Joseph Peter Jurga Jr., or as everyone knew him as “Pete” (69), of Irmo, unexpectedly passed away on November 4, 2023, at his home in Columbia, SC.
Born July 29, 1954 to Edith and Joseph Peter Jurga Sr., Peter lived his rambunctious young life in Massachusetts and Harrison, NY with his sisters Jacqui, JoAnn and brother, Jeffrey. He was a standout athlete at Harrison High, participating in multiple sports including track and football. He was recently inducted into the Harrison High School Hall of Fame as his game winning touchdown secured the win over the Huskies great rival, Rye High School.
Pete attended The Citadel (November Company) on a track and football scholarship and graduated with the Class of 1977 with a degree in Health and Physical Education. After being introduced by a mutual friend, he met his beloved wife while they were in college, Melanie Sue Shipp, and they were married in 1977.
Pete was a devoted husband and incredibly proud and loving father of his four children. He was an extremely present father and usually the loudest in the stands. If you had a dream or vision, he would make it happen. Pete was joyfully “Pete Pete” to his grandson, Peter Mark Morabito, loving him greater than he ever imagined possible.
Pete was strong willed and stubborn at times, but he also had an enormous heart and wonderful sense of humor. Everyone would tell you he never met a stranger, was the life of the party in every room, and would not hesitate to give you the shirt off his back. He was generous, loyal, innovative, considerate and kind. Pete loved to play golf, go to the beach, work in the yard, attend sporting events, cheer on the Citadel Bulldogs, and spend time with his friends, family and dogs.
Pete was a proud employee of Saint-Gobain Abrasives for over 20 years. Beginning his career in sales at Prime Equipment Company in Columbia, SC, he worked incredibly hard with high standards and always made sure things were done the right way by the many salesman that he traveled the country to train and for his clients and colleagues.
He will be remembered for all the heart he shared with his friends and family. He truly loved each of them- and if you knew him, you knew it.
Peter was predeceased by his son, Joseph Peter Jurga Jr., brother Jeffrey Jurga, father Joseph Peter Jurga, Sr. and mother Edith May Marlett. He is survived by his wife, Melanie Jurga; daughters, Kristen Jurga (Christopher Dunn); Caroline Jurga (John Fry); Courtney Jurga Morabito (Eric Morabito); grandson Peter Morabito; sisters Jacqui Jurga (nephews Christopher Keidasch and Vinny Keidasch); and JoAnn Quigley (nephew Jeffrey Quigley) and many nieces and nephews.
He will be missed tremendously. A celebration of life will occur at a future date.
Condolences can be sent to: The Jurga Family, 208 Walnut Lane, Columbia, SC 29212