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Meet your Jeannette neighbors: Joe DiMartino

| Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, 9:02 p.m.
Joe DiMartino is one of the ice sculptors on staff at DiMartino Ice in Jeannette. Margie Stanislaw | The Jeannette Spirit

Joe DiMartino of Jeannette has had a reputation as a comic and class clown since kindergarten.

According to his uncle, Ernie DiMartino, “It started as far back as kindergarten, when he was the class clown. He (Joe) would get dropped off at the Seneca Heights Elementary School, and while the kindergartners were waiting to go inside, he would have a whole group of kids surrounding him while he made them laugh.”

This skill has proven invaluable to DiMartino as an ice sculptor. Working in the family business, DiMartino Ice, one of the things the company specializes in are winter ice festivals which include on-site ice sculpture carving.

According to Joe DiMartino, it helps to be an entertainer. He said he needs to be able to talk to people and answer questions while he is carving.

“It is live entertainment,” Joe DiMartino said. “People come to see you perform.”

Ernie DiMartino added that, “(Joe) does a little striptease with his carving coveralls which wowed the crowd and the promoter.”

In some of the ice shows, the crowd gets to vote for the best sculpture while it is being carved.

Being able to carve and entertain the crowd at the same time is a plus during the voting process.

Besides ice sculpting, Joe DiMartino has a long list of other duties at DiMartino Ice which include being a trainer for new employees, doing maintenance of equipment, keeping an eye on the inventory and making deliveries when necessary.

Joe DiMartino is a lifelong resident of Jeannette and a graduate of Jeannette High School. After high school he took some classes at Westmoreland County Community College and then moved to Akron, Ohio where he attended Stark State College and earned a degree in electrical maintenance technology.

Upon returning home, he married the former Keeley Sprole, a graduate of Kent State University, who is from Cranberry Township.

The couple has purchased a home in the Seneca Heights neighborhood and on Aug. 6, Keeley gave birth to the couple's first child, Clayton.

Clayton is the first grandson in the DiMartino clan.

When asked if he has any hobbies, Joe DiMartino said, “Fixing everything in the house.” He recently put in a new bathroom and has done some other remodeling to fit his growing family's needs. He does admit to shooting sporting clays with his friends and he and his wife have two dogs that they are very much attached to. Their Lhasa Apso is 15 years old and was his wife's pet prior to their marriage.

The couple also has an adopted Dachshund which Joe DiMartino said is “abnormally long.”

To learn more about live entertainment, ice sculpting or home improvements, get to know neighbor Joe DiMartino.

Editor's note: Meet Your Neighbors is a recurring feature in The Jeannette Spirit. If you know of a neighbor with an interesting life story to tell, someone who deserves some recognition for volunteer work, a resident with a special talent or an avid collector who would like to be featured, call the Spirit at 724-838-5154 or send an email to

Margie Stanislaw is a freelance writer.