Celebrating the life of Joe Whitty

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Rock Island, Ill. (KWQC) - Loved ones and the community got together to celebrate the life of Joe Whitty on Saturday at Jumer’s Hotel and Casino.

Joe Whitty's family celebrated his life with the community on Saturday at Jumer's Casino and Hotel in Rock Island. (KWQC)

Whitty is the founder of Happy Joe’s. He passed away at 82-years-old on October 29th.

TV6 spoke to Whitty’s youngest daughter, Kristel Whitty-Ersan who said a celebration is something her father would’ve wanted.

“He didn’t really like sad events very much,” said Kristel. “He loved to party. He loved being in groups and having people around so that’s what we wanted to do today.”

The celebration was open to the public. Guests enjoyed Happy Joe’s pizza and ice cream and mingled with Happy Joe’s workers from all over the Midwest.

Guests were also welcome to donate to the Happy Joe's Kids Foundation, which will hold its annual holiday party soon.

As all of that was going on, family members and friends gave speeches about Joe as pictures of him played on the projector.

“Please try to go out and do good and carry on the spirit of Joe,” said Kristel.

Whitty’s funeral service was held at St. John’s Vianney Catholic Church in Bettendorf Saturday morning.

After the funeral service, he was laid to rest at Mount Calvary Cemetery.

Kristel said she hopes the community will continue to help carry Joe’s legacy.

“Be happy, enjoy your life, be thankful and grateful for what you have,” she said. “Try to spread human kindness when you can."