, he accepted the position as store manager. In 1984, he accepted an offer to move to Havre, MT to manage the Western Warehouse with an option to buy it. In 1986, the parent company unexpectedly closed the store, leaving him in search of new employment. 

At the same time, two video stores had closed, and he knew there was still potential in the video rental business. He began the mission to acquire what he needed to open his own video store. On January 1, 1987, he opened Hometown Video with only 500 movies and a couple of VCRs. He built his business and eventually opened another location, Tip Top. He retired from the video business in 2000 but never slowed down.

Joe was preceded in death by seven brothers, one sister and his daughter Bernice Ann "Sister" Amato.

He is survived by his wife, Lyla Amato; brother Samuel Amato, and children Joseph Peter "Joey" Amato, John E. (Gay) Amato, Dennis (Ruth) Moore, Brenda (Paul) Dockter, James "Tony" (Carey) Amato, Johnathan (Rebecca) Moore, Pam (Dallas) Sun Child, Collette (Stephen Archuleta) Amato and Dominic (Melisa) Amato, 24 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren.

Private family services were held for Joe.

Memorial contributions in Joe's honor may be made to the  Cystic Fibrosis Association of North Dakota (cfand.org).

Please visit Joe's online memorial page at http://www.hollandbonine.com to send a card or leave a message of condolence for his family.


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