Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Joseph Freeman-Dellamora (1992-2011)
BORN: Aug. 12, 1992
DIED: July 21, 2011
EDUCATION: Santa Cruz High School, class of 2011
SURVIVORS: Mother, Anne Freeman Dellamora of Sandy, Utah; father, Steve Dellamora of Scotts Valley; sisters Tara Rigby of Shelton, Wash., and Ali Richardson of Chowchilla.

Joey, our beloved son, brother, nephew, uncle; cousin and friend passed away in a tragic accident at his family brussels sprout farm on July 21, 2011. He was 18 years old and had just graduated from high school, the third generation of his family to graduate from Santa Cruz High School. He had dreamed, and worked toward, becoming a farmer like his dad Steve since the day that any of us can remember. Joey was a fourth generation Italian American Santa Cruz coastal farmer. He leaves behind his mom Anne Freeman DellaMora of Sandy, Utah; his dad Steve DellaMora of Scotts Valley, CA; his sister Tara Rigby and her family [Lance, Tabitha and Rebekah] of Shelton, Washington; his sister Ali Richardson and her family [Charlie, Reese and Grace] of Chowchilla, CA; his Aunt Jill Dellamora Grossi and her family Billy, [Bianca, Bridget, and Sofia]; his Uncle Dan and Aunt Kathy Roberts of Murphys, CA; and cousins Lee and Eiva Freeman of Phoenix, AZ; cousin Faralyn Roberts and her family of Stockton, CA; Uncle Bob Shaefer of San Jose, CA; Uncle Mike and Aunt Shirley Shaefer of Sonora, CA; and Aunt Valerie Northrop of Jamestown, CA; Aunt and Uncle Patty and Jess Nelson, of Soquel,CA; godparents Kathy and Fred Hibberd of Santa Cruz, CA; Velda DellaMora-Dixon, Tara and Ali's mom, of Chowchilla, CA; and too many cousins to name. Joey was deeply loved by many not the least of whom is his best friend Dominic Boegel, his friends Robby Pappas, Eric Mullis, Alex Demos, Ben Damon, Peter Miller, Eli Ledworth, Cole Collins, Sean Forbes, Jonathon and Ian Heald, Logan Banks, Jaclyn Brosio, Shane Brosio, Michael Gangloff and many others and we apologize for not naming all of you-your friendship meant so much to Joey and his family really wants to acknowledge how much it means to them as well. He left behind his beloved dogs Buster and Roscoe. His Uncle Dennis Freeman passed away on the farm just a year ago. He was also predeceased by his grandparents Uel and Elvena Freeman, Joseph DellaMora and Henrietta Lowe. As a young boy, Joey participated in Cub scouts, t-ball, baseball, soccer where he broke his foot, and football. Joey tried all of this but his true callings were hunting, farming, friends and family. Joey loved to hunt and fish, ride motorcycles, loved his animals, he loved farming and he especially loved the ranch. We loved his big mischievous grin, his twinkling eyes, his laugh, his willingness to hang out with friends and family, old and young. Joey and Dominic were very excited about a hunting trip they had planned for this past weekend to Carri Stanley's ranch, Los Ninos, in King's Canyon, to go pig hunting. Joey and Dominic lived on the ranch. Joey and Steve just donated a Farmall 300 tractor to the Farm Bureau museum at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds. The tractor has been at the farm since 1949.

In the last year, we all saw Joey blossoming into the man we were so delighted to see he was becoming: including one who was ready to step up and make his dream of becoming a farmer a reality. Last year, during the rains, his dad credits him and his best pal Dominic with saving the crops: They spent weeks working dawn until well after dark hauling in the sprouts. It was a point of contention between Joey's sisters and dad that he was out of school for that period of time. Now we're all glad that he got to truly farm and partner with his dad for a season.

His dad remembers taking Joey to the first game of the World Series last year and how Joey just had to have a Tim Lincecum jersey. Now he will be buried in it.

The family would especially like to thank Doug Banks who risked his own life to rescue Joey. We will be forever grateful. We're all sorry the outcome was not different but want to express our heartfelt appreciation for the valiant efforts of those, including Doug, who worked desperately to save his life.

It is hard to write about his life-it was just ending for him as a child and just beginning as an adult. There were so many more memories to be made with him. We will keep him in our hearts forever and meet him when we meet our heavenly Father. Joey you leave a hole in our hearts. Someday we will laugh again as you would have wanted and we will be forever changed for the better for you having been a part of our lives. Our lives will be forever altered for having lost you far too soon.

In Joey's honor, please remember life is fragile and hold your loved ones close.

There will be viewing for family and friends on Thursday, July 28, from 4 to 8 pm, at Santa Cruz Memorial Chapel, 1927 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz. Services will be held on Friday, July 29, at 11 am, High Street Community Church, 850 High Street, Santa Cruz, 426-0207. A celebration of Joey's life and our gratefulness that we got to share it with him, will immediately follow the service. The reception will be held at the DellaMora ranch, 5511 Coast Road, Santa Cruz. Please wear comfortable shoes and clothes to the reception. His internment will be private and held on Saturday, July 30.

Joey's family wishes to thank those that have called, emailed, sent food and their condolences. We are deeply touched and comforted. Donations in Joey's memory may be made to Agri-culture 141 Monte Vista Ave., Watsonville, CA 95076 [http://www.agri-culture.us/support/make-donation] or the California Waterfowl Association 4630 Northgate Boulevard, Ste 150, Sacramento, CA 95834 https://www.signup4.net/public/ap.aspx?EID=MEMO11E&OID=130.

Published in Santa Cruz Sentinel on July 26, 2011


Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. I have been following this story, though I do not know Joey. I am so very sorry. Rest in Peace Joey.

