Joseph "Joey" Thomas Virruso Jr.

January 9, 2006 ~ December 16, 2020 (age 14)


Joseph "Joey" Thomas Virruso Jr., 14, of Herrin, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, December 16, 2020, at Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion. 

Graveside services for immediate family only will be held at 1:00 P.M., Wednesday, December 23, 2020, at Oakland Cemetery in Carbondale.  Visitation will be held after 4:00 P.M., Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home in Carterville.  Due to concerns of Covid-19, masks will be worn at all times and CDC regulations will be enforced at the visitation. 

Joey was born on January 9, 2006, in Creve Coeur, Missouri, to Joseph Thomas and Angela Sue (Thomas) Virruso. He met many challenges in his young life and spent his first 2 months in the Neonatal Care Unit at Mercy Hospital, but was a fighter who always met every fear and obstacle by reminding everyone that he was a “Brave Knight”. He wanted everyone he met to smile, and referred to himself as the “King of Fun”. An 8th grader at Carterville Junior High School, he also attended Carterville Intermediate School, Longfellow Elementary in Marion, School for Hearing Impaired in Marion, and Holcomb (MO) Elementary. Everywhere he attended, he was a friend to his classmates and a helper for his teachers. Joey enjoyed music and dancing and loved his pet guinea pigs Venus and Luna. He was a fan of the Minnesota Vikings and New York Yankees, and hoped one day to be a bat boy for the Bronx Bombers. He enjoyed travel and had been to many places in the USA and Canada, so much so that he also called himself “Adventure Boy”. His final journey was not planned, but we all know that he is making someone smile somewhere.

He is survived by his parents, Joe and Angela Virruso of Herrin; sister, Sarah Virruso of Herrin; paternal grandfather, Joseph Thomas Virruso of Herrin; uncles and aunts, Kevin and Donna Thomas of Herrin and Ken and Mariann Thomas of Lewistown, Illinois; and many cousins who he loved and loved him. 

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, James "Goat" and Sue Ann Thomas; and paternal grandmother, Christine Naomi Virruso. 

Contributions in Joey’s memory may be made to the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis,



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph "Joey" Thomas Virruso Jr., please visit our floral store.


December 22, 2020

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Riggin-Pillatsch & Burke Funeral Home
322 North Division
Carterville, IL 62918

Graveside Service
December 23, 2020

1:00 PM
Oakland Cemetery
1100 N. Oakland Avenue
Carbondale, IL 62901


Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis
8531 Page Avenue, Suite 120, St. Louis MO 63114
Tel: 1-314-961-2504

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