When the time came, Joe wanted me to let people who knew him know that he “had croaked” (his words, of course.) So, Joe croaked on July 2, 2015. He had a full life with the exception of the past six years when several health problems relentlessly cascaded onto him.
Joe was a private person (though outgoing at the same time, so explain that), and didn’t want an obituary or a funeral service. So he probably didn’t think you needed to know he held three university degrees: in Chemistry and in Art and he earned the first Bachelor of Fine Arts degree offered by UW-Whitewater.
Joe probably didn’t see the need to tell you he worked for the State of Wisconsin as a chemist in the 1960s. In the 1970s, Joe was a Senior Welder at Highway Trailer in Edgerton, a job he enjoyed immensely. He was also a union steward there.
Joe probably thought you needn’t know he became a certified teacher and taught school for several years.
Joe was a motorcycle enthusiast and had a motorcycle shop in Whitewater and then in Gays Mills. Then he moved on to computers and in the 1980s and into the 1990s he was quite well-known statewide for helping small newspapers (including The Boscobel Dial) make the transition to computerized offices and output.
All the while, Joe was a musician who used to enjoy playing several instruments. He had an excellent singing voice-but he probably wouldn’t have told you any of that.
Joe was an outstanding cook who took pride and pleasure in providing healthy meals on the home front, using homegrown produce whenever possible. Joe was the Master Chef and Mary was the Designated Dishwasher.
Joe also has two wonderful daughters from his prior marriage and they kept in touch with him over the years.
Joe was very proud of being an Army and a Navy Veteran.
Joe enjoyed his friends and acquaintances in the Gays Mills and surrounding areas. He liked making them laugh with his jokes and comments; he liked deeper discussions as well. He really appreciated the Gays Mills he knew when first moving to southwestern Wisconsin in the 1980s.
So, those are some things Joe likely wouldn’t have shared with you because he lived in the moment, not the past. He was a unique man with many talents and interests, and now he is gone.
Thank you to the many people who inquired about how Joe was doing when he became less mobile a few years ago. You extended your greetings, which were always delivered, and that meant a lot to him. A very special thank you to dear friends and neighbors, the Ocooch Mountain Rescue Squad and Vernon Memorial Hospice team who all provided such unimaginable fine support.