Joe served two years in the U.S. Army. His main assignment was with the headquarters of the European Command in Frankfurt, Germany. It was there he met his wife of 55 years, Waltraud "Wally" Kaiser. They were married on August 27, 1954 at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Catholic Church.
Upon graduation, Joe returned to Kenosha where he was offered a position teaching mathematics and became the assistant coach of the junior varsity basketball team at Bradford High School. Joe eventually transferred to Tremper High School where he continued to teach mathematics, became a counselor, and assumed the position of head basketball coach. Joe was especially proud of the 1964 team which went undefeated in the regular season and whose only loss came in the conference tournament title game.
Prior to retiring from teaching and coaching, Joe opened Kenosha Trophy on north 22nd Avenue. After selling that business he and Wally enjoyed spending winters in Henderson, Nevada. Joe also enjoyed traveling to Italy to visit with extended family.
To satisfy a childhood dream, he took tap dance lessons at the Kenosha Senior Center which led to participating in Country Western dance sessions. Joe was an avid sports fan, with a special passion in following the Badgers and college basketball. He listened to Frank Sinatra crooning on LPs, read books covering topics related to sports and sports' legends.
He was a member of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Italian American Men's Society, the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association, Kenosha Education Assn., Elks Club, the Italian Business & Professional Assn., the Sweet 16 Golf League, and the Lions Club (making countless trips to transport organ donations for immediate surgery). In 1988, Joe had the honor of being inducted into the Kenosha Unified Hall of Fame.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, wife, and sister and her husband, Rose and Joseph Romano. He is survived by his two sisters: Oakley (late Vernon) Gerth and Dolores (Lee) Hunkeler; special companion Sue Holt, and eight nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be held on Sunday, March 15th, at the Proko Funeral Home from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Monday, March 16th, at All Saints Mausoleum Chapel at 10:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials sent to the Kenosha Athletic Scholarship Foundation, 3600-52nd Street, ATTN: Steve Knecht, Kenosha, WI 53144, would be appreciated by the family.