Teresa Giudice's father, Giacinto Gorga, died Friday morning

By Emily Strohm and Jodi Guglielmi
April 06, 2020 11:50 AM
Teresa Giudice/instagram

Teresa Giudice‘s father, Giacinto Gorga, will be laid to rest surrounded by those who loved him most.

Giacinto’s funeral will be “a private ceremony for immediate family,” Teresa’s attorney James J. Leonard tells PEOPLE. The memorial is set to take place later this week.

The intimate funeral comes as people around the world are being asked to keep their distance to combat the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus. According to the New Jersey Herald, many funeral services are being limited to immediate family only, while others are opting to delay services for several weeks — even months. Some funeral homes are allowing for traditional services but limiting the number of people allowed inside at one time with all guests required to wear masks and gloves.

The Real Housewives of New Jersey star announced on Instagram that her dad died on Friday morning. In a series of touching posts, Teresa remembered her father as her “protector” and “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,” she wrote. “Thank you for being the best husband, father & Nonno.”

She went on to share some of her favorite memories with him, calling him the “strongest man I know” and reflecting on his “devotion” to her late mother.

“Your devotion to mommy was one for the record books, you were the true example and a gentleman and devoted husband,” she wrote. “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.”

Teresa’s brother Joe Gorga and her estranged husband Joe Giudice also posted their own heartfelt tributes to social media.

In a statement to PEOPLE, Teresa’s attorney Leonard said, “Everyone is devastated. He was such a kind-hearted and loving man. He will be greatly missed by all of those who were fortunate to know him, but especially his children and grandchildren who absolutely adored him.”

His death came one day after Teresa made a heartfelt plea for prayers from fans, admitting that her dad was “struggling.”

Gorga’s health had been a matter of concern for months. Last November, Teresa reportedly had to leave BravoCon early to take him to the hospital.