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Joseph Ivinskas

March 19, 1927 - September 5, 2018
Indian River, MI



Saturday, September 8, 2018
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM EDT
Cross in the woods Catholic Church
7078 M-68
Indian River, MI 49749


Saturday, September 8, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
Cross in the woods Catholic Church
7078 M-68
Indian River, MI 49749

Life Story / Obituary


Joseph Andrew Ivinskas was truly A Man for All Seasons. If you were fortunate enough to know Joe, you had a better life because of it. All his life, Joe had interests and energy to spare and he shared them generously with his family and friends. His work ethic and activities of all kinds—summer sports, winter sports, vacations, clubs, parties—plus an amazing zest for life made Joe a man you could easily say was the real deal, genuine in every way and an absolute pleasure to be with.

Joe, the son of Andrew and Anna (Brazinskas) Ivinskas, came into the world during tough times being born shortly before the stock market crash in ’29. It was a Saturday, March 19, 1927 when Joe’s mom and dad became the proud parents of their first-born child, little Joseph. They lived in Cleveland, OH, at the time and were thrilled to be starting their family. Joe’s dad made a living as a chiropractor while mom took care of little Joseph. Joe learned a lot about fishing and boating from his dad at an early age and it stuck with him for the rest of his life.

As time went on, Joe attended high school at Detroit Western, where he played the sousaphone in the marching band. Joe graduated in 1945, which was a time when serving your country was a major calling. Joe answered that call and served proudly as a Sergeant in the United States Army. He was stationed in Iceland. After being honorably discharged from the Army, Joe attended Lincoln Chiropractic College in Indianapolis, IN. Joe took a job then with General Motors where he worked for 35 years.

Joe’s life took a marvelous turn when he met and fell in love with a beautiful gal named Virginia Turowski. They enjoyed each other immensely right from the start and all the good times they had together soon led to an exciting day in June of 1950, when they were married at the historic St. Casimir Catholic Church on the west side of Detroit. The loving, happy couple settled in Dearborn where they raised five children who brought great happiness and filled their hearts with unending love. They adored their children—Julie, Gail, Bob, Gary, and Dave—and were proud that they attended Catholic school and all graduated from college.

Growing up in the Ivinskas household, with five children in the family and usually a dog too, was always a bustle of activity. And then there was the camping and the vacations! The favorite places for camping were northern Michigan, of course, and Manitoulin Island in Lake Huron. The vacation spot was Evergreen Lodge on Lake Huron in Ontario. As time went on, Joe and Virginia bought a vacation home on Burt Lake, near Cheboygan, MI. They retired there in 1987 after Joe’s career with General Motors. It was the perfect place to be in the summer. In the winter they went to Marco Island, FL, to escape the snow and ice of northern Michigan.

Joe liked to be active and busy. He loved boating and fishing all his life. And he liked to go duck hunting with his buddies. In the winter he’d go downhill skiing and loved, too, to take off on his snowmobile. Joe liked participating and contributing to making life better for all those around him. As a result, he was active in a lot of clubs. Like the Inland Lakes Snowmobile Club, The Burt Lake Preservation Association, The Indian River Sportsmen—of which he was past president. He was also a member of the Indian River Knights of Columbus and the F.O.E. Joe’s faith was important to him throughout his life. He was a devoted member of the Cross in the Woods Catholic Church in Indian River, MI, and could be counted on always to volunteer and pitch in to help whenever needed, even calling Bingo.

Joe loved a good time, especially parties. He was full of life and thoroughly enjoyed any and all social activities. It was well known that he hated to miss a party! He was an avid card player too. And a sports fan, especially of Michigan State football and basketball. And, also of the Detroit Tigers, the Lions, and the Red Wings. On the music side of life, Joe enjoyed listening to Frank Sinatra and he had his favorite Country singers, too. Joe loved a good sale, always alert for a bargain. His famous saying every single time, was, “Get Two”! Well, if you’re saving a little money, why not get two.

Their children helped them celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary by giving them a party at the Indian River Country Club. After Virginia’s passing in 2010, Joe continued to live in their home at Burt Lake and did so until he died.

To say Joe found the height of enjoyment in his family would be an understatement. They were everything to him. He loved them dearly, and they loved him. Given Joe’s fondness for a beer now and then, his grand kids lovingly called him “Papa Beer”! Joe loved every moment he spent with his grandchildren, especially fishing and boating with them. He always did have a youthful outlook on life, after all, he bought his first speedboat at age 86!

Joseph is survived by his children Julie (John) Konja, Gail (Larry) Odle, Bob (Ann) Ivinskas, Gary Ivinskas and David Ivinskas, and companion Beverly Southwell. Also surviving are grandchildren Stephen (Amy) Konja, Lauren (Craig) Hall, Paul and Julia Ivinskas, great grandchildren Chloe and Ava Konja and sister Jeanne Herrmann, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by Virginia, his wife of 60 years.

Services for Joseph will be held at the Cross of the Woods Catholic Church on Saturday, September 8th. Visitation will be from 10:00-11:00 am and the funeral will begin at 11:00 am. A luncheon and burial will follow.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Burt Lake Preservation Association. Friends and family are welcome to share memorials and offer condolences online at www.stonefuneralhomeinc.com. The family was served by the Lintz Funeral Home.