Joseph B. Balk, 86, of Dodgeville, passed quietly at Siena Crest Assisted Living in Mineral Point on April 21, 2014.
He was born of Joseph and Anna Balk on May 23, 1927, in Prairie du Chien.
During WWII he served as an amphibious vehicle instructor in Florida. After the war he returned to Prairie du Chien where in 1949 he married Mary Joan Polodna. Joe and his family moved to Dodgeville in the early 50’s to work for the Borden Company as a driver. During the 1950’s and early 60’s he began working on small engines and bicycles out of his home. In 1963 Joe and his wife purchased Balk’s Shell Station and eventually established a nearby building for Balk’s Small Engine.
During his working career he also owned an auto parts store in Dodgeville and a restaurant in Poynette but returned to the Dodgeville area to be near his family. He delivered auto parts for a local auto parts store until his retirement. He loved to fix things. It was his hobby to find something that didn’t work and only needed a small part. He would fix it and either sell it or give it away. After owning the restaurant he spent much of his time cooking, always saying no one else knew how to cook. He became a regular food critic.
Joe is survived by his five children; Kenneth (Saundra Hopkins), Kathleen (Jerry Severson), Kevin (Cindy), Allen (Tammy), and Timothy (Laurie); eight grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his brother Francis Balk and sister Mary Thompson, and former wife, Joan Balk.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Patricia, grandson Joshua, his mother and father, four brothers, one sister and special friend Susan Pope.
There will be a private service with the immediate family and burial will take place at the Eastside Cemetery in Dodgeville.
In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to be made to the Patricia Balk Meyer Scholarship foundation at the Dodgeville High School. www.gorgenfh.com