Joseph Michael Johanek, (Flag Emblem) of Antigo, died Wednesday, October 21, 2015 at Eastview Medical and Rehabilitation Center. He was 68 years old. He was born on April 20, 1947 in Antigo, a son of the late James and Agnes (Schultz) Johanek.
He attended Gillis Grade School in Neva, St. John Parochial School and Antigo High School. He attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison for one year and then enlisted in the United States Army. He served during the Vietnam War having a clerical position at an army post in Barstow, California from 1966 to 1968.
He was a cook at the family business, Uneeda Lunch and later at Farmers Home Restaurant. He became a proficient cook and continued doing that for his life’s work.
Joe loved all things of nature and could tell you details about plants, birds, fish and other animals. He raised exotic birds on his parents’ farm and when he had his own home he raised tropical fish, parakeets, cockatiels and canaries. He enjoyed teaching young people about them. He also loved having a garden and flower bed. He grew cactuses and other unusual plants. He also had dogs and cats, which he sometimes rescued from the animal shelter. He loved reading and doing jigsaw puzzles as well as crossword puzzles.
Survivors include his siblings, Mary (Donald) Brennecke of Antigo, Rosemary (Ken) Deacy of Deerbrook, James (Judy) Johanek of Silverdale, Wash., Jeanne (David) Csuy of North Fort Myers, Fla., William (Sandra) Johanek of St. Simons Island, Ga., Peter (Barbara) Johanek of Wabeno and John (Mary) Johanek of Whitelaw. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.
In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Gregory Johanek; nephew, Michael Sheehy and grandnephew Daniel Chesal.
Joe considered the staff at Farmers Home part of his family. He was especially close friends with Chuck and Julie Turney and their daughter, Tracey Bussey, who considered Joe her second dad.
A funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at St. Wencel Catholic Church with Rev. Charles Hoffmann officiating. Burial will take place in St. Wencel Catholic Cemetery where Antigo veterans will conduct military honors. Visitation will be Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. with a parish wake service at 5 p.m. and Tuesday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. all at the Bradley Funeral Home.