Antique Vintage 05

Joseph F. Barletta

October 1, 1936 ~ October 28, 2019 (age 83)



Joseph F. Barletta passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family on October 28, 2019 at his home in Napa, California. He is survived by his wife, Karen; by their daughter Sara Johnson and her husband, Mike; daughter Susie Porter and her husband Jerry Root; and grandchildren Bella, Aaron, Victoria, and Steven Johnson and Charlie and Cecilia Root. He is also survived by his brothers Michael, George, and Van.

Joe was born in Punxsutawney, PA, October 1, 1936 to Vandolyn and Michael Barletta. Joe was proud of his Italian heritage and his family roots. Joe received his BA degree from Marietta College and at that time worked as a reporter for the Marietta (Ohio) Daily Times. After earning a law degree from Duquesne University he practiced law with his father, Michael, in the Ellwood City firm of Barletta and Barletta. In 1967 Joe left his hometown to begin a career in the newspaper world at the Wall Street Journal. From there he would go on to become one of the most important media executives of his time, personally known to many of the nation’s media and government leaders from coast to coast. These companies included the Tribune Company, New York Daily News, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, Freedom Newspapers, Thomson Newspapers, and News Corp. In 1995 Joe was retained as Senior Associate Counsel to the Office of Independent Counsel in Washington, D.C. He served on a number of corporate boards in addition to civic, charitable, academic, and artistic organizations.

In Chicago in 1993, Joe married the love of his life, Karen Porter. In 1998 Joe and Karen retired to their home in Napa. Friends and family remember Joe as infinitely caring and generous. Through his example, we all learned to be more loving and generous to those in our lives. We will miss him more than words can express. A celebration of life will be held after the holidays. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Collabria Hospice, whose loving care was invaluable to Joe’s family during his final days. (

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph F. Barletta, please visit our floral store.


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