Joey Wojtusik, a poet, teacher, and harmonizer, passed away at 77 on Tuesday, August 13, 2019, surrounded by her family. Born in Chicago to Carl and Vivian Muller, she was a summer vacationer who met the local athlete while he was waterskiing on Townline Lake in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. Theirs was a summer romance that took root, turning into a 57-year marriage. After 11 years, 6 alma matters, and 4 children, she earned her English degree, eventually also securing her masters plus 53 credits. A dedicated teacher, she corrected thousands of term papers by hand, always using green ink, rather than red, so as not to deflate the confidence and enthusiasm of her young writers. She and Bob loved teaching in several Wisconsin districts and passed a prideful example to their four children: Maria, the constant, Kathy, the giver, Mike, the rock, and Dan, “the little one.” Joey and Bob retired in Three Lakes. She found herself busier and happier than ever with so many choices: writing deep, often witty, poems and stories, such as “My House Is a Glorified Hunting Shack,” reading her favorite authors (Willa Cather, John Irving, and John Steinbeck among them), walking with cherished friends, and portraying Ms. Almira Gulch in “The Wizard of Oz.” Joey loved time spent alongside the talented people of the Trainwreck Writers, the Three Lakes Center of the Arts, and the Wisconsin Fellowship of Poets. She enjoyed traveling to Germany, Africa, Quebec, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Boston, New York, and El Paso. All of this she did with tenacity and zeal, despite adversity she encountered along the way. Living by the creed “Never give up,” Joey leaves behind a legacy of resilience and positivity. A true people person, everyone she met was important. She showed people their value by taking genuine interest in them and their stories. Joey had a unique ability to remember people’s names, freely give compliments, and make everyone feel special with her twinkling eyes and indelible smile.
Left behind to miss her dearly are her husband Bob, children Maria (Kevin) Deates, Kathy (Ryan) Marx, Mike Wojtusik, Dan (Jill) Wojtusik; grandchildren Michelle, Matt, Chad, Emily, Joe, Harlan, Bobby, Todd, and Julie; great-grandchildren Allysa, Dameon, Alliya, David, Jordan, and Jayce; sister Mary Kay (Steve) Mendygral; sister-in-law Sherry (Doug) Coerper; and numerous other relatives and friends.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Three Lakes Public Library in Joey’s name. A funeral mass will be held at St. Theresa Church (1701 Superior St., Three Lakes, Wisconsin) at 11:00am on Saturday, August 17, 2019. Visitation will begin at 9:30am, with interment immediately following the ceremony. Arrangements by Gaffney-Busha Funeral Home, Eagle River. Online condolences may be expressed at gaffney-busha.com