Joseph Andrew was born June 24, 1921 to Mary Balent Prikopa-Tulek and Jozsef Varicha-Krajnak in Minneapolis Minnesota. Formerly of Columbia Heights and Northeast Minneapolis, he left this world at the age of 97 on Feb. 21, 2019 while a resident of Shawnee, KS.
Joe attended Columbia Heights High School. Leaving school early to participate in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCCs), he finally received his diploma in 2006. Prior to leaving for the Army Air Corp, he was a member of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCCs) working in northern Minnesota. Joe proudly served during World War II with the 354th Pioneer Mustang Fighter Group. He was a Crew Chief who worked on P-51 Mustangs during the war and was stationed in England, France, Germany and Belgium. His unit was awarded a Presidential Unit Citation and the Croix de Guerre medal for service while serving in Europe.
He married his beloved Frances Dziewidek (Gewedik/Dziewidek) on May 29, 1948. They were married for over 57 years before her death in 2004.
Joe worked for many years at both Superior Plating and Excel Metal Finishing. Joe managed Plating and Painting operations and was seen as an expert in the field. He was an avid golfer and golfed at many golf courses in Minneapolis and across the USA. His passion led him to work at the Columbia Golf Course Learning Center, following his regular retirement at age 71, for over 18 years – up to his stroke in 2012.
Joe was also very active at the Church of Sts. Cyril & Methodius in Northeast Minneapolis. He served as a member of the financial team, was active in many church activities and a Trustee. He was a great cribbage player, loved working on jigsaw puzzles and playing cards.
He was preceded in death by his wife Frances, his parents, several step brothers and sisters. He is survived by his daughter, Linda (RJ) Black. He is also survived by many nieces and nephews; and cousins in Slovakia.
Special thanks to his friend Michael Bruce; his little friends Minka and Brayden; the staff at Heartland Assisted Living, especially Molly, Hailey and OJ; and the staff of Kindred Hospice.
Funeral Service 10 AM Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019 at KOZLAK-RADULOVICH CHAPEL (1918 UNIVERSITY AV. NE MINNEAPOLIS, MN). Interment Ft. Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, MN. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to The First Tee, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church or Charity of Choice.