Wednesday, October 5, 2016
7:00 PM to 9:00 PM EDT
Heritage Life Story Funeral Homes
Alt & Shawmut Chapel
2120 Lake Michigan Dr., N.W.
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
A scripture service will be prayed at the funeral home
Wednesday evening at 7:30 PM.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
1279 Cedar St NE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
Life Story / Obituary
With a life that spanned times of great change in the world around him, Joseph Misek lived a life of purpose while holding his loved ones near. He was a hardworking man who was always tinkering around as he was rarely one to be still. A loving husband and father, he was filled with unspeakable joy to witness his family grow to include the grandchildren who made him so very proud. With an unwavering faith as a cornerstone in his life, it was his faith that carried him through times of trial. Although he will be deeply missed, Joe’s friends and loved ones find comfort in knowing that he is enjoying perfect peace in his eternal home.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as we were cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce, the unemployment rate soared, and there were few American families who didn’t feel the strain. Despite the trials around them, Joseph and Mary (Hain) Misek were able to shift their focus to an exciting time in their own lives as they welcomed the baby boy they named Joseph Albert into their hearts and home on April 9, 1932, in Rothbury, Michigan. He was the seventh of eight children as he was joined in his family by his siblings, Ethel, Ray, Eleanor, Helen, Mae, Josie, and Charlotte. Joe’s father was a factory worker while his mother was a busy homemaker.
In many ways Joe was a young boy of his generation. He enjoyed playing football, fishing, and hunting for deer and small game. Joe always took care of all the butchering and processing himself. The Great Depression certainly took its toll on the Misek family. They had an outside bathroom, and with no money for toilet paper they used magazines instead. Meals were simple and often consisted of duck lard and sandwiches, or onion sandwiches. Joe attended Rothbury Elementary School and Montague High School through the 11th grade. He had been drafted into the Army in 1952 during the days of the Korean Conflict and spent his time in field artillery. Joe became a sergeant before being discharged. It was after being discharged that he began working for West Michigan Steel.
New and exciting changes were in store for Joe when he met the young woman of his dreams. Her name was Patricia Fink, and they met on a blind date while at a movie. That date led to more dates, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Joe and Patsey were married on July 27, 1957, at Holy Trinity Catholic Church. They were the first couple to be married in the newly built church as the original wooden structure had been destroyed in a tornado. The newlyweds had two wedding receptions, one at Holy Trinity for her family and another in Rothbury for his family, and they spent their honeymoon at Niagara Falls. The couple initially settled into the home behind the bar that Patsey’s family owned, Nick Finks Bar, in Comstock Park.
Joe spent 25 years working at the bar on both Friday and Saturday nights, but that was not his primary work. For 17 years he commuted to work at Howmet Corp in Whitehall, and he also worked at Meijer, Montgomery Wards and McDonald Plastics. He was a dedicated husband and father, working hard to put his children through Catholic School.
Nine years after they got married, Joe and his wife were delighted to become parents. They were blessed with three girls, Julie in 1966, Nadine in 1968, and Michelle in 1970. Joe and Patsy raised their girls in the home they bought on Four Mile Road, which is where he lived for the rest of his life. He loved being a father, and he made the most of the time he had with his wife and daughters. There were family vacations to Pentwater and Grand Haven as well as trips to Great America, Wisconsin, and North Dakota to visit his brother Ray.
Throughout his life Joe was a bustle of activity. He had a knack for small engine repair, and he never could drive past a mower sitting on the side of the road waiting for trash pickup. Throughout his lifetime Joe fixed thousands of engines. He also collected discarded scrap metal, visiting Pando’s and Joe Brown’s to sell his scrap for fun and to get a few extra dollars. He always kept a huge garden of many vegetables like tomatoes, corn, and squash, and he also grew fruits including strawberries, melons, grapes, and plumbs. Joe made his own wine with the grapes he grew, and he canned and froze nearly everything. He was comfortable in the kitchen and made amazing soups, biscuits and gravy, chicken, stew, and many things on the grill. Joe often bought a half a cow, processing his own meat, and he also made head cheese. He fished for bluegill on Mastin Lake and loved following the Detroit Tigers and Detroit Lions, listening to polka music, and visiting area halls for dances. Joe kept in touch with his Army buddies throughout his life, and he also attended their annual reunions in Branson, Missouri, for years. He enjoyed old westerns, NCIS, and Law & Order.
Later in life Joe experienced both peaks and valleys in his life’s journey. He was thrilled to become a grandfather, and he was often available to babysit his grandchildren. In 2005, Joe was deeply saddened with the death of his beloved wife after a long battle with breast cancer. Although he missed her dearly, his faith and strong family support lifted him up during this time. Joe also looked forward to visits with his family.
Throughout his life Joseph Misek was known for his strong work ethic, his unending devotion to his family and friends, and his unwavering faith. He was courageous in facing whatever came his way, even when suffering the loss of his wife and dealing with his own health issues. Joe was the sort of person who would do whatever he could for others as he had the most kind and generous heart. Deeply loved, he will never be forgotten.
Joseph Albert Misek, aged 84, of Comstock Park, MI. passed away at his home on Saturday afternoon, October 1, 2016 with his loving family at his side. He was preceded in death by his wife of 48 years, Patsy Misek (Fink), as well as 7 other siblings. He is survived by his children, Julie Misek, Nadine and Mike Nowicki, Michelle and Alvin Kershner; his grandchildren, Zachary, Domenic and Trevor Nowicki, and Maxwell Kershner; his sister-in-law, Mary Misek; many nieces, nephews and friends. Joe honorably served his country in the US Army during the Korean War as a Field Artillery Gunner. He lived in his home in Comstock Park for 60 years. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. He was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Church, Alpine, 1200 Alpine Church Road where the Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 am on Thursday, October 6, 2016. Burial in Holy Trinity Cemetery. Relatives and friends may meet his family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home – 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW, on Wednesday, from 2-4 and 7-9 PM with a scripture service at 7:30 PM. In lieu of flowers contributions in his memory may be made to Tandem 365, a senior health assistance agency, or Holy Trinity Church. To read more about Joe’s life, to leave a memory of him and to sign his guest book, visit his web page at www.lifestorynet.com