Edison Elementary students celebrate life of 'Happy' Joe Whitty

Photo courtesy: Danielle Rued

MINOT, N.D. - A Halloween party Thursday at one Minot school had extra special meaning.

The kids at Edison Elementary honored the memory of 'Happy' Joe Whitty.

Whitty, who founded Happy Joe's Pizza and Ice Cream, passed away earlier this week at the age of 82.

Whitty was the great-uncle of Danielle Rued, the executive director of the Minot Public School foundation.

Danielle contacted the Minot Happy Joe's to see if they would help the Edison students honor Whitty at their Halloween party.

They donated enough pizzas to feed 70 kids.

Rued said her great-uncle enjoyed putting a smile on people's faces.

“The children were so excited to receive this pizza, and when I was talking to them about who'd been to Happy Joe's, a lot of them raised their hands and got so excited to tell us their favorite pizza, so they've been having a blast, and we were just so appreciative of the partnership that Happy Joe's here in Minot could do for our students,” she said.

Rued says Whitty will also be remembered for starting a foundation that supports the families of children with special needs.

Whitty was born in Minot and went to high school in Des Lacs.