He was born Feb. 26, 1926, in Florence, Wisc., to Joseph and Luella Reisner. He enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1942, lying about his age out of a desire to serve his country.
He was a Private First Class. He participated in the capture and defense of Guadalcanal, New Guinea, and in the offensive and defensive action at Cape Cloucester, New Britain, where he was severely injured. He married his sweetheart, Betty, in 1945, and they would have celebrated their 65th anniversary this month.
He came to Alaska in March 1952 with his uncle. His first job was for Footes Housemovers in Anchorage. Joe and his partner, Bob Johannes, bought the business in 1956 and moved houses, tanks and all sorts of equipment all over Alaska. His business was key in salvaging homes out of the Turnagain area that was hit so hard during the 1964 earthquake. Joe and his family moved from Anchorage to Palmer in 1978 and lived there until his death. He loved gardening and enjoying watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren play.
He leaves his wife Betty of 65 years; daughters Debra (Ward) Wells, Dawn Weber, Bonnie Lister and Ronda Schenderline, all of Palmer; brother Robert Reisner of Palmer; grandchildren Heather (Erin) Gerrits, Crystal (Tedman) Allen and Chris Lister of Palmer, Scott Wells of Destin, Fla.; his great-grandchildren Gavin and Bekah Gerrits, Kyler and Kaleb Allen, all of Palmer.
There will be a private service for the family. An open house to celebrate Joe’s life will be held at 4 p.m. Oct. 14. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Mat-Su Homecare and Hospice, 950 E. Bogard, Suite 132, Wasilla, AK 99654.
Arrangements are with Legacy Funeral Homes & Cremation Services — Kehl’s Palmer Chapel.