The Real Housewives of New Jersey star confirmed on Friday, April 3, that Giacinto, known to his grandchildren and Bravo fans as Nonno, died at the age of 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. You are the absolute strongest man I know & I know you missed mommy so much but you stayed for us,” Giudice, 47, wrote via Instagram. (Giudice and Joe’s mother, Antonia Gorga, died in March 2017 at the age of 66.)
“Thank you for being the best husband, father & Nonno,” the Standing Strong author continued. “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.”
Joe, for his part, wrote that he is in disbelief that his father has passed.
“I can’t believe he is gone💔 The world lost an amazing man human being today,” he penned. “He was exactly what a true father and husband should be. I will miss you more than you know, But go find your wife because I know that’s all you want and all you’ve ever talked about for the past 3 years. You will be missed every single day.”
Joe’s wife, Melissa Gorga, noted in her tribute that Giacinto was the only dad she’s “known for the past 16 years.”
“You were such an incredible man and such a loving Nonno,” Melissa wrote. “They don’t make them like you anymore. Thank you for teaching my husband how to treat his wife the way you treated yours. Thank you for teaching me how to cook everything I make. Thank you for all the energy you’ve always brought everywhere you went. Run to your wife. She’s waiting for you❤️”
“Thank you for setting an example for us and my girls-you’re an exemplary example. We benefited from it every day,” he wrote. “Your ❤️ and my dad are smiling in this tough time because they get to enjoy your good food and funny jokes. Cin cin 🍷”
Scroll through to see the sweet messages from Teresa’s costars and Bravo family: