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Joseph W. Marchello

Joseph W. Marchello Joseph W. Marchello


Joseph W. Marchello, 85, of Fond du Lac, died on January 1, 2022.

Joe was born to Joseph D. and Lillian B. (Somerville) Marchello in Morris, Illinois on March 29, 1936. Joe married Judith A. Strebe on September 23, 1961, at St. Mary Church in Fond du Lac. They raised their family in Oshkosh and Fond du Lac. Judy preceded him in death in 2004. He was a member of Holy Family Parish and Knights of Columbus.

Joe grew up in Coal City, Illinois. He graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Joe spent his entire professional career working for Mercury Marine, Kiekhaefer Aeromarine then Mercury Racing. Over his 41 years, starting in 1958, Joe was the go-to guy on difficult engineering issues for Mr. Kiekhaefer, being his right-hand man until Carl’s death in 1983. Kiekhaefer Aeromarine was such a big part of Joe’s life. As Vice-President of Engineering, he worked many tireless hours from sunup to sundown and on weekends and still found time to be a dad and husband. Many men tried to keep up with Carl but ended up quitting. Joe kept forging ahead through difficult times in the marine industry. He never quit and defeat was not part of his vocabulary. He continued his engineering work for Fred Kiekhaefer, retired Mercury Racing President, from 1983 until Joe’s retirement from Mercury Racing in 1999. Fred summed it up in saying, “Joe Marchello was a mentor to me. He was one of those people I enjoyed having around – he was a smart engineer. Also, enthusiastic, optimistic, dedicated, tenacious, perpetually curious, undeterred and polite – yet delightfully unfiltered.”

Joe was born loving anything mechanical. You could find him working on a car, snowmobile, boat… anything that had an engine. He was an inventor and an improver. Anything that broke was repaired and made better than before. Joe loved to help people whether it was his own family or friends or people he served at St. Vincent de Paul Society where he worked after retirement. Joe was a quiet, humble man with an incredible smile…right up to the end. He was always appreciative for life’s blessings and never complained about the crosses he had to bear. Joe will be deeply missed.

Joe is survived by his children, Deanna (John) Vodacek, Joretta (Matthew) Shinners, and Mark (Amy) Marchello; nine grandchildren, John and Caroline Vodacek, Alexander (Nicole), Abraham (Abby) and Anna Shinners, and Grace, Tony, Sophie, and Jack Marchello; one great-grandchild, Averie Shinners; his sister, Joretta (James) Chambers; sister-in-law, Katheryn Pieper; as well as many nieces, nephews and other special relatives and friends.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Judy; and sisters-in-law, Patricia (Eugene) Blatz and Mary Strebe.

Services-Visitation will be Saturday, January 8, 2022 from 10 to 11 a.m. at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 200 S. Peters Avenue, Fond du Lac, WI. Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will follow visitation. A private entombment will take place in the Chapel of the Risen Christ Mausoleum, Calvary Cemetery.

Joe’s family extends appreciation to the staff at St. Francis Terrace for the past eight years and to Hospice Hope for their care and compassion at the end of his life.

In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice in Joe’s memory.

Zacherl Funeral Home is serving the family.