Joseph Francis La Cava, Jr. Joseph "Joe" Francis La Cava, Jr., of Newtown, passed away on Monday, July 27, 2009 peacefully at Dan bury Hos pital after a brief but courageous bat tle with Leukemia. Many of his old- time friends from Danbury knew him as "Bunny". A nickname given to him at birth that has stuck to this day. He was 72. Joe was born January 29, 1937, the son of the late Joseph F. La Cava Sr. and Josephine (La Cava) Decker. He was born and raised in Danbury. His childhood days were spent on Austin Street in Danbury along with his two sisters Sharron and Lorraine. He attended St. Peter's School and Danbury High School where he graduated in 1955. While at St. Peter's, Joe was as an alter boy serving daily Mass. He was active in football, basketball, baseball as a young man and played all three sports at Danbury High School from 1951 to 1955. In the 1954-55 season, Joe was the captain of the football team leading them to an undefeated and untied record under coach Ed Crotty. The team was featured in the November 22, 1954 edition of Sports Illustrated. A natural athlete, Joe also captained the basketball and baseball teams and was inducted into the "Old Timers Athletic Association of Greater Danbury" in 1996. After his school years Joe enlisted in the United States Army and was stationed in post war Germany. Joe started his banking career with Union Savings Bank in 1960. In 1965 he went to work for Newtown Savings Bank and spent the next 30 years of his career making mortgages possible for many of today's residents. Joe was a loving husband of 49 years to Mary Ann (Young) La Cava, his loving, devoted wife. Joe and MaryAnn began dating in high school and have been together ever since. MaryAnn was the love of his life. He was an amazing father to four, and a loving, caring, devoted grandfather to his eight grandchildren. Joe had a love for all sports and golf was his favorite activity. He was a member at Newtown Country Club for the last 49 years and has won many golf tournaments both there and throughout the area. A particularly memorable day was on the morning of his son's wedding, when his friend, Fred Couples PGA Tour Professional, played golf with him at Newtown Country Club. Joe was a lifetime fan of the Yankees, Giants, Rangers and Knicks. He was a well recognized coach around Newtown as his children were growing up. Joe was very supportive of not only his own children, but of many children in Newtown serving as a youth sports coach and volunteer religious education teacher at St. Rose Church. Joe himself was a devoted Catholic and Christian. His favorite two weeks of the year were spent with his family at the New Jersey Shore. Besides his loving wife, Mary Ann, Joe is survived by his children, Robin Kellogg and her husband, John, of Corinth, Texas, and Jane Gallagher and her husband, Pete, of Bethel, and Joe La Cava III, and his wife, Megan, of Southbury, and Shalor Tavino, and her husband Ed, of Southbury; eight grandchildren, John Paul and Mycah Kellogg, Peter and Nicola Gallagher, Lauren and Joe La Cava IV, and Connor and Madeline Tavino. Joe is survived by his sister, Lorraine Furino of Danbury and her children Dianne Trawick and her husband Stephen of Maryland, and Bobby Berloni of Danbury. He was predeceased by his sister, Sharron La Cava. He is survived by his niece Shelley White and her husband Slugger White of Florida, and nephew Ken Green of Florida. He is predeceased by his sister-in-law, Jane Green and her son Bill Green. For all who knew Joe, they understood that he was most proud of his grandchildren. He was known as "Papa" among his grandchildren's sports teams. Papa was a consistent fixture at almost every sporting event that his grandchildren played. He was always cheering the kids on, was a source of inspiration and offered many tips to help them improve. He attended his grandkids school functions, dance recitals and any event where he could let the children know his love and support for them. "Papa" is known as the number one fan of all his grandchildren's teams. Joe will be missed by the many people he touched throughout his lifetime. To know him is to remember him as: Caring, Loving, Giving, Kind, Gentle and Strong. "The best!" A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday, July 31, 2009, at 11 a.m. at St. Stephen Church located at 6948 Main Street (Route 25) in Trumbull, CT. 06611. Interment will follow in St. Peter Cemetery, Danbury, CT. Friends will be received at the Green Funeral Home 57 Main St., Danbury on Thursday from 5 to 8 p.m. Those who wish may make contribution's to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.