Joseph “Joe” Herman Wiersteiner, of Charleston, West Virginia, born in Blue Creek, West Virginia, to the late Helen and Herman Wiersteiner, passed away at age 89 on January 2, 2019 due to complications from a stroke. He passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family.
Joe graduated from Charleston Catholic High School in 1948. He attended college while working at Union Carbide Corporation. He decided he wanted to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Army from 1951 to 1957. He attended Leadership Training in the 101st Airborne Division. During the Korean War, Joe served with Co F, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division. He distinguished himself in battle and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, the Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, the United Nations Service Medal and the Army of Occupation Medal (Japan). Joe also played football for the United States Army in Japan and was offered an opportunity to play football at Rutgers University upon discharge from the Army.
After returning home after the war, Joe resumed work at Union Carbide where he met the love of his life, his beloved Laura Ann Garten Wiersteiner, who he was married to for 65 beautiful years. He along with other young men at Carbide would watch Laura Ann walk to work every morning, admiring her beauty, as she walked to work to a different Carbide building. One morning as Laura Ann walked by in the rain, Joe grabbed an umbrella and rushed to her aid. The other men exclaimed, “That son of a gun!” Joe and Laura Ann married in January of 1954 and had five healthy children in six years. Joe worked in the Chemical Industry as an inspector expediter at Union Carbide Corporation from 1953 until he retired in 1995. He was transferred to Baton Rouge, LA and Houston, TX and traveled the country while working for Union Carbide Corp.
He was a loving and devoted husband and excellent provider for his wife and family of five children. Since he began working by milking cows at 5:00 a.m. at age 9 for his Uncle Carl at the Wiersteiner Dairy on Dutch Road, he instilled in his children the virtues of honesty and hard work. Joe was driving a milk truck at age 13 delivering milk during the Great Depression. The police turned their heads when he drove by because so many men were away at war. Joe was able to go to Charleston Catholic High School by delivering milk to Saint Francis Hospital and Charleston General Hospital before going to school. His uncle let him take the milk truck to school.
Joe was a perfect gentleman and stayed true to his character throughout his life. His favorite motto was, “A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do!” He has been committed to the medical care of his wife for the past 20 years. Family has been the most important thing in the world to him and he was lovingly known as “Papa Joe” by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren as well as many others. Joe was a member of the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and thoroughly enjoyed singing in the Basilica Choir as a bass singer prior to family illness.
Joe was preceded in death by his son, Joey; and brothers, Carl and David.
Children include daughters, Susie Lowery, Teresa (Anderson) Ansell, Mary Kay Cassano (Bobby), and Polly Brown (Mark); grandchildren, Ryan Anderson, Ross Anderson, Jason Lowery, Christy Cassano, Megan Cassano le Roux, Chris Wiersteiner, and Nicole Wiersteiner; and great-grandchildren, Kylie Anderson, Kendall Anderson, and Jackson Anderson. Joe is survived by his sister, Rose Alexander, and many nieces, nephews and close family friends.
Friends and family can pay their respects at the visitation on Monday, January 7 from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. at the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart located at 1114 Virginia Street East, Charleston, West Virginia. Following visitation, there will be a funeral Mass, officiated by The Reverend Father Binu Emmanuel, CST, Associate Rector, from 11:00 to 12:00 p.m. There will be a military honors service at the Donel C. Kinnard Memorial State Veterans Cemetery in Dunbar, WV at 2:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers the Wiersteiner Family requests you consider sending donations to the SMILE program at the Basilica of the Co-Cathedral of the Sacred Heart which meant so much to Joe.
You may send condolences to the family at: www.barlowbonsall.com
Barlow Bonsall Funeral Home has been entrusted to handle the arrangements.