It is with extreme sadness that we announce the passing of Joe Masters, 70, on January 1, 2022. He lived quietly and humbly, and the family takes great comfort in knowing that he is now at peace.
Joe was born to Fred and Geraldine (Ford) Masters and was the fifth of eight children. He was a 1969 graduate of Royall High School in Elroy, where he excelled as a tri-sport athlete and spent many days helping with chores on his grandfather’s farm. After graduating, he proudly served as an aircraft mechanic in the United States Air Force, which took him around the world, including Italy, Thailand and Spain. Joe was united in marriage to Donna Prochaska, and they were blessed with his pride and joy, twin boys Craig and Chad.
Joe later moved to Tomah, where he continued his honorable service of several decades as a Fort McCoy police officer. Joe was humble, generous, and kind, showing love for family, friends and neighbors through his selfless service, which included primary caregiver for his mother, Geraldine. He never missed an opportunity to lend a helping hand, regularly shoveling, mowing, cutting wood, or stacking hay for others and was an active member of American Legion Post 508 in Wilton, where his grandfather, John Ford, was a founding member. Joe could often be found volunteering for summertime chicken-ques, Friday fish fries, and the Legion Color Guard during memorial services, in parades, and ensuring service men and women were properly laid to rest.
Joe was honored to carry on the family tradition of military service and was especially proud of his family and boys. He never missed a kid’s school event and made an effort to attend as many family milestones as he could. After retiring from Fort McCoy, Joe began driving for Tomah Schools. He loved game feeds, family gatherings, Milwaukee Brewers trips, hunting with his boys and the Packers! Joe enjoyed a cold Miller Lite, a good punch line and belly laugh, and you could almost always catch him watching sports, baking a dessert to share, or wearing one of his favorite hats. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy lives on.
He is survived by his children, Craig Masters (wife Stacy) and Chad Masters (wife Jennifer), along with his four grandchildren, Madison, Kenna, Quillen and Olivia; his siblings, Jim Masters, Jane Robinson, Tom (Val) Masters, Grace (Mark) Fleming, Bill (Debbie) Masters, and Mary (Scott) Kolar; as well as many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his infant brother, John; his niece, Gracie Robinson; his brother-in-law, Dennis Robinson; and, during 2021, sister-in-law Vicki Masters (Jim’s wife) and Kelly Robinson (wife of nephew Jode Robinson).
A private family viewing will be Saturday, Jan. 8, recognizing current public health concerns at Torkelson Family Funeral Home in Tomah. Plans for a formal ceremony with military honors, Mass and celebration of life are being planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Joe’s grandchildren or Wilton American Legion Post 508. Online condolences are available at www.torkelsonfuneralhome.com.