Joseph S. Greshik, age 91, a longtime and honored resident of Fountain City died early Sunday morning, December 30 at Lake Winona Manor.
He was born on May 22, 1916 in Spiritwood, North Dakota to the late Stephen and Celia (Christ) Greshik. Joe and his siblings attended an old country school where on nice days they would walk the half a mile to school or in bad weather they would hook up a team of horses to a sleigh. As a child, Joe would raise sheep and show them at the fair. He began working wholeheartedly on the farm at the young age of 16, paying for cattle and machinery as he could. He took over 15 head of cattle from the local banker when someone defaulted on their loan. Through a friend, Jimmy Fried, Joe met his future love, Fern Fried. Fern happened to be Jimmy's cousin. Joe and Fern's first date was a dance at Spiritwood Lake. They dated for around one year when Joe asked Fern to take his hand in marriage. Fern, not fond of North Dakota, said yes, I'll marry you"if you move back to Wisconsin, Eagle Valley to be precise. So in September of 1936, Joe drove down to talk to Fern's family and they agreed to sell the farm to Joe. So in the fall of 1936 Joe bought the farm and a few months later, on June 4, 1938 Joe was united in marriage to Fern at the Lutheran parsonage in La Crosse.
Joe owned the first automatic hay baler in the State of Wisconsin from Kochenderfer Implement. It would take three men to run this baler and would take it on the road to many different farmers from Fountain City all the way to Rushford and Lewiston, MN practically running the wheels off of that baler. While he was on the road, Fern would be at home on the farm in Eagle Valley with her mother and hired hand taking care of the milking and chores. The demand of his automatic baler kept him busy for almost seven years due to the high demand. Many will remember in 1946 when Joe and Fern purchased the Reidinger building in Fountain City. He remodeled it into apartments and a place for his family to live. It was around this time that Joe realized that he could not have hired men to milk his cows, so he changed from milking to raising hogs. Considered one of the largest hog farms in Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin-Madison would come out to view the operation. In 1958 Joe built a new home on Hill Street in Fountain City even before the road was there. A couple of years later Joe purchased the 400 acre Yeader farm on the Fountain City Ridge. He started to grow alfalfa, but always had a problem curing the alfalfa. So Joe purchased a dehydrator after inspecting a dehydration facility in Nebraska. Trucks came from all over the state and Joe delivered throughout the state as well. He made dried pellets from the alfalfa, which was used by feed mills to mix with chicken and hog feed. In 1960 the alfalfa froze out and Joe had the opportunity to sell the dehydrator to the Arcadia CO-OP. Also in 1960, Joe purchased the last of his three farms on the prairie just south of Cochrane. The farm was purchased from Art Lewis and has just over 700 acres. Joe always felt so honored to be able to live in such a wonderful community and felt even more fortunate to spend his life with such a good wife who was always there to help him out.
Joe was a long time, faithful member of St. John's United Church of Christ in Fountain City. He had memberships of over 50 years with the Fountain City Lions Club, Masonic Lodge and the Shriners. He was also a member of the Farm Bureau, Farmers Union and an appraiser at a local bank.
Joe will be sadly missed by his three loving children, Joseph J. (Joan) Greshik of Cochrane, Jeanne (Bob) Nelson of Cumberland and Carole (John)Zierden of Rhinelander; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one brother, Adolph Greshik; one sister Ellen Ring; and by numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Preceding Joe in death are his parents, his loving wife, Fern on April 11, 2005 along with his siblings, Ann Peters, Tillie Joss, Ceil Scolen, Leonard Greshik and Doris Musgrave.
Funeral Services for Joseph will be held on Thursday, January 3 at 11:00 AM at St. John's United Church of Christ in Fountain City with Pastor Fritz West officiating. Burial will be at Fountain City Public Cemetery.
A time of visitation and support will be held on Wednesday (Today) Januray 2 at the church from 5:00 PM ending at 8:00 PM with a Masonic service conducted by William Krause. A time of visitation will also be held on Thursday one hour prior to the service. Serving as pallbearers will be Bill Krause, Charlie Kirchner, Loyley Seifert, Elmer Duellman, Dave Kriesel, Ed Hentges and John Reiter. Honored to serve the family is the Talbot Family Funeral Home, Cochrane Chapel, proudly serving all of Buffalo County. Online memories and condolences may be sent to www.talbot-poeschel.com