A memorial service celebrating the life of Joseph Schwab will be held at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Friday, February 14, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.

Joseph Francis “Joe” Schwab Jr., 76, of Crookston, MN, died Saturday, February 8, 2014, at his home. He had been courageously battling Parkinson’s for several years.

Joe was born at Jamestown, ND on September 3, 1927, the youngest of two sons of Joseph and Christine (Abele) Schwab Sr. He was baptized and confirmed in the Catholic faith and graduated from Jamestown High School with the Class of 1955. He was an outstanding track athlete, not only setting state relay records, but also winning the North Dakota State High School 100-yard dash event in 1955. Joe enlisted in the US Navy on July 11, 1955, and served aboard the USS Brush, based out of San Diego, CA, until his honorable discharge on December 1, 1957. He was awarded the China Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal for his service to his country. After returning home Joe attended the Wahpeton (ND) State School of Science. On August 25, 1962 he was united in marriage to Bonnie Jean Johnson at Jamestown, ND. Joe began working for the Otter Tail Power Company at Fergus Falls, MN, and he and Bonnie made their home there for several years. In 1970 he transferred to Otter Tail’s Crookston office. He retired from Otter Tail after 39 years of service.

Over the years Joe, Bonnie, and their family enjoyed wonderful summers at West McDonald Lake, near Fergus Falls. Cherished memories of swimming, skiing and sitting around the campfire were created with extended families and friends. Joe’s patient demeanor enabled him to teach many of the kids how to water ski. The cabin was Joe’s favorite place to be, and in his latter years, he was usually packed and ready to go even before the snow had melted.

One of Joe’s favorite pastimes was keeping tropical fish and he maintained several aquariums in his home. He was also very mechanically gifted as well, and loved to tinker with small engines. Joe’s happy, easy-going nature and sense of humor are a piece of the legacy he leaves with his kids and grandkids, and he will be very lovingly missed and remembered.

Family members include Joe’s daughter and 3 sons: Joan Darco of Crookston, MN, James (Jacalyn) Schwab of Thief River Falls, MN, David Schwab of Grand Forks, ND, and Paul (Jody) Schwab of Elk River, MN; 6 grandchildren: Dustyn (Arika) Darco, Derek Darco, Brandon Schwab, Britney (Brandon) Block, and Isaac and Alexander Schwab; 2 great-granddaughters, Brylee and Serenity; a brother, Jim “JJ” (Alice) Schwab of Appleton, WI; a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Richard (Pat) Hall of Moorhead, MN; and other extended family. He was preceded in death by Bonnie, his beloved wife of 40 years; and his parents, Joseph and Christine. May God bless Joe’s memory.

A memorial service celebrating the life of Joseph Schwab will be held at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home on Friday, February 14, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. with The Rev. Vincent Miller, officiating. Visitation with the family will be for one hour prior to the service.

Online registry: www.stenshoelhouske.com