BELLEVUE, Iowa – Joseph A. Weisnewski, 83, of 912 Jefferson Ave., Bellevue, died of cancer at 2:40 p.m. Monday, March 19, 2001, at Mill Valley Care Center.
Services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Bellevue, with burial in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Kingery Funeral Home, Bellevue, where there will be a scripture service at 5 p.m.
He was born on Feb. 12, 1918, in Pittsburgh, son of Stanley and Mary C. (Czernik) Weisnewski.
The family moved to Wheeling, W.Va., where he graduated from Warwood High School. He attended West Liberty Teacher’s College and on June 20, 1938, he enlisted in the Marine Corps.
After basic training in Parris Island, S.C., “Ski,” as he was now called, attended Sea School in Portsmouth, Va. He was assigned to the USS Honolulu from 1938-1940. He then was transferred to Camp Elliot, San Diego, where he was chosen to join the 2nd Raider Battalion, under the command of Colonel Evans Carlson and Major James Roosevelt. Ski participated in action against the Japanese at Guadalcanal and Bougainville, both in the Solomon Islands, from May 1942 to April 1944.
After some time spent in the Naval Hospital in Balboa Park, San Diego, Ski transferred to the Marine Barracks, U.S. Naval Air Station, Seattle. There he met his future wife, WAVE Mary E. Mueller, of Bellevue. They were married on Nov. 30, 1944, in the base chapel. Orders came again and Ski reported to The Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pa., where he became first sergeant of the Marine detachment on the USS Little Rock. When he resumed shore duty, he was assigned to the Naval Prison at Portsmouth N.H., as prison administrator. Here their first child, Joseph Stanley, was born.
There followed a number of duty tours as a Marine recruiter in Wisconsin, while living in Sparta Wis., their daughter Anne Marie (Anya) was born.
Korea was Ski’s next scene of action with him joining the 3rd Battalion 7th Marines, 1st Marine Division, Korea. In the Korean conflict, Ski saw action in Seoul, Wonsan, Hungnam, the Chosin Reservoir and South Central Korea. He was awarded the Purple Heart during this campaign.
Other duty stations for Ski were Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, Staff United States Marine Corps Reserve, Pottsville, Pa., Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Marine Corps School, Quantico, Va., Marine Corps Recruit Station, Des Moines, 1st Tank Battalion Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Okinawa, United States Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif., and Fleet Marine Force. Ski retired from the Marine Corps on July 1, 1970, as sergeant major E9. Besides the Purple Heart, Ski had many other medals and awards. He recently received a certificate and medal from the Republic of South Korea.
Ski was a member of the United States Marine Raider Association, a lifetime member of the Disabled Veterans of America and also belonged to the Bellevue American Legion Reveille Post 273.
As a civilian, Joe and Mary traveled extensively throughout the United States and abroad. Joe said he liked traveling when he could choose the destinations.
Joe was a gentle man, a kind and loving father and a good husband. He had a warm place in his heart for his grandchildren and will be missed by all who knew him. He particularly loved his home and the comfort it gave him.
Surviving are his wife, Mary; son, Joseph S. (Mary), of Bellevue Wash.; a daughter Anya (Eamonn) Stanley, of Los Angeles; four grandchildren, Tara, Jonathan, Catherine and Ailsa; a sister, Elizabeth Kendzora, of Tucson, Ariz.; a nephew Frank Kendzora, a niece, Deborah Stodgill, and their children.
He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Raymond; and a sister, Veronica Casper.
Joe’s family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and good wishes during his illness. They would also like to acknowledge the friendly, professional care received from Home Instead and Mill Valley Care Center. A special thanks for the wonderful loving attention received from Hospice of Dubuque and all of those who kindly volunteered their time during Joe’s last days.