The man behind one of Iowa's most iconic brands has died. Joe Whitty, who founded Happy Joe's Pizza in Davenport, Iowa has died at the age of 82.

Whitty moved from North Dakota to Davenport, Iowa in 1966 and six years later, in 1972, opened the first Happy Joe's Pizza location in Davenport. Happy Joe's is now also in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin, with well over 40 locations.

According to a post on the Happy Joe's Pizza Facebook page,

Joe was deeply loved by his family and friends, and the loss that will be felt by his passing cannot be put into words. In addition to his family, those of us who had the opportunity to work with him are without words to express this tremendous loss. He was an extraordinarily smart and accomplished Entrepreneur who built a company that represents and practices the same principles he used to create and maintain Happy Joe’s for 47 Years.

Growing up, Happy Joe's was my favorite place to go to. My sister and I seemingly had every birthday party there... that's where we always wanted to go. It was so cool to watch them make the pizzas right through the glass and not only did I love the pizza but their candy selection as well. To this day, Happy Joe's is still my favorite pizza.

Thankfully, Mr. Whitty has left us a tasty legacy that will continue for years.