Joseph E. Wilkins, age 94, of Lorain, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 at Avon Oaks Caring Community.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Sophie (nee Grembowiec) Wilczynski; his brothers, Stanley and Edward; and his sister, Lottie Crause; and daughter-in-law Janet Sniezek.
He is survived by his children, David Wilkins of San Francisco, CA., Patricia (Wes) Lowzinski of Marietta, GA., Tim (Jan) Wilkins of Challis, ID., Mary (Ken) McNeill of Warrenton, VA. Grandchildren, Alina (Joe), Galen (Mary), Mary Catherine (Brian), Michael (Rachel), David (Crystal), Stephen (Karen), Tracy (Michael), Andrew, and Matthew; 13 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Joe liked to garden, socialize, and read. He greatly enjoyed singing in a number of choirs. He faithfully traveled to see his far-flung children. In Joe's later years, his eyesight and hearing became compromised, but he still loved to visit with people as often as he could.
Joe was born January 7, 1926 in Lorain, Ohio, and lived his entire life there. Joe's father was a steel worker and his mother was a homemaker. He grew up with three siblings: Stanley, Edward, and Lottie. Joe attended St. Stanislaus School and Lorain High School, graduating in 1944. As a student, Joe's favorite subject was history, and he participated in track & field athletics.
After high school, Joe joined the US Army, serving during World War II. He spent two years in the Philippines. For his service, Joe received the Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Theater Ribbon with 2 Bronze Battle Stars, the Philippine Liberation Ribbon and 1 Bronze Battle Star, 3 Overseas Service Bars, and the Purple Heart Medal for wounds he suffered during battle in Luzon.
After the war, Joe had a career as an accountant at Lorain Works US Steel in Lorain. He worked in this capacity for 42 years, retiring in 1987.
Joe was a member of the former St. Stanislaus Catholic Church and a member of St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church where he served as a Head Usher and volunteered with St. Anthony’s Credit Union. He was also a member of the United Steel Workers Union Local 1104, the Disabled American Veterans Louis Paul Proy Chapter 20, St. Anthony Holy Name Society, Lorain Salvation Army Keenagers, and Lorain Community Seniors. He was a 3rd Degree Knight with the Our Lady of the Lakes Council 4223 of the Knights of Columbus.
Graveside services will be held at a later date. The Dovin Funeral and Cremation Specialist, 2701 Elyria Avenue, Lorain is handling the arrangements.