DAVENPORT, IA. – The entrepreneur who started Happy Joe’s Pizza has passed away. He was 82-years-old. But he wasn’t just a businessman, Whitty was well known for his involvement in the community, including his work with special needs children.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Happy Joe’s Pizza & Ice Cream Founder, Happy Joe Whitty. Joe passed away on the morning of Oct. 29, 2019 surrounded by his loving family and close friends.” Happy Joe’s Pizza writes on Twitter.
Joe Whitty moved to Davenport in 1966 after taking a job at a bakery. It was while he worked as a supervisor and manager at a pizza shop that Joe thought about combining pizza and ice cream.
In November 1972 the first Happy Joe’s opened in the village of East Davenport. The restaurant had only been open a month when Joe started hosting his annual holiday party for kids with special needs.