March 24, 1919 - October 6, 2010
JOSEPH'S LIFE STORY:Joseph Chye was a loving gentleman who lived his life with quiet strength. With his generous spirit, Joseph was always willing to lend a hand or share advice, and was always there to support his family when needed. A WWII veteran, Joseph loved to keep busy with projects, and took great joy in the time he spent with his family and grandchildren. A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Joseph was a wonderful man. Joseph’s story begins in the year 1919; just months after the fighting of WWI had ended. With the First World War behind them, Americans were entering a decade of social change. Hemlines and haircuts became shorter for women, and Jazz became the music of choice. For Casimer and Anastasia “Gusty” (Pieczynski) Chycinski, the year 1919 was a time of personal excitement as they prepared their home in Manistee, Michigan for the birth of a new baby. On March 24, they welcomed a new precious life into the world, a baby boy they named Joseph.Joseph lived a happy childhood in Manistee, in a home right across from St. Joseph School. While his father worked for Morton Salt, his mother was a well-known baker in the community who made beautiful wedding cakes. Joseph attended grade school at St. Joseph’s, before attending Manistee High School. As a teenager during the great depression, Joseph helped earn extra money by working as a caddie at a local golf course and picking fruit at local farms. In the year 1937, he proudly graduated with his class from Manistee High School. Following graduation, Joseph began working at the Montgomery Ward’s Department Store. He was also a U.S. Army Selectee, a program similar to the present day ROTC. When WWII broke out, he courageously accepted full service with the Army. He was trained as a Ranger in Australia and Hawaii, and served in the Pacific Theatre. After his time of service had ended, the army asked him to continue working as a Ranger instructor. While Joseph was proud to serve his country, he decided to leave the military and return to Manistee instead. Joseph had an exciting future waiting for him at home. His brother, Pete, was dating a young woman named Ceil. One day, Peter and Ceil decided to introduce Joseph to Ceil’s cousin, Rose Shereda. The two couples went on a double date and it was a definite success. On May 6, 1944, Joseph married Rose, the girl of his dreams, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Muskegon. Joseph worked as a foreman for Robert O. Nelson Construction. He enjoyed working there, and would often bank extra work hours to exchange for time off. When he and Rose were blessed with a family, he used those hours for precious family vacations. They traveled all over the United States, making many great family memories. Often their trips included camping and each member of the family was given a special task, ensuring a good time for all. Joseph worked at Nelson Construction until 1980, and was a 50 year member of the Carpenters Local 100. While the kids were growing up, Joseph was a “Gentleman Farmer.” His farm, though small, produced a variety and abundance of fruits and vegetables for canning. He also enjoyed wine making, and experimenting with different varieties and blends. His basement was the perfect temperature for this activity, and he, often with the help of his kids and, later, grandkids, spent countless hours preparing and straining the wine. When he visited with friends, whether at his home or theirs, he always would bring a gift - bounty from his garden or a bottle of wine to share. Joseph was a man of many talents, and loved to keep busy. He enjoyed woodworking, and built many bird houses and items for around the home and garden. He also loved hunting. And when yard sale season came around, he became a different kind of hunter, hunting for bargains and bartering for the best deal. Joseph was proud of his service during WWII, and was a lifelong member of Custer Gold Bar VFW Post 5096. He was also a longtime member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer. Joseph enjoyed being involved at his church, and always worked as one of the showdown poker dealers during church festivals. He enjoyed doing this so much that he often worked 2-3 shifts without taking a dinner break.After retirement, Joseph and Rose continued to enjoy traveling together, with trips to Hawaii, Mexico, exploring out west and taking Caribbean cruises. When their ability to drive became limited, they enjoyed taking part in senior bus tours as well. When Joseph’s children had grown and had families of their own, Joseph embraced his role as grandfather. He always made the grandkids’ events top priority, and rarely missed a game, concert or performance. Joseph was a helpful, kind man, giving freely of his time and his love, willing to lend a hand or give good counsel. A quiet, strong man, he truly treasured the time spent with family and devoted himself to his role as husband, father, grandfather and friend. Joseph Chye passed away on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 at Memorial Medical Center in Ludington. He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister Julia Konicki and her husband Harry; his brother Pete Chycinski and his wife Ceil; his brothers-in-law Carl Nowak and Robert Shereda; his sister-in-law Lois Shereda; and his nephew Bobby Shereda. Joseph will be greatly missed by his wife Rose; his children David Chye and his wife Janice of Hesperia, Mary Schoenherr and her husband Ted of Custer, Theresa Bowers and her husband Jerry also of Custer, Bill Chye and his wife Fran of Fountain, and Dorothy Ranney and her husband Rex of Edmore; 18 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; 1 great, great-grandchild; his sister Helen Nowak of Manistee; his brothers-in-law Jack Shereda and his wife Edna of Free Soil, and Paul Shereda and his wife Jaye of Ludington; his sisters-in-law Lucille Fautley and her husband Kenneth of Manistique, and Stella Shereda of Free Soil; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. The Celebration of Mass will take place for Joseph at 11:00 AM on Monday, October 11 at the St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer with Rev. Aaron Ferris as Celebrant. Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Sunday from 2-4 and 7-9 PM at the Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville, where the Rosary will be prayed for Joseph Sunday evening at 8:00 PM. Those who wish to make memorial contributions are asked to consider Operation Injured Soldiers, a fund to help care for area veterans who have been wounded in battle.
JOSEPH'S LIFE STORY:Joseph Chye was a loving gentleman who lived his life with quiet strength. With his generous spirit, Joseph was always willing to lend a hand or share advice, and was always there to support his family when needed. A WWII... View Obituary & Service Information
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