STAPLES -- Joseph "Joe" Vukelich, age 82, of Staples, died Wednesday morning, Sept. 3, 2003, at his home. Funeral services will be Saturday, Sept. 6, at 11 a.m. in the Staples Alliance Church with the Rev. Randy Tabor officiating. Family will receive friends Friday evening from 4-7 p.m. at the Brenny Funeral Chapel. Interment will be in Evergreen Hill Cemetery of Staples. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Brenny Funeral Home in Staples.
Joseph "Joe" Vukelich was born Oct. 1, 1920, in Crosby, Minn., to Marko and Annie (Kosnitch) Vukelich. Joe was raised in Crosby and attended school through the 10th grade, remaining to work in the Crosby Mines and his uncle's grocery store. He was married to Lylah Randall Jan. 8, 1938, in Brainerd. He entered the Army in 1943 and following his honorable discharge they moved to Staples. In October of 1945, he started working for the Northern Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroad as conductor and brakeman until his retirement in 1981.
Joe was a member of the VFW and the American Legion. He enjoyed fishing and working on engines and cars. He had a great love of animals and enjoyed "teasing" the grandchildren.
Joe is survived by his wife, Lylah; sons, Joseph Jr. (Shari), of Motley, Bill (Kay), Doug (Karen), and Dale, all of Staples; daughters, Judy (Bob) Rollins of Jacksonville, Texas, Dixie (Jack) Smith of Motley, Lilly Rychner, Monica Webster, Peggy (Brad) Hirschey, and Mona (Donnie) Lambert, all of Staples; a daughter-in-law, Deanne; two sisters, Mildred Plank of Boston, and MaryAnn Lindgren of Roseville; two brothers, Daniel Ustipak of Crosby, and Milo Usitpak of White Bear Lake; 37 grandchildren; 66 great-grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren. Joe is preceded in death by his parents, a daughter, Evelyn, a son, Daniel, and son-in-law Bob Rychner, a brother, two sisters and a sister-in-law, Lorraine.
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