Joseph Anthony DeSarro


Joseph Anthony DeSarro passed away peacefully from kidney failure on Sept. 25, 2023, at his home in Roberts, Montana.

Born in 1944 to Louis and Isabelle, Joe grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. Recruited by the University of Wyoming, Joe played in the 1967 Sun Bowl and 1968 Sugar Bowl. In the 1970s, Joe began rearing and conserving waterfowl, including trumpeter swans and sandhill cranes. Joe was a member of the International Wild Waterfowl Association and was instrumental in establishing ZooMontana.

He managed several ranches in Wyoming and Montana before purchasing his own. Joe loved people and loved to connect them. As he departs, we remember the infamous voice of the family parrot, “Joe telephone!”

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Sally; children Candace, Jenny (Matt Hall), Matt (Amanda), and Amy; seven grandchildren; sisters Carol (Lawrence) Burke, Francine (Fernando) D’Urso, Gina (Mike) Quant; and many nieces, nephews and godchildren.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at the Cornerstone Community Church, 4525 Grand Ave., Billings.

Memorials may be made to the University of Wyoming Foundation noting the “Cowboy Joe Club in Memory of Joe DeSarro,” or to WJH Bird Resources in Billings or Hope Ranch International.

Condolences may be made at