Cover photo for John Joseph Grall's Obituary
John Joseph Grall Profile Photo
1943 John 2023

John Joseph Grall

September 9, 1943 — April 1, 2023

Wausau

John Joseph Grall passed away on 1 April 2023 at his home in Wausau, WI, aged 79. Known to family and friends as Joe, he is survived by his only child Eugene James (EJ, James) Grall and James’ husband and Joe’s second son, Oka Diputra. They reside in Bangkok, Thailand. Joe was preceded in death by his best friend and wife of 53 years, Patricia Anne Grall, who passed in November 2020. Joe is survived by three siblings: Nancy Hayes of Merrill WI, Tom Grall of Antigo, WI, and Judy Aiello of Brookfield, MA.

 

Joe was born to Aloysius and Dorothy Grall of Antigo, WI, on 9 September 1943. He graduated Antigo High School in 1962 after which he enlisted in the United States Coast Guard, serving in various locations around the US and a year on Yap Island, in the Mariana Islands, before being honorably discharged. Upon returning stateside, Joe married Patricia DuBrucq of Antigo on April 8, 1967, and his death came just one week before the 56th anniversary of their marriage. In 1970 Joe and Pat welcomed their only child, EJ, into the world. In the 70s Joe was a long-distance truck driver for Gene Miller Farms of Antigo, WI, and later worked for Krueger and Stienfest of Antigo. In 1984, Joe and family relocated to Wausau, WI and shortly thereafter Joe began work with the Rib Mountain Metropolitan Sewage District, where he was awarded “Operator of the Year” for the state of Wisconsin in 2002 and served more than 20 years before his retirement. In 2017, together with his buddy Gus Strehlo, Joe was given the honor of participating in the “Never Forgotten Honor Flight,” to recognize and celebrate his service to our country.

 

In addition to his family, Joe leaves behind an expansive group of friends, relationships nurtured over his lifetime at home in Wisconsin, across the US and around the globe. Summers in Wisconsin meant time with friends on the golf course, in the backyard, boating on the lakes, and generally enjoying family and friends. Joe and Pat spent many winters in Green Valley, Arizona, where many more friendships were cemented on the golf course and over happy hours. Pat and Joe had friends spread across the US whom they enjoyed visiting or joining for vacations and in February and March 2023, Joe traveled to Florida and Tennessee to visit childhood friends, accompanied by his special companion, Jannie Baranczyk. Joe didn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but the relationships he had were incredibly important to him, whether they dated back to childhood, were made in recent months, or anywhere during his lifetime. Joe is remembered as well by a host of friends he made through his travels visiting James and Oka in Asia and around the US. In December 2023 Joe made his first visit to Thailand, spending a month with James and Oka, their friends and family, and fittingly having the time of his life, making beautiful memories that sustain his boys today. Never one to sit still for long, Joe kept busy in his retirement years playing golf and tackling new projects around home and took delight in ensuring his palace was spotless. He loved spending time in the yard and his passion for keeping a perfect lawn in the summer and tidy snowbanks in the winter are known to anyone who knew him, and frequently lent themselves to some good-natured teasing.

 

Joe was cremated on 6 April and his immediate family will scatter his remains privately in Wisconsin and Bali. A Celebration of Joe’s Life is planned for Saturday 3 June in Wausau WI, and those planning to attend are requested to RSVP to CelebrateJoe@icloud.com

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