MCFARLAND--Joe Stanek, age 64, died from Multiple Sclerosis complications on Thursday, September 28, after suffering from the disease for 26 years. Joe's last wishes were granted when he passed away quietly in his sleep at home.
Joe was born in 1953 to Edward and Idell (Merklein) Stanek and was raised in Madison. His favorite hobby as a kid was to fish in Brittingham Bay from the railroad tracks. His second was skipping school, going to the bus station, sneaking cigarettes, and playing pinball machines. He attended Edgewood High School and graduated in 1971. He could fix anything that ran on gas and was happiest when he was in his garage with grease and oil up to his elbows. Joe was a vintage-vehicle aficionado and was thrilled to have owned two 1969 AMC AMX cars. Joe worked for the Dept. of Corrections, mostly at Oakhill Correctional Facility, Oregon, for 29 years before retiring in 1999. It was a job that he was proud to perform.
Joe was one of those laid-back, easy-going guys that everyone liked as soon as they met him. He loved to be outside, especially at his cottage in Ferryville, so he could drink beer around a campfire and relax while gazing at his beloved Mississippi River. Joe had compassion for all animals and was never without numerous pets. Joe is survived by his wife and partner of 42 years, Carol (Duane) Stanek, his brother, James (Pam) Stanek, Newport, RI, his aunt, Elizabeth Stanek, Oregon, cousins, nieces, nephews, awesome neighbors, and his incredible family of in-law's. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, Thomas Stanek, his father and mother-in-law, Charles and Delores (Rector) Duane, brother-in-law, James Schultz, and a great niece, Alexa Pederson.
The family would like to express a huge thank you to Drs. Helen Counts and Christopher Luzzio for never giving up, Steve Tumilty and staff at the Medicine Shoppe in McFarland for their excellent service, Heidi K. from Stoughton Home Health for always making Joe laugh, Agrace Hospice for their help and kindness, his brothers and sisters-in-law who were all so very dear to him (you know who you are), and Informed Choice Funeral, Madison.
A very casual gathering to celebrate Joe's freedom will be held at the Spartan Bowl, 4711 Farwell St., McFarland on Monday, Oct. 9, from 2-4 p.m. Memorials in Joe's honor can be made to the following nonprofit rescues: Tabby Town Cat Rescue, S1695B Stenslien Ln, Westby, WI 54667 and Key to Happiness Dog Rescue, 309 Meadow Ln, DeForest, WI 53532
"Walk and run, sweetheart, then put the petal to the metal of your AMX and fly, for you are finally free because there are no wheelchairs in heaven. Love you always. C"