Joe Due, (Joseph Eugene Due), born April 24th, 1948, in Leavenworth, KS, passed away unexpectedly at Mile Bluff Medical Center, Mauston, WI, Wednesday evening, April 12th, 2023.
Plagued from birth with breathing problems and failure to thrive that required a temporary tracheostomy and experimental radiation treatments, his voice was left impaired, his growth stunted, and his breathing compromised. This later resulted in recurrent health problems. Perhaps born from this, Joe gained a lifelong appreciation for the suffering and limitations that others faced, and ever after, extended his own efforts to help others.
He quietly and without fanfare, never seeking recognition or praise, always did anything he could to improve the quality of life of those around him, regardless of the expense it had on his own time, health, or safety issues.
From friends and family to local school clubs and community based organizations, one of his favorite activities involved teaching kids about fishing and natural resource conservation.
His life of hard manual labor and work experience, combined with an unmatched knack for solving problems, sparked within him a passion for inventing products that helped workers to be safer, more productive, and pain free in their manual tasks, and led to his later patents on products that became part of his personal family business products at Joe Due Blades and Equipment.
A natural born salesman with a seemingly supernatural gift of storytelling, Joe was undeniably a uniquely charismatic character, instantly recognized by his distinct voice, contagious laughter, short stature and a sense of optimism, patience and positivity.
Born into the military family of Romane Due and mother, Arlene ( Hysell ) Due, (and preceded by their deaths), Joe gave his personal time to veterans of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam, fulfilling his sense of duty and service to others by providing their transport to health care when needed. If one knew Joe Due, one could not help but to smile when thinking of him, and can probably easily recall the tale that went with the smile. Often told but seldom true, the mold was definitively shattered after making Joe.
He was raised in Mauston, WI, attended St. Patrick Parish School, and was among the last graduating class of Madonna High School in 1966. After working the next year on the railroad to earn money for further education, he attended and graduated from Holy Cross Seminary Junior College, La Crosse, Wisconsin (1967-1969). He then travelled as a cement worker around the country as a laborer, repairing concrete parking decks.
Having returned to Mauston, WI, he married Janice Gardner in 1972. For many years, he travelled 18 states selling his unique concrete saw, logging 70,000 miles yearly, but settled at home to raise his sons. He established his business, Joe Due Blades and Equipment locally in 1999, and operated and owned by his sons, Benjamin and Bradley, since 2007.
Survived by his wife of 50 years, he is also survived by son, Benjamin (Kirsten Hummel); grandson, Jensen Due; son, Bradley (Kari); and grandsons, Dylan and Griffin.
Respecting Joe’s wishes, he requested no formal service at this time.
Those who loved him hope that his best legacy for all will be his example and the way he payed it forward to others.
In the future, there may be a celebration of life, date and time yet to be determined.