Joe Baer, surrounded by his family, peacefully left this earth to join our mother Roses in heaven on May 26, 2019 at the age of 96. He was our Dad, our Daddy Joe, our Papa Joe, our Grandpa Joe and we called him the Energizer Bunny because he kept going and going. The last song that he heard was Frank Sinatra singing ‘I Did It My Way’ – the perfect song!
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Joe is survived by his daughter Mary (John Kramp), son Bill (Nancy Hendry), son Tom (Bobbi Weesen-Baer), daughter Kathy (Rick) Monroe and son Mike (Sue). Papa Joe was especially proud of his ten grandchildren – Nicholas, Marcus (Jena) and Lucas Monroe; Michael (Fiancé Mary Nugent), Andrew, Christina (Jason Stark), Jon, Devyn, Ian and Megan. He was blessed with two great grandsons – Ethan Henry Stark and Kyle Thomas Stark. He is also survived by many relatives and friends.
Joe was born in Virginia, Minnesota in 1923 to Bella and Morris. He grew up on the east side of Milwaukee with his brother Bob and sister Jean, graduating from Riverside High School in 1940. He started his college career at Milwaukee State Teacher’s College (now UWM) and interrupted college to enlist in the army. Joe was injured on the second day of the Battle of the Bulge on December 17, 1944. For his injuries and bravery, he was awarded a Purple Heart. Returning home, he resumed his studies at Milwaukee State Teacher’s College, where he met the love of his life Roses, graduating in 1948.
He and Roses were married on June 19,1948. He taught in Baraboo and Middleton and in 1955 moved to South Milwaukee to begin a career that would span 30 years. He was the district’s Director of Guidance for most of his career and, when he retired in 1986, he was the high school’s first Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselor. After retirement he volunteered, tutoring high school students at an inpatient treatment facility for four years and then in a kindergarten class at Lakeview Elementary for eleven years.
Joe and Roses were married for 63 years. They traveled extensively -- domestically in their beloved RV and internationally at every opportunity.
Joe loved the Green Bay Packers and was a long-time season ticket holder. He also supported any sport or performance his children or grandchildren participated in. But most of all he loved his family. All of us held Joe and Roses up as an example of a great, strong, loving marriage.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife Roses (nee Lazar), daughter Elizabeth (Betsy), his parents, and sister Jean and brother Bob. The family would like to thank the entire staff at Alexian Village, especially the Courtyard staff for their loving care of Joe and our family.
The family will greet relatives and friends in the chapel at Alexian Village, 9301 N. 76th Street, Milwaukee 53223 on Saturday, June 15 from 10:30 to noon with a Mass to follow. A reception will follow the mass. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate memorials to the Joe & Roses Baer Family Scholarship Fund at Lawrence University. Contact Information: Lawrence University Development Office, 711 E. Boldt Way Appleton, WI 54911-5595. Online: http://www.lawrence.edu/s/giving/how_to_give