Joseph Blunk, 87


Joseph Blunk, 87, of Fremont, passed away Wednesday morning, July 26, 2023, at Mahaska Health Partnership in Oskaloosa. Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m., Monday, July 31, at  Union Mills Christian Church. Burial was in Union Mills Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Union Mills Christian Church.

Joseph Donald Blunk, son of Donald Joseph and Vera Rose (Stevenson) Blunk, was born Apr. 13, 1936, in Ottumwa. He attended schools in Fremont, IA, Abilene, TX, Kemper Military School in Booneville, MO, and Oskaloosa, IA, then enlisted with the United States Navy in 1954 before he graduated from high school. He served with the Navy Beachmaster Unit 1 and was stationed overseas during the Korean Conflict and also was a cook for the Navy.

Following his honorable discharge in 1958, Joe returned home and took his GED to finish high school and was considered to be a part of the Oskaloosa High School Class of 1956. Joe was married to Nancy Meeker in 1957. To this union three daughters were born: Vera, Cindy, and LaDonna. They later divorced. Joe was then united in marriage to Melanie Hargis on Feb. 16, 1990. To this union Joe gained another son and daughter, Ben and Angela.

Joe worked for his dad’s construction business, Blunk Construction, for a short time before he began farming. He farmed and drove grain truck for several years and started Blunk Enterprises, which was a farm management firm he ran for over 40 years. He also flew a double-engine heavy plane for a cargo company. He was a great carpenter and worked for Paul VerSteegh building houses. Joe enjoyed keeping busy with his woodworking and leathermaking. He loved to travel, was an excellent cook, enjoyed grilling, fishing, socializing, playing cards, and above all, spending time with family.

­Joe was a member of Union Mills Christian Church, Pathfinders RC & D, along with Mahaska County Soil and Water Conservation.

His legacy will be honored by his children: Cindy (Cal) Creekmore of Virginia Beach, VA, LaDonna Rubio of Morristown, TN, Ben (Tara) Conover of Lynnville, and Angela (Patrick) Patterson of Walford; 14 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; a nephew Stephen (Lori) Beckham; a nephew Steven Spence; and many other relatives and friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Melanie; a daughter Vera Blunk; a sister Joanne Beckham; and a niece Karen Spence.

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