Joseph “Joe” Hanna Girgis died unexpectedly in his home on February 11, 2018, of uncertain health causes. He was 63 years old.
Born in Al Fayoum, Egypt, to his father Hanna Girgis and mother Samira Nassif Fouda, on April 10, 1954, Joe grew up in Cairo with his five siblings. Naturally skilled in math, he obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1978 from Ain Shams University. There he met Laila, whom he married in 1983. He worked various jobs in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen, before fulfilling his dream of immigrating to the United States for its religious, political, and economic freedoms.
He arrived in Delaware in 1987 with his wife and infant son, few possessions, and only two connections in the country. His last of several jobs was at ILC Dover, where he thrived and eventually became senior design engineer. A man of enormous energy and ambition, he also worked as a real estate agent and investor, cofounded a restaurant with his nephew, and served two years in Iraq as a civilian translator for the U.S. government. In his spare time, he golfed avidly enough to boast two holes-in-one.
He was universally known for his uncommon integrity and warmth, boundless love of life, and fierce devotion to family and to God.
Joe will be lovingly remembered by his wife of nearly 35 years, Laila; his son, Sherif (Gabrielle); his daughters, Sandra and Jessie (Nicholas); his brother, George (Souad); his sisters, Janette (Ghabour) and Isis (Naguib); his brother, Gamal (Tereza); his granddaughter, Mary; and many nieces and nephews. Joe is preceded in death by his sister Magda.
There will be a visitation on Thursday, February 15, 2018, from 7:00-9:00 pm at Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W. Camden-Wyoming Ave., Wyoming, DE. The Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Church of the Holy Cross, 631 S. State Street, Dover, DE on Friday, February 16, 2018 at 9:45 am.