EVANSVILLE, Wis. - Walter P. Joque died on Dec. 3, 2012, while residing at Evansville Manor in Evansville, Wis. He was 95 years old. Walter was born in Garden, and was known as Percy to his family and friends while growing up.
After graduating from Garden High School, he went to work in a local sawmill and drove mail routes to outlying towns and villages. During the Great Depression he was a regional recreation director and many Garden residents fondly recall the activities he organized for them.
When war was on the horizon, Walter moved to Detroit and worked in a Hudson Motor Company factory on the production of Martin Marauder B-26 fuselages, a plane which he would later fly in. After the war started, he served as a bombardier/navigator for the U.S. Army Air Corps. Based in Sardinia with the 438th Squadron of the 319th Bomb Group, 12th Air Force, he flew 33 combat missions over Italy and was shot down on his last one. He spent the remainder of the war a POW in Stalag Luft 3 and was liberated by General Patton's 3rd Army at Moosburg, Germany.
Walter P. Joque
While still in the service, he married Genevieve Thompson of Escanaba, and they were married for 67 years until her death earlier this year. Upon his discharge from the Army in 1946, the couple returned to Escanaba to raise their family. Walter worked for the Escanaba Dairy before he eventually purchased Auger Wholesale, a distributing company that he and Genevieve operated for many years. Walter attended Cloverland Commercial College and was active in the local business community. He became a real estate agent after selling the wholesale company before retiring.
Walter was a consummate family man who taught his children the importance of a good work ethic and of a loving family through his example. Along with his ever present sense of humor and kindness, his children got to see his devoted family commitment firsthand through his participation in their activities at school pageants, religious observances, camping, or hunting and fishing. In later years, Walter was active in veterans' organizations and gave talks about his war experiences at schools and civic events, often reciting his favorite poem, "High Flight" from memory. He is a life member of the Order of the Purple Heart.
Walter is preceded in death by his wife, Genevieve; his parents, Edward and Blanche (Farley) Joque; his brothers, Stanley and Don; and his sister, Ella (Cook).
He is survived by his five children, Darrell (Jenness Jacobson) of Tacoma, Wash.; James (Elizabeth Zentner) of Mosinee, Wis.; Peggy (Mark Williams) of Madison, Wis.; David (Lisa Kasmer) of Kalamazoo, Mich.; and Jean (Marty Johnson) of Bedford, Ind. He is also survived by nine grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and eight great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be at the Crawford Funeral Home in Escanaba on Monday, Dec. 10, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m.; followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph's/St. Patrick's Church in Escanaba at 11 a.m.
Burial will be in Holy Cross Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Walter's name to Special Olympics of Michigan, the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) or any other Veterans organization.