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Thanks "coastroad" for your thoughtful comment. This indeed was a tragic accident and a very sad reminder on how dangerous "La Costa" can be. Through out my book I cite several of these tragic events. Joey's untimely death reminds most of the accidental death of Johnny Modolo who live on a ranch in Swanton.
According to accounts in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Johnny sustained fatal injuries when he was "...bucked off a cow...".
Johnny was only 20 years old at the time of the accident (1948).
"La Costa" was sadden for years after because of the death of such a young and beloved "figlio della Costa".
Such, I'm certain, will be the case when we remember Joey's untimely death.

Addio Joey. Until we meet again "Across Il Ultimo Ponte."


The below newspaper article was first published in the Santa Cruz Sentinel: www.nostra-costa.blogspot.com

Teen in pond crash had bright future on North Coast farm
By Stephen Baxter

Joseph "Joey" Uel Freeman-Dellamora had a big future in the Brussels sprouts and artichoke farm on Coast Road that he was set to inherit.

Dellamora, 18, graduated from Santa Cruz High School in the spring, although he missed many school days tending to the 120-acre ranch in recent months.

The fields needed special attention because of the spring rain, his family said. Dellamora's father, 68-year-old Steve Dellamora, had delayed his retirement for a year to hand the farm to his son this summer.

Tragically, Joey Dellamora was killed in a crash on the farm at 5511 Coast Road north of Santa Cruz on July 21. He was in the passenger seat of a 1999 Land Rover on a dirt road when the driver lost control and plunged off an 80-foot embankment into an agricultural pond, the CHP said.

Dellamora's family members said Wednesday they were heartsick.

"It's probably the toughest thing I've been through in my life," said Tara Rigby, Joey Dellamora's 44-year-old sister.

"He was a really special boy. He loved animals and loved to fish and hunt," Rigby said.

From an early age, her brother wanted to be a farmer, she said.

"He realized our dad was a farmer, and he was always asking dad questions. Dad finally decided that this was it, he was going to turn the ranch over to Joey because he'd mentored him for so long," Rigby said.

Lacie Gray, Dellamora's cousin and a Westside Santa Cruz resident, called Dellamora his father's protege.

"Joey would ride in his truck, and his dad would teach him things that you couldn't read in books. He was also good at it. He loved being out there probably better than anywhere else," Gray said.

The day of Dellamora's crash, his father, Steve Dellamora, had closed escrow on part of the farm that was owned by the state. The whole ranch was finally theirs and they were set to celebrate, family members said.

Steve Dellamora planned to continue the harvest this year and decide later what to do with the farm, family members said.

Joey Dellamora was outgoing and fearless, his family said. He sometimes scared his parents with his bravado. He often helped his friends in tasks such as fixing cars.

Gray said Dellamora was never embarrassed by his big, extended family. Coming home from Santa Cruz High, he would lean out of his Jeep with friends inside and say hello to Gray as she pushed a stroller down the sidewalk while wearing a sunhat.

"He was just very happy and outgoing," Gray said.

Some new details on the crash surfaced this week.

It remains unclear what caused 49-year-old Les Olimpio of Davenport to lose control of the Land Rover about 4:30 p.m., family said, but they noted that a friend on the farm tried to rescue Dellamora.

After the crash, Doug Banks scurried down the embankment and jumped in the water to the fully submerged Land Rover, Gray said. Banks dived in the water several times to feel out the vehicle.

Banks then rescued Dellamora through a broken window and brought him to the surface. Standing on the vehicle with water nearly up to his neck, Banks held Dellamora and tried to give him rescue breaths, Gray said.

A State Parks lifeguard paddled to the pair and took Dellamora to shore. American Medical Response paramedics and firefighters tried for more than half an hour to revive him.

Dellamora died at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz that evening, the Coroner's Office said.

"It was very heroic," Gray said. Banks "truly risked his life."

Rigby said her family wanted to thank friends for their support in the past week.

"We're just so thankful for the outpouring of support from farmers, community members and family and friends from far and near who have wrapped their arms around us," Rigby said.


IVANO SAYS: The following message was given to us yesterday,July 29, 2011, by Joey’s family, at his very sad but inspiring memorial service:

Thank you for being here today. Your prayers, thoughts, calls, texts, emails and meals have helped carry us through the initial shock of losing our beloved Joey much too soon.
It will be your love and friendship, and God’s mercy, that will help us bridge the gap between now when we suffer a grief so deep and raw that we are rendered helpless and sometime in the distant future when we will hopefully, once again, wake up one morning without weeping.

Please, we’d love to talk to you. We’d especially love to hear your stories about your time with Joey. There may not be time to do this at the service, but please contact us. Our information is below.

Godspeed to our Joey and may God bless all of you.

IVAN0 SAYS (CON’T): Those of you who wish to contact the Dellamora family contact me at www.ivcomelli@verizon.net and I will forward the information.

Anonymous said...

What a terrible thing to happen to good people.. I didn't know Joey, having been away for so many years. I remember Steve's being at my Nonna's funeral (Alma Rossi). She was sister to Steve and Peter and Joe Pappas' Nonna (Minnie Della-Morra)... This is such sad news to hear.. I can well understand Joey's love for "up the coast".. I can understand how the ranch was in his blood.. Please Ivano, convey my deepest condolences to Steve and his Family from their prodigal second cousin Dennis Walter Bertuccelli. They are in my prayers..

Ivano Franco Comelli said...

Thanks Dennis for your message of deep concern over the death of this young man. We will be honoring his memory at our North Coast ReUnion on Sept.18.

I have forwarded your message to Steve and Anne. ivn0