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Obituaries > SLADKY, FRANCIS J.

MADISON- Francis Joseph “Joe” Sladky, age 83, passed away on Thursday, July 6, 2006, at the UW Hospital in Madison due to complications associated with cancer. Joe was born in Racine on May 2, 1923, the son of Frank E. and Rose G. (Broecker) Sladky. Following high school, he served in World War II as a member of Carlson’s 2nd Marine Raider Battalion, an elite, special ops unit of the Marine Corps. He fought in such storied Marine battles as Tarawa, Midway, and Guadalcanal. After WWII, Joe attended the UW-La Crosse, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Physical Education and, more importantly, met and married Jacqueline “Jody” Thomas in 1947. He continued his education at the UW-Madison, earning a degree in Physical Therapy. Joe and Jody eventually settled in Milwaukee, where they lived from 1963 through 1990. During his career as a Physical Therapist, a profession he truly loved, he helped many people ranging from those affected by polio to star athletes. Joe was widely admired for his thoughtfulness and generosity, always finding time to give, especially to young people. A host of high school athletes at the University School of Milwaukee will remember “Doc” who voluntarily ministered to their injuries for more than a decade. In addition to his work, Joe was an accomplished jazz drummer, and played bass drum with the Billy Mitchell Scottish Pipe and Drum Band of Milwaukee for many years. After retirement, Joe and Jody resided in Whidbey Island, Washington, and in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, returning to Madison in 2004. Siesta Key, Florida was his favorite winter escape. Joe will be remembered as a generous man with a big heart, sly smile and positive word for everyone. He is survived by Jacqueline, his loving wife of 58 years; his children: John (Mary) Sladky of Atlanta, Mary (Fred) Struthers of Furlong, Pennsylvania, Eric (Judi) Sladky of Whidbey Island, Washington, and Kurt (Debbie Neff) Sladky of Madison; 8 grandchildren: Graham, Alex, Christa, William, Kristoffer, Karsten, Sam and Jake; a brother, James (Mary) Sladky of Waterford; a sister, Mary (James) Knauf of Chilton; brothers-in-law, John (Barbara) Thomas of Indianapolis and Tom Thomas of Minneapolis; a sister-in-law Carmen Bey of Owatonna, Minnesota; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his brother, John (Carol) Sladky of Racine, and his brother-in-law Ken Bey of Owatonna, Minnesota. A family gathering to celebrate his life will be held in the future. In keeping with his generous spirit, his family suggests that contributions in his name be made to the University of Wisconsin Comprehensive Cancer Center, the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Program, or the American Physical Therapy Association, Foundation for Physical Therapy. He will be greatly missed. Semper Fi. Cress Funeral & Cremation Service 3610 Speedway Road, Madison.