Joseph A. Van Dam


Joe Van Dam, age 88, passed away Tuesday morning, Dec. 6, 2011 at Theda Clark Hospital in Neenah. In January of 1923, his parents and two older brothers emigrated here from Holland, and Joe was born on March 21 of that same year. He attended the Algoma High School, where he excelled in sports, drama and music. Until the age of 28, Joe worked for his father at Van Dam & Sons Feed Mill, and then entered the United States Navy where he served as a Seabee. On May 7, 1949, he married Gerry, and the couple was blessed with 62 years together. Joe worked at Square D in Milwaukee and resided in Grafton from 1951 until 1972. He then became the head of maintenance and the safety director at JI Case in Winneconne where he worked for 16 years, retiring in 1986. In his retirement, he operated J and G Enterprises, maintenance, remodeling and carpentry service. Joe enjoyed working in his woodshop, fishing and RVing. His favorite sayings were, "Who needs a hobby when you have an RV," and "Getting old ain’t for sissies!" Joe was also grateful to make connections with his heritage and family members on a trip to Holland in 2004.

Joe is survived by his loving wife: Gerry; three daughters: Margie (Tom) Bertram, Susan (Tom) Hopfensperger and Jody (Bill) Bertram, all of Appleton; a son: Dave (Barb) Van Dam of Oshkosh; his grandchildren: Joseph ( Julie) Bertram, Sara (Jamie) Nelson, Kerry (Jason) Przybylski, Stephanie (Brian) Snyder, Jennie Hopfensperger, Jeff Hopfensperger, Tracy (Jeff) Vandenbusch, Tim Bertram, Holly Van Dam, and Amanda Van Dam; and 13 great-grandchildren. Joe was preceded in death by his parents: Garrett and Catherine (Van Rooy) Van Dam, brothers: Leo and John; and grandsons: Matt Bertram and Andrew Bertram.

The funeral liturgy for Joe was held at noon on Saturday, Dec. 10,

2011 at St. Mary Catholic Church, 312 S. State Street in Appleton, with Fr. Jim Leary, OFM Cap. officiating. Burial will take place at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Algoma at a later date. A memorial fund in Joe’s name is being established.

Joe loved his family and they were his life. His passing leaves a hole in our hearts and he will be greatly missed. We love you.

Wichmann Funeral Home
537 N. Superior Street
Appleton 739-1231
Online condolences