Joe was born December 11, 1926 in Austria. He immigrated to Canada with his parents Edward and Anna, and brother Rudy in 1929. They homesteaded in Loon Lake, Saskatchewan. In 1935, Joe lost his father due to illness. In 1943, he moved to Osoyoos, BC with his mom and siblings. As a young man Joe worked in various northern logging towns. While working in Quesnel, he met the love of his life, Gladys Warkentine. They married in June of 1952 and raised 5 children. Joe acquired a sawmill and started producing lumber. In 1958, they moved to Wells, BC for 3 years and continued sawmilling. They moved back to Quesnel and continued logging in a few different areas around Quesnel. In the 1970’s, Joe worked in Leo Creek, BC. From there they moved to Goldbridge, BC for 3 years where he became ill and returned home to Quesnel. After rallying from his illness, they built a subdivision and carved out a homestead on Sundown Road. They spent many happy years there enjoying their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Joe loved working in his greenhouse and looking after his many exotic birds and other animals over the years. His favorite was his dog Raven. Joe also loved to work in his shop and always found his way back to his sawmill, which was his great passion.
Joe passed away February 10, 2009 at G.R. Baker Hospital. He was 82 years old. He leaves to mourn his passing, his wife Gladys of 56 years, his children, Janet (Arnie), Joanna (Butch), Josie (Bob), Doug (Donna), and Geri (Don). He leaves 14 grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. He also leaves his brother Robert (Vivian) and sisters Rose (Len), Ludwina, and Agnes. He is predeceased by his father Edward in 1935, brother Rudy in 1982 and his mother in 1993. He will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by his family and friends. A “Celebration of Life” Tea was held in the multi-purpose room of the Recreation Centre February 14, 2009.
Joe’s family wishes to express their heartfelt thanks to Drs. Dercksen, Aziz, Evans and Bishop. Also thank you to the nurses of the second and third floor of the G.R. Baker Hospital for their exceptional care and support. And to all the many friends and relatives for their love and support. Joe’s family will forever remember his morning greeting “Rise and Shine, Sun’s Shining on the Swamp”.