Born in Antigo, WI on May 24, 1939, died February 8, 2020 of pneumonia at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, WI, aged 80 years.
Josef graduated from Antigo High School and went on to study medicine at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. His Christian faith led him to service as a physician with the United States Public Health Service in the Navajo Nation, and with humanitarian organizations in Ghana, Ethiopia, Honduras, and Thailand. He practiced family medicine in rural Wisconsin.
Josef loved music. He was an accomplished pianist, and sang in church and community choirs. He enjoyed playing music with and for others. He was especially fond of polkas and hymns.
Josef was an active outdoorsman. He enjoyed gardening, making maple syrup and apple cider, jogging, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, water skiing (including an impressive performance on trick skis for his 40th birthday), canoeing, sailing, ice-skating, and swimming; many of these at his family's beloved cottage on Enterprise Lake near Elcho, WI. He sought out waterfalls and wildflowers everywhere he traveled.
Josef is preceded in death by parents Louise (Heider) Vosmek and George Aldrich Vosmek, brother George, Jr. and sister Frances.
He is survived by daughters Ruth (Tim Park), Sharon, and Joanne, and grandchildren Jahlise, Alexandre, Ember, Zoe, Aundre and Haley. He is survived also by former wife and mother of his daughters, Barbara Shaklan, and by siblings Georgia (Harry) Sotiros, Janice (Warren) Coward, and James (Kathy) Vosmek.
Josef is survived by his long-time partner Lee Jacobsen. Her family includes her children, Jimmy and Kurt, both deceased, Kori, Shannon, Jodi, and Lisa, grandchildren Jake, Lee, Mike, Nicole, Kevin, Marisa, Kelsey, Corrine, Miranda, Jarett, and Brett, and great grandchildren Natalie, Johnny, Brooklyn, Aaden, Genevieve, Stella, Kathryne, Madison, Liliana and Castiel.
The family extends their sincerest thanks to the professionals at La Crescent Health Services and Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center for their kindness and excellent care at the end of his life.
A memorial is being planned for this summer in Northern Wisconsin. Donations can be made in his name to World Vision .
"Remember Joe from Antigo High School days, 1953-57. We were in the same 'Home Room' and were in some same classes, i.e., mathematics, biology, chemistry, physics. Always thought he was the 'brainy kid on the block' and his obituary confirms that with his education and career.
All the best to family. Jerry Verhasselt"
"Sending my condolences to Joe's family and siblings. My contact with him goes back to the later part of the 1950's and into the mid 1960's. Joe treated me so kindly even though I was four years younger. I have so many fond memories of him...doing donuts in the Simca, playing pickup hockey with magazines taped to his shins rather that shin pads, pushing my disabled Model A Ford from Elcho to the cottage on Enterprise (and then making sure a large umbrellas was placed through the open roof when the Model A was left in the yard to protect it from the rain) and finally checking in on me when I was at Superior State and he was in his residency in Duluth. Thanks Joe."
"My husband, Rev. Jack LaMar, and I shared many great moments with Dr. Vosmek. I am sad to learn he has passed away. He was a pretty awesome individual! Prayers and condolences to the entire Josef Voxmek family."