Joseph “Joe” F. Nerat, age 96, passed away peacefully on Friday, October 25, 2019 in Lodi, WI. He was born on October 15, 1923 in Menominee, MI to Ignace and Mary (Laurich) Nerat on their family farm.
At age 16, he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Camps in the Upper Peninsula where he met and later married Anneliese Braunig, his wife of 62 years. In May 1941, at age 17, he, along with his brother, joined the US Navy and served his entire military service on the USS Enterprise, the most decorated ship in World War II. In addition to his primary duties as a Tailor and Firefighter he organized the weekly poker games for his fellow shipmates. Tragically during the battle of the Eastern Solomons his brother was fatally injured as a result of a Kamikaze attack.
Following his time in the Navy he worked 45 years as a union shop carpenter building exhibits for trade shows. He had many hobbies including custom woodworking, traveling and vacationing with family in the custom campers he built, outdoor activities: walking, hiking, camping, and cruising around on his scooter. He took great joy in the time he spent with his daughter and grand- and great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, his wife, and his sons, William and Steven. He is survived by his daughter, Julie (Hugh) Cushley and his son, Gerald; grandchildren, Jennifer (Max) Riter and Josh (Jennifer) Nerat, Elizabeth Nerat, Nichole (Michael) Lloyd and Danielle Cushley; great-grandchildren, Imogen and Logan Riter, Leia and Lucy Nerat, and Conely Lloyd; and his companion Bonnie McKenna.
Our family would like to thank the staff at Our House Assisted Living in Lodi, WI and most recently the staff with Agrace Hospice. A celebration of life with be held in the Summer 2020. More details will be provided as that date nears. Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.