Giacinto Gorga, ‘Real Housewives of New Jersey’ Patriarch, Dies at 76

Gorga, who appeared in multiple episodes, was the father of cast member Teresa Giudice and father-in-law of Melissa Gorga

Last Updated: April 3, 2020 @ 1:16 PM

Giacinto Gorga, the gravelly-voiced father of “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice who appeared in multiple episodes of the reality TV show, died Friday. He was 76.

Gorga was also the father-in-law of cast member Melissa Gorga, who is married to Teresa’s brother Joe. He was known for dispensing advice to his kids, cooking, drinking wine, and doting on his grandchildren, who affectionately referred to him as Nonno.

Giudice paid tribute to her late father in a touching Instagram post.

“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. 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,” the post read.

Her brother Joe added:

“I can’t believe he is gone. The world lost an amazing man human being today. 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. You had energy that lit up a room and everyone fell in love with you. You were truly one of a kind.”

Gorga was preceded in death by his wife Antonia Gorga, who died in 2017. The couple served as the patriarch and matriarch of the show, keeping the peace at many family functions.

Housewives from other franchises, including “New Jersey” alum Dina Manzo, “Atlanta’s” NeNe Leakes, “Beverly Hills'” Kyle Richards, and “Dallas'” Stephanie Hollman all expressed their condolences online.

A cause of death was not revealed, but a rep for Giudice told Page Six that Gorga “had been sick for a while.”

Watch Gorga dispense advice to Giudice in the clip above and read her tribute below:

View this post on Instagram

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. 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. ????????❤️???? 4-3-20

A post shared by TERESA GIUDICE ® (@teresagiudice) on

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