Joseph “PaPa Joe” Erdmann, age 73, of Ripon passed away at his home with his family by his side on Saturday, April 12, 2014. He was born on March 20, 1941, in Watertown, Wis., a son of Raymond and Venieda (Dehnert) Erdmann. Joe proudly served his country as a member of the United States Air Force. He married Shirley Timm on June 29, 1963, at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church in Ripon. For many years Joe owned and operated his own locksmith business, Joe’s Lock and Key, which served both Ripon and the surrounding areas. Joe was very active within the Ripon community and always willing to help when needed. He was the president of Ripon’s first car club, called the Firebird’s. He was a fireman for 15 years with the Ripon Fire Dept., a member of the Fireman’s Association, Locksmith Association and the American Legion. Joe held many positions within the Ripon Police Department, deputy sheriff, patrolman, sergeant, served as the first detective and retired from the police department as captain. Joe was also Ripon’s first public safety officer. He enjoyed baseball in his early years, camping, fishing, traveling when he was able. His 50th wedding anniversary cruise was something he truly treasured. PaPa Joe loved and was very proud of his children and grandchildren.
Joseph is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Shirley Erdmann of Ripon; children, Rickie (Christina) Erdmann of Ripon, Natalie (Randy) Rinehart of Evansville, Wis.; 5 grandchildren, Douglas (Nikki) Kesler, Jr., Kyle Erdmann (Dallas Lane), Lucius, Aubrey and Josephine Rinehart; two great-grandchildren, Meadow Kesler, Annabelle Erdmann; 3 sisters, Joan (Wayne) Salefsky of Berlin, Janice (Ken) Nigbor of Adams, Joyce (Jack) Peterson of Hartford; brother, Jon (Joan) Erdmann of Sun Prairie; several nieces, nephews, other relatives and many special friends; his special companion, Peanut. He was preceded in death by his parents; Raymond and Venieda Erdmann; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Edward and Clara Timm; brother, James; sister, Jacqueline. A funeral service for Joseph “PaPa Joe” Erdmann will take place on Monday, April 21, at 7 p.m., with visitation starting at 4 p.m., at Mt. Zion Lutheran Church, 307 Mt. Zion Drive, in Ripon with Pastor Dennis Meier officiating. There will be full military honors to conclude the service. In accordance with his wishes, Joe will be cremated following the service. Please visit our website www.wachholzandsons.com to send private condolences to the family.
Wachholz and Sons Funeral Home
Onsite Cremation Center in Princeton
Serving the Family, 920-295-6631