Joseph J. Fonferek

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Joseph J. Fonferek, 92, of Breed, passed away at home on Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019. Joseph was born on Nov. 3, 1926, to the late Frank and Pearl (Peterson) Fonferek in Green Bay. On June 13, 1953, Joe married Audrey Johnvin at Tabor Lutheran Church in Mountain.

Joe began his career as a mechanic at Dieck’s Ford Garage in 1945. He enlisted in the United States Army on Aug. 17, 1948, as a vehicle mechanic and was discharged on May 17, 1952. Joe was awarded the Korean Service Medal with four bronze service stars and a Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon. After his service, he continued his mechanic career before retiring in 1988 after 30 years at Ehlinger’s Garage.

After his retirement, he worked for several local farmers. Joe served as the Suring village treasurer for eight years. He was a member of the Suring American Legion Post 283. Joe retired as co-assistant chief of the Suring Volunteer Fire Department after 35 years of service. He was a longtime member of Mount Olive Lutheran Church, where he served in many capacities.

Joe was a longtime deer hunter. In his retirement, he enjoyed several trips to Wyoming and fishing trips to Canada. He also enjoyed ice fishing and making firewood. Joe was an especially proud grandpa and great-grandpa. He loved to give rides on the tractors and ATV.

Joe is survived by his wife of 65 years, Audrey; four children, Kay DePoy, Lola (Daniel) Becker, Amy (Larry) Burrack and Jim (Denise) Fonferek; seven grandchildren, Jessica (Michael) Storts, Kristin (Pete) Jensen, Stacey (Jerry) Vincent, Rachel Stoddard, Richard Burrack, Andy (Shantel Schroeder) Burrack, and Amanda Jo (Shawn Morris) Fonferek; 16 great-grandchildren, James Storts, Mya Storts, Madelyn Storts, Juliette Storts, Zander Jensen, Hadley Jensen, Harper Jensen, Madden Jensen, Ava Vincent, Drea Vincent, Paige Stoddard, Piper Stoddard, Owen Burrack, Lillian Burrack, Macy Burrack, and Britta Burrack; sister-in-law, Jean Marshall; and special friend of the family, April Herzog. He is further survived by many nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; four sisters, Ruby (Floyd) Mehrwerth, Ruth (Douglas) Harmer, Lorraine (Richard) Blaszczak and Mavis (Donald) Fawley; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Phillip and Elsie Johnvin; sister-in-law, Bess (Roger) Gardebrecht; brother-in-law, Clifford Marshall; and son-in-law, Paul DePoy.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, at Mount Olive Lutheran Church from 9 a.m. until the funeral service at 11 a.m. with Pastor Michael Paholke officiating. Joseph will be interred in Breed Union Cemetery.

Gruetzmacher Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences can be expressed at

The family would like to thank the staff of ThedaCare at Home Hospice, especially Nurse Holly, for the care and compassion offered to Joseph and his family in their time of need.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Mount Olive Lutheran Church, the village of Suring Fire Department, or to a place of your choosing in Joseph’s name.