Joe Vitale was born on a mini-farm in Waukesha County to Italian immigrant parents in 1938, and spent most of his life in and around Waukesha. He attended Catholic schools in the city, graduating from Catholic Memorial High School, and went to Carroll College in his undergraduate years.
He had a career in education that spanned nearly four decades, starting out as a teacher and, after postgraduate work, becoming an administrator in the School District of Waukesha. He was a curriculum director in environmental education and later a principal. He retired as principal of Rose Glen Elementary School in 1998.
He?s been married to his high school sweetheart, Louise Kissinger Vitale, since 1961. They have three sons (Joseph III, Robert and Thomas) and eight grandchildren.
Since retiring, Joe has been active in county government and church work.
He was diagnosed in 2007 with myxofibrosarcoma.??Two-hundred and sixty four hours of chemotherapy, 25 radiation sessions and 10 surgeries later,? Joe says, ?I am back on the golf course golfing as bad as ever.? He credits the care of Froedtert & Medical College of Wisconsin physicians Donald Hackbarth, John Charlson, Dion Wang and Robert Whitfield for his recovery from the cancer. ? ?My good fortune of being cancer free has helped me realize how fragile we are,? Joe says. ?The past five years I have been actively involved with the Sarcoma Support group, now the Cancer Support Group and the Sarcoma Event Day? I have been extremely fortunate with my outcome and hence the time to pay back.