Joseph Domko died at home on Saturday afternoon, August 30, after a long fight with heart disease. He was 69 years old.
A celebration of Joe’s life will be held at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Longmont Colorado on Saturday September 13 at 11:00 am. A reception will follow in the parish hall. A private internment ceremony will be conducted at a later date.
Known as Joe to family and friends, he was born March 31, 1945 in Chicago Illinois to Joseph and Suzanna Domko. He is survived by his wife Jo Anne, children Joey Domko and Annie Nanson, son-in-law Patrick Nanson, sister Diana Pagano, brothers-in-law Sam Pagano and James Camp, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. His parents as well as his niece, Catherine Pagano, preceded him in death.
Joe enjoyed early success as a collegiate wrestler at the University of Illinois and the University of Southern Illinois. After graduation Joe found initial employment within the Illinois State Penitentiary System as a counselor, a uniquely formative experience that would stay with him throughout the rest of his life. Not long after, Joe enlisted in the Army to serve his country in the Vietnam War. True to his spirit and nature Joe went Airborne, joining the 4th infantry division as a Pathfinder. After receiving a Purple Heart for his service, Joe returned to Chicago. His brother-in-law Sam gave him a lead on a new coaching/teaching job for a brand-new high school in the Jefferson County School District in Colorado. The new school was named Columbine, and thus Joe began what was to become a long and illustrious career as an educator, mentor, and coach. In 1980 he met and fell in love with Jo Anne, and together they began a family.
For 37 years Joe taught and coached in Jefferson County, opening numerous schools and launching multiple athletic and academic programs. He finished his public education career at Stanley Lake High School in 2003 to pursue a new coaching/teaching opportunity at Holy Family High School. This proved to be a catalyst for both professional and personal transformation, as he found both an academic and spiritual community that would sustain him for the remainder of his life. Joe was received into the Catholic Church May 11.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Joe Domko Scholarship Fund care of Holy Family High School.