Joseph "Joe" Klasch, age 96, of Erie, formerly of Corry and San Diego, died Sunday, August 23, 2009 at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center-Hospice Unit, after a brief illness. He was raised on a dairy farm on Stewart Rd. in Corry. He was born on May 19, 1913 in Walkerton, VA, the son of the late Julia (Werbinski) and Andrew Klasch.
He was a National Guardsman and served in the US Army Infantry during WWII at Okinawa and Japan with the rank of Sgt. He was employed at G.C. Murphy Management, was a ice deliveryman, a railroad security policeman, carpenter, welder, construction foreman on many Erie buildings, such as, the West Erie Plaza, Van De Kamp's, Glenwood Towers, and Asbury Elementary School. He owned Crawford Overhead Doors and was a landscaper. He enjoyed home building and remodeling, traveling (extensively throughout the US, including Alaska and Hawaii), camping, trailering (he made his last solo trip in 2002), attending family reunions and one-room schoolhouse reunions in Corry for many years, hiking, hunting, photography, gardening, reading, genealogy research into his Russian Heritage, bird watching, and adventuring. He was a council member of Zion's Lutheran Church, instrumental in creating the Corry Tree Commission, Boy Scout Master, Corry Gun Club, NRA, VFW, Elks, Greek-Catholic-Slovak Club, and Abiding Hope Lutheran Church.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 62 years, Dorothy Mae Thomas Klasch in 1995, three brothers: John, Theodore, and Elmer Klasch, two sisters; Eva Vanderhoof and Stella Klasch, and one granddaughter, Kelli Ann Klasch.
He is left to cherish his memory by his children: Jeannette Sitter (Gilbert) of Erie, Joseph T. Klasch (Victoria) of Placerville, CA, James Klasch of Goodyear, AZ, and Judy Farrar, of Erie, three sisters: Helen Hollister of Mayville, NY, Mary Messina, of Mesa, AZ, and Mildred Borsa of Erie, seven grandchildren: Peter Sitter (Susan), Keith Sitter (Maureen), Wendy Wurz (David), Julia English (Bob), Melanie Heintz (Fred), Elizabeth Chous (Paul), and Janet Ruoff, six great-grandchildren: Ryan Sitter (Lynnsey), Sean Sitter (Katy), Ted and Emma English, Chase Sitter, Henry Heintz, and also one great-great-grandchild, Liam Sitter.
Friends may call at the Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc., 4216 Sterrettania Rd. on Friday from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m. and are invited there on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. for the funeral service. Interment with military honors at Laurel Hill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to American Farmland Trust, 1200 18th St. NW, Suite 800, Washington, D.C. 20036, Arbor Day Fdn., 100 Arbor Ave., Nebraska City, NE 68410, or to Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park, 1650 Norcross Rd., Erie, PA 16510.
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