Teresa Giudice’s father, Giacinto Gorga, passed away on Friday, April 3, Us Weekly can confirm. He was 76.
“My father, my protector, my hero, God took you early this morning to be with mommy, I saw you peacefully pass & I know you kept fighting for my daughters and I. I have so many amazing thoughts of you, every day seeing you in the kitchen at my home, teaching my girls to cook, my partner in crime on shopping trips, your love of the shore & my travel buddy,” the reality star posted on Instagram on Friday morning.
She continued: “You always wanted everyone to have a good time, eat great food, have a stiff drink and enjoy life. You are the absolute strongest man I know & I know you missed mommy so much but you stayed for us. Thank you for being the best husband, father & Nonno. Your devotion to mommy was one for the record books, you were the true example and a gentleman and devoted husband. You visited mommy every single day & would go twice for the days you missed while traveling or if you were to sick to go, my silver lining is knowing you’ll be together now. Thank you for showing us all what true love is. Love you Papa Rest In Peace.”
The Real Housewives of New Jersey star, 47, previously asked fans for support and prayers for her dad on April 2, via social media.
“At this trying time I’m graciously asking for any extra prayers, good vibes, love….please send my fathers way,” Giudice wrote via Instagram at the time. “My father is struggling and my girls and I need him, we need his love, his presence & his strength. #thepowerofprayers.”
The mother of four shared the same photo via her Instagram Story with Celine Dion’s “Because You Loved Me” playing in the background. “Please send prayers my way if you can…my father is struggling [and] I need him to get better,” she captioned the image.
At the time, the reality star didn’t tell her followers what her father was struggling with, but Gorga had been hospitalized numerous times over the past few years.
A few weeks prior to Giudice’s call for prayers, her sister-in-law, Melissa Gorga, reached out to her followers for their support for “Nonno,” which Giacinto was lovingly called by his family.
“Thanks so much for all your Birthday wishes,” Melissa, 41, wrote on March 21 via Instagram, thanking fans for birthday wishes. “What I really want from all of you is a couple extra prayers for this guy🙏🏼❤️❤️ He’s the best soul. ❤️❤️ #thankyou.”
The patriarch’s most recent hospital stay came in January 2020. Two months prior, Giacinto was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia.
Despite being in and out of the hospital with different health scares, Giacinto made the trip to Italy with his daughter and four granddaughters to visit Joe Giudice in November.
Just two months earlier, Giudice and her brother, Joe Gorga, celebrated their father’s 76th birthday in September. They toasted him with a big Johnny Walker Blue Label cake and spent time together as a family.
“Happy 76th birthday Papa!! We are so lucky to have you everyday with us & you’ve given me more than you’ll ever know,” Teresa wrote on a video collage via Instagram on September 8, 2019. “Thank you for your strength & showing my family above everything.”
Since moving in with his daughter in 2017, and losing his wife that same year after she battled with pneumonia, Giacinto was plagued by many health issues himself.
In addition to his January 2020 hospitalization and pneumonia in November 2019, he was also hospitalized in October 2018. Us broke the news in November 2017 that the Italian native had a mild case of pneumonia, which landed him back in the hospital.
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