Joe Dahlke, 60

Published 6:34 am Sunday, November 23, 2014

Joe Dahlke, 60, of Austin, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family on Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014.



Joe Dahlke was born Dec. 15, 1953, in Eagle Pass, Texas. His family moved to Albert Lea where he was raised with his siblings. Joe joined the Marine Corps and proudly served his country in the Vietnam War. Joe was accredited with the National Defense Service Medal, Rifle Marksman, and was the 39th marine in the history of the Marine Corps to achieve a perfect physical fitness score. Joe completed nursing school and worked in the GI Department at Mayo Clinic for 30 years. He raised his four children in Preston and lived in Rochester for several years until he retired to his home in Austin in 2008.

Joe sacrificed and worked tirelessly with the utmost integrity and humility. He dedicated his life to serving others and was loved dearly as a father, grandfather, husband, son, brother and friend. His love, loyalty and selflessness were unequaled. He was an extraordinary chef, enjoyed cycling and playing his NES, and was an entertaining singer, dancer and harmonica player. Joe was magnetic, adventurous and fun. He touched countless hearts and souls with his kindness and thoughtfulness. Joe’s twinkling eyes and beaming smile, which permeated everyone around him, will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

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Joe is survived by his wife, Kathryn Gregg, of Austin; three sons and a daughter, Robert Dahlke of Rochester, Jennifer McDonald (Jeremy) of Prior Lake, Anthony Dahlke of Rochester, and Russell Dahlke of Preston; his mother, Victoria Westeng, of Albert Lea; three brothers, Steve Dahlke of St. Paul, Fred Dahlke of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Russell Dahlke (Tori) of Bemidji; six sisters, Lana Esparza of Wichita Falls, Texas, Antonette (Netta) Charlson (Mike) of Rochester, Patricia Charlson (Larry) of Garrison, Laura Feeley (Jay) of Albert Lea, Karen Andersen (Scott) of Albert Lea, and Susan Peterson (Wayne) of Albert Lea; and two grandsons.

Joe is preceded in death by his father, Frank Dahlke; grandparents, Romaldo and Laura Jimenez; and nephew, John Dahlke.

A celebration of Joe’s life will take place at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14, at the Holiday Inn Rochester Downtown. Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.