For 93 years a farm boy from Junction City was a busy part of this world. He finally petered out Saturday, April 27, 2019, at the Chippewa Manor in Chippewa Falls.
Joe was born at home to Peter and Othilia (Schulhauser), Jan. 18, 1926, the third of four children. During the Great Depression he lost his life’s savings, $12.12, when the local bank collapsed.
He moved to Chippewa Falls in 1947, for a job on the Soo Line Railroad; he was a “Southsider” ever since. He worked his way up from switch man to yardmaster over 38 years and continued to love all things “Soo,” even after he retired. Joe was a proud union member.
He married Virgiline Weinfurter Sept. 1, 1948. They celebrated 64 years together before her death in 2012.
Joe was a hands-on father when it was uncommon for dads to change diapers, wash clothes, or make “spit curls” in their daughters’ hair. Still, he knew his place in the See house. He often told his kids, “Ask your mother.”
Joe was a hard worker who was always up to something, making cribbage boards or other treasures, tinkering in his garage or fiddling with flowers. He gave blood religiously and he voted in every election. His shirt was always tucked in.
He donated countless time and money to Holy Ghost, and he was part of a small, dedicated group to start an annual church picnic in 1971. It continues to generate funding for the parish. He was active in the Knights of Columbus and cleaned more smelt than he cared to remember. Joe loved a bargain and he was saving and reusing long before it was a trend. He could make something out of nothing and he could fix just about anything. He liked a bad joke and a good story. He started every tale with “so anyway.”
For the last three plus years, he received excellent care and compassion at home from nurses, Terri and Ashley, through St. Joseph’s Hospital.
He is survived by his eight children and their spouses, Sharon See, Jackie See, Mary (Dan) Goulet, Juliann (Jim) Goelden, Joseph (Tami) See Jr., Geralynn (Tim) Schemenauer, David (Lauri) See and Patti See (Bruce Taylor). He was “Grandpa Joe” to many, Katie (Jon) Kester and Rose Zerrudo, Candice (Bill) Seder, Robin (Eric) Prince and Karri Wold (Kyle Czerniak), Lauren (Ryan) Bice and Marissa (Taylor) Kotke, Christen (Dave) McIlvoy and Jennifer See, Nick (Jess) Schemenauer, Jaimie (Greg) Clark and Justin Schemenauer (Lauren Feldhake), Codie (Cassie Daggatt), Mitch (Abby Hanlon), Evin (Andra Chumas) See and Audra (Dave) Leonard and Alex Thornton; and to great-grandchildren, Kambria, Jaxson, Jagger, Zachary, Madison, Katelyn, Nolan, Henry, Owen, Brooklyn, Riley, Holland, Hudson, Denim, Liam, Oaklyn, Olivia, Olive and Teo. He is also survived by a sister, Jeanette Santoski; and many other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his wife; his parents; his brothers, Bob and Jim; and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law.
Funeral services will be held at noon Friday, May 3, at Holy Ghost Church in Chippewa Falls. Entombment will be in Hope Mausoleum in Chippewa Falls. Friends may call from 10 a.m. until the time of services at noon Friday, May 3, at Holy Ghost Church.
Contributions on Joe’s behalf can be made as follows: slip a few extra bucks in the church collection; donate blood, especially if you’re a rare type like Joe; go to a thrift sale and pay the asking price; make something crafty and give it away; have one more for the road.
Horan Funeral Home in Chippewa Falls is in charge of arrangements. Family and friends may express condolences online at www.horanfuneralhome.com