Joseph E. Birong Jr
March 25, 1944-April 10, 2013
Joseph Birong, 69, of Kenosha, WI passed away at home after a heroic 4 year battle with cancer. Born 3/25/44 to Joseph Birong Sr and Bessie Tate, he was the 4th of 6 children (Roberta, Tom, Tony, [Joe], Cathy and Mary) living in Grayslake, IL.
Survivors include all 5 siblings, his loving wife Carole (Reich), ex-wife Mary (Kovarik), 6 wonderful “mine, yours and ours” children: Bret (Dianne) Mumenthaler, Matthew (Heather) Birong, Sarah (Cory) Miller, Simone (Timothy) Unroe, Amy (Robert) Crum and Joshua (Serinna) Birong, as well as 15 beautiful grandchildren (Jeremy, Kyle, MaryRyan, Greyson, Colin, Harry, Aaron, Andrew, Riley, Carson, Lauren, Garrett, Maddie, Obie and Jude).
Joe loved outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, swimming and camping and passed these loves on to his children. He was very handy at fixing things, and enjoyed small projects as well as home rebuilding. He collected license plates from around the world, and always admired trains and hot air balloons. Joe served his country in the US Air Force during the Vietnam War, and stayed active in the reserves for another 8 years. He then worked as a telephone repair man for 25 years. After retiring from Illinois Bell, Joe and Carole trained to be missionaries and served the Lord by taking care of orphans in Ukraine for several years.
Joe was well loved by all and will be sadly missed. A gathering to celebrate his life will be held Sunday, April 14h at First Assembly Church, Kenosha. Visitation is from 2-4pm with a memorial service to follow at 4pm.
Special thanks to the Gentiva Hospice nurses, as well as all of the family and friends who sent cards, thoughts, calls and prayers.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to YWAM designated for “VINNITSA TRANSITION HOME”, 501 Blacktail Rd, Lakeside, Montana, 59922.