Life Story / Obituary
Joseph Patrick “Corky” Johnson Jr., a life-long resident of Racine, WI. died unexpectedly in his home on May 27, 2021 at the age of 71.
Joe was a graduate of Horlick High School in 1968 and went on to receive his BA from UW Parkside in 1972. He went to work as a delivery driver for Domanik’s beer distributorship for 25 years followed by 12 years as a driver for Shurpac, Inc. before retiring.
Joe spent much of his childhood traveling to Chicago to watch Cubs games. Throughout his life he maintained a great love for the city of Chicago, its history, architecture, and sports teams from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. Anyone that knew Joe had probably traveled to Chicago with him and been given a grand tour of the city.
He was a devoted historian with a lifelong passion for World War II, specifically the Eastern Front. He loved to talk about the subject and share books and knowledge with everyone he knew. He was an incredible wealth of information on the subject and would have rivaled any professor. It was his belief that you have to know the past to understand the present.
Joe was also a lifelong plane spotter and loved being a passenger on any plane he got on. His enjoyment of aircraft and the aviation industry was something he shared with and passed on to many of his friends over the years. He loved his phone app that let him see where planes came from and their destination.
Joe loved the landscapes and temperatures of the Southwest United States. He frequently traveled with friends and family to Las Vegas and Death Valley to enjoy the hot weather and desert scenery. To him, the Mojave Desert was the most beautiful place on Earth.
Joe’s passing leaves a hole in our lives that no words on a page can describe. He was a loyal friend and a rock for anyone that ever needed help. Though he was adamant about never having a funeral for himself, there is no doubt that it would have been a crowded venue if he had. Joe’s friends network reached across the country and even overseas. Anyone that knew Joe considered themselves lucky to have a such wonderful and unique person in their life.
Joe is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Rita and Ed Doonan, nieces Lisa Russell and Erin Doonan, nephews Gary Russell and Joe Doonan as well as great nieces, nephews, many wonderful cousins, and treasured friends, including special life-long friend, Connie Saculla.
Private interment will take place at a later date.