Joseph Kotak

Joe Kotak, Jr.

January 7, 1935 - May 12, 2020
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Joe was born January 7, 1935, at Fulton Run, PA, to Joseph, Sr., and Mary (Blazavich) Kotak. He was raised in Pennsylvania and attended Catholic School. At the age of 18, he enlisted in the US Marine Corps and served his country honorably.
He met Juanita “Jennie” Linn Munoz and they were married at Jacksonville, NC, on March 20, 1957. They moved to Niagara Falls, NY, where Joe worked in factories. They moved to South Dakota in the 60’s where Joe was employed as a lumber grader for Homestake Wood Products company. The family lived in Spearfish.
Joe was a member of the SD Army National Guard for 25 years as a food service specialist. He was a great cook for family and friends. He won several chili cook-off contests in Belle Fourche, Lead, and Deadwood. He and his wife were very good bowlers and won a state championship.
He was the cook at the Lawrence County jail. At least once a week, he baked goodies for the prisoners. He was a good-hearted person.
Joseph Kotak, Jr., 85, Spearfish, died Tuesday, May 12, 2020, at Fort Meade VA Medical Center at Fort Meade, SD.
Survivors include his son, Joseph Karlos; daughter, Karen Kotak; three grandsons, Lance Karlos, Jesse Karlos, and Jacob Kotak; a sister and five sisters-in-law, Vera Iverson, Margaret (George) Gerbracht, Mary Lundstrom, Martha Huffman, and Diana (Arlan) Shoemaker; and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Jennie in 2016; and several brothers.
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Duke Doering

Posted at 08:07pm
Joe Kotak Jr. was an outstanding member of the 842nd Engineer Company, the South Dakotka National Guard unit located in Spearfish.
He had a stering military carrer before he joined the National Guard. He started his military career with a three year enlistment in the U.S. Marines, from February 23, 1954 until February 22, 1957.
After a rather long break in service he enlisted in Company C, 109th Engineer Battalion in Spearfish, SD on July 25, 1966. When Company C reorganized into the 842nd Engineer Company on January 4, 1968 Joe was a Cook in the Mess Hall. He made a huge contribution to the cook section. He was proud of his profession and dedicated to the Soldiers he fed. Joe remained as First Cook and shift supervisor throughout his entire National Guard career. Joe retired from the South Dakota National Guard on April 30, 1992. My condolences to the family.

Hazel Brink

Posted at 09:43am
So sorry to hear about Joe shared many stories and at the meat service ate a lot of his breakfast burritos that were delicious and good. My sincere sympathy goes out to the whole family really enjoyed his company.
Hazel Brink

A Veteran

Posted at 09:51pm
Worked with Joe many times while in the Guard Always enjoyed it

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