HARVEY, MI – Joseph Patrick Healy, age 79, of Harvey, passed away Wednesday, December 15, 2021, at home, in the loving, comforting care of his family.
Joe was born October 3rd, 1942, in Chicago, Illinois, a son of Joseph Patrick and Elaine Frances (Galvin) Healy, Sr. and was raised in Arlington Heights, Illinois and Miami, Florida. Joe’s early childhood was spent in Illinois with his parents and siblings, Ray and Elaine and much time was spent at his mother’s family lake home, in Wauconda, IL. Joe enjoyed playing basketball and baseball and going to the movies. When Joe was 17, he dropped out of school to join the US Coast Guard. He proudly served for four years and was stationed in Chicago, Marquette, and Hawaii and especially loved his time in Marquette and Hawaii.
On April 24th, 1965, Joe was united in marriage to Patricia Weiger. The couple made their first home in Chicago for a year, but as soon as he could arrange a move to Marquette he did. They lived in a rental unit on Baraga Avenue and Joe bought the family home on the Chocolay River in 1967. Joe’s employment following his honorable discharge from the Coast Guard included working in a factory in Chicago and then at the City of Chicago Water Works. His desire was to move back to Marquette and raise a family. He held multiple jobs in Marquette and was able to start work at NMU on October 19th, 1967, as a custodian. He worked his way up to Senior Tradesman as a carpenter and ultimately a Mason.
Joe was steward and President of AFSCME local 1094 from 1970-76, served on the first bargaining committee for AFSCME and served as both steward and Chief Steward. Joe designed and built the NMU Memorial Field Monument located on Fair Avenue in front of the Berry Events Center. This monument incorporates Michigan Sandstone pillars and the original wrought Iron fence surrounding Memorial Field.
Joe retired from NMU in 2004, after 37 years, and received recognition for his dedicated service and personal generosity. During those 37 years, he earned his high school diploma and enrolled in several college classes as a student.
Joe was incredibly generous with his time and talents. There are lots of folks in and around Marquette that have concrete and tile work done by Joe during his off time at a significant discount off the going rates. More than anything he loved to cook for people and would make copious amounts of food in “Joe’s Kitchen” in the skilled trades building for co-workers and students. There are several generations of NMU work study students who have fond memories of Joe’s spaghetti, lasagna, Italian sandwiches and soups. When students would try and pay him for a meal he’d always refuse. Joe was a regular donor to multiple charitable causes including the United Way, NMU Alumni Fund, Public TV 13 and St. Jude’s. This generous spirit also led him to create two NMU scholarship funds. The Francis Bleckner Scholarship, which is funded by AFSCME members and the other, the Joseph P. Healy Scholarship began shortly before his retirement, in 2001.
In his leisure moments, Joe’s hobbies and special interests included sports, reading, TV shows, movies, hunting, and fishing. In his younger years, he loved to fish especially during Salmon season on the Chocolay River. Joe was a die hard Chicago Cubs fan, enjoyed World War II history and movies, and enjoyed watching all the classic TV shows from the 50’s and early 60’s. Joe will be remembered for his kindness, strong and patient personality, and his generosity to so many. He was the kind of person that would give you the shirt off his back and build a closet for you to hang it in.
Joe is survived by his sons, Mike, Ryan, Patrick, Jarrod, and Brandon; grandchildren, Joseph, Thomas, Tori, Nikki, Kaitlyn, and Erin; great-granddaughter, Kiya and his sister, Elaine.
He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Ray.
Friends may call at St. Louis the King Catholic Church in Harvey, on Saturday, January 8th, beginning at 11:00 am. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 1:00 pm with Rev. Glenn Theoret, pastor, as celebrant. A reception will follow in Fr. Gauthier Hall. Coast Guard honors will be rendered just prior to the mass.
In lieu of flowers, donations are preferred to: The Joseph P. Healy Scholarship Fund, Northern Michigan University, 1401 Presque Isle Avenue, Marquette, MI 49855.
Fassbender Swanson Hansen Funeral and Cremation Services is serving the family, where condolences may be expressed online at fassbenderswansonhansen.com.