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Joseph "Joe" B. Eikmeier

Joseph "Joe" B. Eikmeier

Joseph "Joe" B. Eikmeier, age 86, of Willmar, died Monday evening, March 6, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Friday, March 10, at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Interment will be in the church cemetery. Visitation will be from 5-8 PM with a Knights of Columbus Rosary at 7:30 PM on Thursday, March 9, at Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Friday. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the St. Mary's Foundation are preferred.

Joseph "Joe" Bernard Eikmeier was born on February 28, 1931, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the son of Henry and Angela (Kluthe) Eikmeier. He grew up in the communities of Luxemburg, Clear Lake, Albany and Rockville. Joe graduated from St. Cloud Cathedral High School in 1949 and from St. John's University in 1954 where he majored in Chemistry and minored in Education. He began his teaching career teaching Chemistry and Physics at Cathedral High School in Duluth. After three years of teaching, he applied for and received a Fulbright Grant to teach on the Island of Malta. Upon returning home, Joe taught Chemistry, Physics and Higher Mathematics in Lynd, Minnesota. During the years 1960 through 1967, Joe continued his education by attending St. Cloud State University, Mankato State University, the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and South Dakota State University in Brookings. In 1963, he began teaching Chemistry in the Willmar Public Schools. In 1970, Joe instituted and taught courses in Geology, Astronomy and Meteorology along with Chemistry until his retirement in 1993. For 5 years following retirement, Joe was a substitute teacher in the Willmar schools.

During Joe's tenure as a teacher, he was active in the Minnesota Education Association and a Past President of the Lynd and Willmar Education Associations. In 1971, he was elected the Region 6 Representative to the Minnesota Education Association Board of Directors and served for three years. In the various places that Joe lived, he was a member of their Catholic Church parishes. He has been a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 52 years and a Life Member in Willmar. He served on the St. Mary's Parish Council and was appointed to the Regional Diocesan Council as the St. Mary's Representative. In 1992, Joe was appointed by Bishop Raymond Lucker to serve on the Diocesan Council of Parishes and the Diocesan Building Committee. In 2002, he was reappointed by Bishop Nienstad to continue serving on the Diocesan Building Committee. In 2011, Joe received the Diocesan Distinguished Service Award from Bishop John M. LeVoir.

Joe volunteered his time and talents throughout the Willmar Area, serving on the Board of Directors at the Kandiyohi County Area Food Shelf, the Public Schools Curriculum Advisory Committee, Habitat for Humanity and the West Central Concert Series board. Joe was a member of the Heritage Searchers of Kandiyohi County, West Central Retired Educators Association, the Willmar Evening Lions Club, the Regional Development Advisory Committee of Minnesota Public Radio and a Life Member of the Elks Lodge.

He is survived by several nieces and nephews, great nieces and great nephews, besides other relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; four brothers, Edward, Norbert, Henry Jr., and the Rev. Monsignor Bernard; and five sisters, Angela, Mary, Elizabeth, Julia and Ann.