The mood is somber this week at Mays Landing's Funny Farm Animal Rescue after the passing of volunteer Joe Petruzzi.

Joe, known affectionately at Funny Farm as 'Hot Joe',  was a dedicated volunteer at the rescue who created and tended to the garden named for him, along with helping Funny Farm founder Laurie Zaleski with a multitude of other tasks.

Petruzzi, 55, died Sunday after a short battle with battle Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).

Joe was a lifelong friend of Laurie and a major part of the Funny Farm world, according to Zaleski.

He helped produce the daily Funny Farm Facebook live videos where he gave gardening tips, played his trumpet, and joked with Laurie.

Laurie was visibly shaken and emotional when she spoke of Joe's passing on the Sunday edition of her Funny Farm Facebook live video. See the video, below.

Joe's obituary talks about his passion for Funny Farm and for life.

Joseph was certainly a man of many talents, interests, and communities. His dedication to his church, his music, his garden, and his friends showed his love for creating beauty in the world. For the past two years, he volunteered creating a beautiful garden at The Funny Farm Rescue to provide not only crops but immense joy to every person who visited.
Joe Petruzzi had come to Funny Farm after working as the Director of Information Services for the Philadelphia Regional Port Authority for over 22 years, according to his obituary.
Funeral services for Joe Petruzzi are Saturday, July 22. See his obituary below.
Zaleski, who left her business career in 2001 to open a 15-acre farm in Mays Landing to care for over 600 rescue animals, has become a local celebrity for her good work and the national success of her memoirFunny Farm: My Unexpected Life with 600 Rescue Animals in 2022.

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