1932 Joseph 2024

Joseph Loula

September 15, 1932 — January 4, 2024


Joseph Darwin Loula passed away on January 4, 2024, at the Park Manor Nursing Home at age 91, one month after his wife.

Joseph was born on September 15, 1932, to Joseph H. and Marie M. (Koupy) on a farm outside Phillips. He attended Little Elk school and graduated from Phillips High in 1950. 

Joe enlisted in the US Army in May of 1952 and served until May 1954 in the 867th Field Artillery at Fort Sill, Oklahoma achieving the rank of sergeant. He was appointed chauffeur for the local commander, a duty well matched to his love of driving. Fort Sill was the testing site of the atomic cannon, a weapon capable of firing an atomic bomb as a projectile. Joe witnessed two atomic explosions during his time with the 867th which was recognized with the Atomic Veterans Commemorative Service Medal.

Joe married Linda Thomas on May 28, 1955, in Phillips. They were married for 68 1⁄2 years. As newlyweds the couple moved to Milwaukee where Joe worked in construction. After a year they returned to Phillips but departed again in 1958 for a nine-month Alaskan adventure that blended work and play. Joe’s construction experience helped land a job with a crew erecting buildings at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. On weekends the couple explored many wonders of the Alaskan frontier. Upon their return to Phillips, they were able to reacquire their former jobs and resume their lives until Joe fell ill.

In 1960 he was diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis a progressive arthritis that fused much of his spine and limited his mobility, but not his spirit or pursuit of life. This resilience served Joe well, because where once he saw himself making a living off the land, he now had to reimagine his working life. He found that life at the State Bank of Phillips, where he started in 1960 and remained for 37 1⁄2 years serving customers with humorous quips and a delightful demeanor until his retirement in 1997.

He enjoyed traveling with his wife and annual journeys with his son to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. He created many lasting memories with his daughter, demonstrating his love through simple actions such as tying her skate laces in freezing weather, rescuing her when she fell behind on family ski outings, and watching her perform amusing antics.

Joe easily fell into the role of doting grandfather, developing a particularly strong bond with his granddaughter. His unquenchable curiosity about the world kept him forever young and always asking questions. This fueled the many hours the two spent together over the years playing, laughing, and learning as they got up to all manner of mischief.

Joe had many interests including woodworking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, fishing, canoeing and walking in the woods. He also oversaw a number of collections with the most prominent being the antique tools displayed on the walls of his small red barn. He enjoyed cutting and splitting firewood as well as maintaining an immaculate house and yard.

Joe not only loved living in Phillips, he was truly of the place, strongly connected to the land where he spent nearly his entire life. He proudly wore his 100 percent Czech heritage and always made people laugh and smile.

He will be missed by his son, Jeffrey (AmyJo) and daughter Cara (Dean) Granholm and grandchildren Dylan and Lily Granholm and many nieces, nephews and The Cousins.

He was preceded in death by his wife Linda, parents Joe and Marie Loula and siblings, Mildred Ciero, Annabelle Revak, and Franklin Loula.

Joe liked to keep things light-hearted, the best way to remember him is with a smile. Heindl-Nimsgern Funeral Home is assisting the family.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph Loula, please visit our flower store.


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