Joseph J. Hemmer Jr.


Sept. 24, 1939 - Dec. 31, 2012



Joseph J. Hemmer Jr., a resident of Muskego, died Monday, Dec. 31, 2012, at the age of 73, after a long illness. Joe was born Sept. 24, 1939, in Oshkosh, the son of Joseph and Margaret (nee Nuernberg).

He attended St. Vincent Catholic Grade School, where he was proud to be an altar boy.  He attended Oshkosh High School, and after serving in the U.S. Army, he went on to pursue higher education, where he attained a Bachelor of Science degree from Wisconsin State College (Oshkosh), a Master of Arts from Bradley University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin.

Dr. Hemmer devoted his professional life to the field of education. He served as director of debate at Marquette University; instructor of speech at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside; and for the past 41 years, as professor of communication at Carroll College, where he served as chairperson of the Department of Communication, as president of the faculty, and where he held the Cordelia Pierce Endowed Chair in Communication. He also served as president of the Wisconsin Communication Association. Hemmer’s area of expertise was communication law and the first amendment. He published two books - a case law book titled “Communication Law: The Supreme Court and the First Amendment,” and a first amendment theory book labeled “The First Amendment: Theoretical Perspectives.” His research work also appeared in numerous periodicals. In 1982, he received the Andrew T. Weaver award, presented annually by the WCA to the outstanding communication professor in the state. In 1996, Hemmer received the Benjamin F. Richason Jr. Faculty Award for excellence in Teaching, Research and Education Innovation from Carroll College.


Joe spent his recreational time fishing his “blue gill hot spot” on Lake Denoon, golfing Waukesha County courses, biking the state trails and watching sports teams at all levels, but especially the North Prairie Dawgs.


Joe will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 45 years, Joy (nee Konrad), whom he married Dec. 16 1967, at St. Dennis Catholic Church in Madison; his sons, Joseph J. III (Lorrie) of Brookfield and Andrew (Beth) of Waterford; his grandchildren, Makenzie, J.J., Jason and Ella; and his brother, James P. (Francine) Hemmer of Glenview, Ill. Joe is also survived by many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to St. Anthony Zuni Mission in Zuni, N.M., and to St. Michaels Navajo School in St. Michaels, Ariz.


A memorial visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12, at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church, 305 First St., Waterford. A memorial funeral Mass will follow at 1 p.m.


Max A. Sass & Sons Funeral and Cremation Services, Westwood Chapel, is serving the family. For more information, call 679-1560 or visit online at