Helping Families and Friends Honor Their Loved One

Joseph Dominick Saragusa, age 75

On July 9, 2019, the Heavens opened and welcomed Joseph Dominick Saragusa to his eternal home. He was born on September 17, 1943 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Dominick & Jennifer Albana Saragusa, his sister, Rosalie Fontenot and grandson, Bobby Ray McCool.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Kay Saragusa of 36 years, Sons; Joe Saragusa, Jr, (Spouse: Carol), Felix Reaves (Spouse: Connie), Daughter; Jennifer Saragusa-Fayle (Spouse: Cody), Rhonda McCool, (Spouse: Bobby), Shellie Hendren, (Spouse: Bill). He was Papa Joe to Dominick, Stefano & Mia Saragusa and Cameron, & Cody Concepcion & Ellie Fayle and Bobby Kay & Billy McCool (Spouse: Kayla), Dakota Reaves, Robeson & Hallie Hendren. He was a Great-Grandfather to Remy Reaves, Major, Davis & Evie McCool.

He worked for The Elevator Union for over 40 years. “We can only image” what a time he is having as he reached his resting home he had strived and longed for. When he talked about Jesus or the Bible, he could hardly restrain his joy and excitement in song, shouting and praising the Lord. He can now grab that flag with Jesus and run all up and down the streets of gold and never tire out. Oh, happy days it must be. He most likely is trying to tell us all about Heaven as tears stream down his cheeks. He had such a love and compassion for the Truth and souls of all. He spent many hours studying the Bible, talking to Jesus and then going out on the streets and talking to whoever would listen, sometimes it just did not matter if they listened, he just shouted to the roof tops. As Sheriff Allen of Crittenden County stated, Joe had been coming to the Jail, teaching salvation and the love of God to the incarcerated for 35 years. He baptized over 2000 inmates, “In Jesus Name”. He was a shining light for all to see and his enthusiasm and laughter brought much happiness, love and fond memories to all that met him. He was kind, understanding and had a big heart. He never met a stranger and it didn’t take him long to become your friend. He enjoyed playing the card game, “Hand & Foot” with family and friends. If you did not take the game seriously, then you best not show it. Somehow, he always won and his Father-in-law, S.O. Kay, would always say, “Who kept the score”. He enjoyed being on the golf course, although others better be ready to duck their heads at any given moment. He dearly loved all his family & friends and had a time dancing around with the children or just looking to see where their nose went. He was truly loved by all. He will be missed, although he would not want us to be sad, you see he reached his life time goal, Heaven. So if you feel sad or empty, pull memories from your heart, you will find the warmth and love that lives on. Betty & family would like everyone to know how much she loves and appreciates all the words of kindness and thoughtful things everyone has done.

Visitation & Service will be held at River Church, 390 West Jackson, West Memphis, Arkansas, Saturday, July 13, 2019. Visitation from 9 to 11, with the Services to follow afterwards. The interment will follow at Crittenden Memorial Park, Marion, Arkansas.

In lieu of flowers go to and chose giving, then choose AR Prison Ministry under choose a fund.

Arrangements are entrusted to A Natural State Funeral Service, Jacksonville, Arkansas.

His online guestbook is available at


  • Sam and Angela Kay Posted July 12, 2019 5:25 PM

    He will be missed greatly.

  • Linda HIlburn Posted July 12, 2019 6:04 PM

    I just had known about Bro. Joe from attending church a few times in New Orleans. I am Janice Patterson’s sister and Theresa Peoples’ aunt. My, what an awesome work he did for the Lord! Praise the Lord!

  • Pastor & Wanda Wyser Posted July 12, 2019 6:37 PM

    We did not know Joe but we have been told so many wonderful things about him and how much he meant to FPC NOLA…we extend our sympathy and prayer to you all.

  • Kathirose Mazzorana Posted July 13, 2019 5:40 PM

    Please accept my sincere condolences.

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