Former Juneau resident Joe Stehlik, 93, died Sept. 1, 2005, in Palmer.
He was born Nov. 8, 1911, in Flatonia, Texas, to Czech immigrants Joseph and Margeta Stehlik. He moved to California at an early age and graduated from Clovis High School in 1931.
He often recalled his childhood in the Mojave Desert, where he ran barefoot on the hot sand with his dog and burro. As a teenager, he was taught butchering and worked in the industry for many years in the Fresno area. He embarked on various business enterprises, including a malt shop, a meat business and a coffee shop.
Family members said his favorite memories were of Palomar Mountain, where he was part of the 200-inch telescope observatory construction, and later, a technician for research astronomers photographing the universe sky with the telescope.
"Joe enjoyed a life rich with family and friends who were very important to him. He touched many lives and will be missed," said family members.
He was an active member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Clovis in the 1950s and 1960s and took part in many church activities. He was also a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church in Juneau for many years.
He came to Alaska with his wife, Kitty, in 1967, to assist in opening the Glacier Bay Lodge at Glacier Bay. He later owned the Glacier Coffee Shop at the Mendenhall Glacier. After he retired from the coffee shop, he cooked for the Alaska Ferry System and for NOAA's research boat at Auke Bay.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Catherine "Kitty" Stehlik.
He is survived by his son, Joseph (Wiletta) Stehlik of Palmer; daughter, Sue McConnell of Caldwell, Idaho; daughter, Patti (Joe) Corbett of Wasilla; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Juneau, with burial at Valley Memorial Gardens and reception following at the church. Viewing will be at the church 30 minutes prior to the service. He may also be viewed from 6:30-8 p.m. Thursday evening at the Alaskan Memorial Funeral Home. The family suggests memorial donations be sent to relief funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. Arrangements are with Valley Funeral Home & Crematory in Wasilla.
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