Cover photo for Joseph S. Pershern Jr.'s Obituary
Joseph S. Pershern Jr. Profile Photo
1953 Joseph 2023

Joseph S. Pershern Jr.

December 27, 1953 — January 17, 2023

Humble, Strong (physically and emotionally), Positive, Protector, Advocate, Loving, Family Man.

Joseph Stanley Pershern Jr. passed away on January 17th, 2023 at the age of 69 years old.

He was born on December 27th, 1953 to Dorothy and Joseph Pershern in Virginia MN.  Joe grew up in Gilbert along with his siblings Denny (Lezlie) Pershern, Nick (Kate) Pershern, Marion (John) Kishel, Joan (John Kolterman) Riddle, and Nancy Bradach.

He married Marilyn Hawley on August 3rd, 1974 joining Ray and Gloria Hawley’s  family including Marilyn’s siblings: Lee (Dolly) Hawley, Eugene (Diane) Hawley, Shirley Jenko, and Karen (Brian) King. Marilyn and Joe were blessed with three children Jodi Fiege, Lora Pershern, and Joseph N. Pershern. The blessings continued with two grandchildren Hawly Fiege (16) and Hunter Fiege (10, Double Digits).

He graduated from Gilbert High School in 1972 and graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of Wisconsin Stout with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Industrial Art Education.  After graduation Joe began his career as an educator in the Chicago area. After returning to MN Joe worked for Gilbert Public Schools as a custodial engineer and bus driver. In 1994 Joe moved on to represent other public service employees as a Labor Union Representative for AFSCME Council 65. Joe was proud of this position advocating for union workers. He often said that his fellow workers at Council 65 felt like his second family. Eventually Joe found his way back to the classroom as a middle school shop instructor and substitute teacher for the Eveleth-Gilbert school district. Upon retiring he was able to put in more time at the family business, West Eveleth Market.

Busy as Joe was, he was able to find time for his favorite activities. After spending time with family his favorite things included: spending time at his family’s hunting shack, camping, fishing with friends, cooking, gambling, and watching sports. He enjoyed all kinds of projects including auto repair, furniture building, and home construction.

He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife’s parents, his brother in-law Jim Bradach, his niece Kristen Gauthier (Kishel), and his great niece Kirja Kishel.

He will be missed by many loving nieces and nephews who he loved unconditionally and made him proud.

Memorial Mass will be 10:00am Tuesday, January 24, 2023 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Gilbert with Fr. Justin Fish as celebrant.  Friends may gather one hour prior to the mass at church.  Inurnment will be at a later date in the Biwabik Township Cemetery.  Arrangements by Ziemer-Moeglein-Shatava Funeral Home in Gilbert.

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Mass

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

St. Joseph's Catholic Church

Louisiana Ave W, Gilbert, MN 55741

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