Born in Germany, 1927 – Passed in Smithers, BC, September 7, 2011.
Joe immigrated from Germany as a toddler with his parents, Joseph and Anna Kirsch. He was raised in the Radium – Windermere area. He married his first wife, Esther Degerness in 1950. His three daughters, Sylvia, Shiela, and Shelly were born while they lived in Wilmer and before their move to Terrace in 1955. Joe was employed in the logging business. He moved his family to Masset in 1961. His son, Joey, was born in Queen Charlotte City in 1962. After a couple of years on the Queen Charlotte Islands the family returned to Terrace. Joe remained in the logging business in the Terrace-Kitimat area for several years.
In 1968, Joe and Esther took his nephews, Floyd, Ken, and Russell into their home after the passing of their father, Joe’s brother, John, in a logging accident.
After 1970, the family made several moves including Whitehorse, Telkwa, Kitwanga, Kisault and Dawson City. While in Whitehorse, Joe became a Journeyman Mechanic. He was well known for his mechanical ability. He loved a mechanical challenge and could fix just about anything. He continued working at mine sites during the summer months for several years. Joe’s first wife, Esther passed away in 1987.
Joe continued working summers in the Yukon. He married his second wife, Georgina Watson (nee Goodwin) and they together worked the summers in the north, he as a heavy duty mechanic, and Georgina as a camp cook.
They reitred to Quick and then moved to Smithers. Joe was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and after a few years moved to the Bulkley Lodge in Smithers. There he resided for over eight years and recieved exceptional care from the staff at the Lodge. His wife, Georgina, passed in 2008.
Joe was predeceased by his parents; his brothers Henry, John, Leonard, Hubert, Paul, Edward and his sister Annie.
He is survived by his sister Mary and brothers Bernard, Norman, Robert.
Also by his children: Sylvia (Barry) Meek, Shiela (Brian) Hobenshield, Shelly (Kirby) Bissell, Joey (Irene). Nephews: Floyd (Gwen), Ken, Russell (Nora). His grandchildren include: Blaine and Denine Meek; Earl, Ryan and Hal Hobenshield; Jul, Rory, Troy, Desi and Cody Bissell; Jason, Skylar, Shane Kirsch; Rushanne and Callan Callio-Kirsch. He is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren; step-grandchildren: Orin Anderson, Laura Hope, Odell Anderson, Earla Germain, Marie Zemenchik, Irene Elliot and their families.
The family hosted an Open House in Joe’s memory, September 11, at Shiela and Brian Hobenshield’s in Kitwanga.
The family would like to thank everyone for their compassion and kindess shown through this difficult time.