Joseph Maehl, age 94 of Neenah, passed away peacefully on Sunday, June 21, 2020 at Parkview Health Center. Joe was born on March 10, 1926 in Chicago, son of the late Michael and Mable (Mattson) Maehl. Joe was a talented musician that grew up and participated in the Big Band Era from his street band on the south side of Chicago, to playing with bands such as the Dorsey brothers, all while still in his teens. During World War II, while stationed at Great Lakes in the Navy, his music sent him to Manitowoc to play commissioning ceremonies of the submarines being built there. Ironically, Joe served as a “Soundman” on a sub chaser in the Aleutian Islands during the war. He participated in playing colors in the transfer of ships to the Russian government during the lend/lease program. His musical talents took him to many parts of the world even late into his years. He was known for, and called upon, to play taps for various events and organizations, including over 30 years at the EAA Warbirds air shows.
Joe was a huge American patriot, which was evident in his service to his country, as well as his state and local communities. He served for three decades on the Winnebago County Board, as supervisor and as Winnebago County Board Chairman for 12 years. Additionally, he held positions on boards at the local, county and state levels. Joe was instrumental in the transition of the University of Wisconsin Fox Valley from an extension and the development of the Barlow Planetarium.
Joe was Vice President of sales and Marketing for Laminations Corp from its early years in Neenah till his retirement in 1991.
Always the Salesman, Always the Statesman, always a gentleman,
Joe is survived by his nine children: Mike (Diane) Maehl, Carrie (Guy) Vander Linden, Jeff (Keith) Maehl, Laurie (Mark) Vanderboom, Todd (Jennifer) Maehl, Pam (Mike) Rippl, Kris Maehl Sopel, Kurt (Barbara) Maehl and Gunnar Maehl. He is also survived by numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Joe was preceded in death by his first wife, Jean (Plimpton), his second wife, Patricia (Floro), an infant sister Francis and his very special and close “big sister”, Eleanor.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 26, 2020 at the Kessler Funeral Home, 304 S. Commercial St., Neenah, with Pastor Rebecca Henry officiating. Visitation will be held on Thursday at the funeral home from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m and again at the funeral home on Friday from 9:00 a.m. until the time of services. Burial with full military honors performed by the Neenah-Menasha Funeral Honors team will follow in Oak Hill Cemetery.
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