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Joseph  Unger

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“So sorry for your loss. My recollections of Joe go back to the 1960s and model airplane flying at the Lodi Airport in Lodi Wi. Joe and my Father,...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Dan Knutson

“Tom, to you and your family. Thinking of you during this difficult time. While we know the passing of loved ones is inevitable, it is never easy. ...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Al Byam - Father

“Tom and Victoria, I'm so sorry for the loss of your father. Please know you and all of your family are in my thoughts and prayers.Candie Hornberger ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: Candie Hornberger - Battle Creek, MI


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Joseph Unger, 92, died peacefully at his home on May 3, 2021 surrounded by his family. Joseph was born June 9, 1928 in Bethlehem, PA to Stephen and Irene (Weiss) Unger. He attended Fordson High School and then left at age 16 to join the Coast Guard to fight in WWII. Soon after, he married the former Gertrude Maynard on November 22, 1947. They settled in Dearborn, MI and started their family. The couple was married for over 70 years before her passing in 2018.

Joe started his work career as a professional photographer in Detroit which led to a long-term career as a yearbook and class ring salesman with the Balfour Company. Later in life he used his sales and business skills to help friends in business sell industrial equipment.

Joe served as choir director at Midvale Baptist Church in Madison, WI during the 1960's. He was president of the Lion's Club in Romeo, MI in the 1970's. Joe was an active outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish and was also an avid golfer. He earned his private pilot's license in the 1950's and his life-long interest in aviation was reflected in his passion for model aircraft. He was a pioneer in radio controlled aircraft that started in the 1950's and continued throughout his life. He founded two RC modeling clubs in Madison, WI and Romeo, MI that continue today. His interests in music, golf, aviation and outdoor activities were passed on to his three sons through his dedication to his family by always making time to include them.

Joe is survived by his two sons, Thomas (Victoria) Unger and Michael (Ellen Harvey) Unger; grandchildren, Benjamin and Juliana Unger; daughter-in-law, Rebecca Unger and a sister, Carol Unger. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gertrude; parents; a son, Richard Unger and a brother, Stephen Unger.

Cremation has taken place and a graveside service to celebrate Joe's life will be 2:30 p.m., Monday, May 17, 2021 at Fort Custer National Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Oaklawn Hospice. Arrangements by the Farley Estes Dowdle Funeral Home & Cremation Care. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.