May 18, 1934 - January 18, 2022
Joseph Robert Garrow was born May 18, 1934, in Beloit, Wisconsin, to Martin Hugh and Anna Mae (Douglas-Bradt) Garrow. He spent most of his childhood in the small town of Ridott, Illinois. He loved growing up in Riddott, where he spent his days wandering, exploring, and playing with his childhood friends. Joe met his lifelong friend, Bob Bastian, at Leaf River High School. Joe and Bob enjoyed many adventures and misadventures. Joe also enjoyed his daily coffee time with his McDonald’s & Donut crew for many years. Joe also loved attending sporting events, playing golf, and attending Cubs games with friends and family. Joe and Lil enjoyed many trips to the Fireside with their daughter Barb and her family, grandson Joe and Jenny Pieper, and friends. Joe’s mother, Anna, was a teacher at Riddott grade school. Anna taught 2nd through 8th grades and was Joe’s teacher. Joe attended Freeport for one year and then attended Leaf River High School. He went undefeated his junior year for the ½ mile and played football. After graduation, he worked at Microswitch and Honeywell Motor Division (later called Pacific Scientific) for over 30 years. He worked his way up from production into supervision. He also worked at Structo, Burgess, and Modern Plating at various times. After retirement, Joe worked at the Norman C. Sleezer Youth Home for ten years through Freeport School District and later as a mentor. Joe officiated football for over 28 years and officiated three state championships. Joe officiated with Bob Niblo, Bill Penticoff, Tony Sciutto, and Frank Rutter. He also officiated basketball for more than a decade. Joe delivered Meals on Wheels for several years. In 1952, Joe married Geraldine Wescott. Joe and Geraldine had four daughters; Debra Jo, Karen Sue, Diane Kay, and Susan Marta. Joe became a single parent raising four daughters. In 1974, Joe married Lillian Johnson and adopter her daughter Barbara Lynn. Joe and Lil finished raising their blended family. Their daughters got married and blessed them with 15 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 1 great-great-grandchild. Joe was a member of the United Presbyterian Church from 1981 to 2017, where he served as a deacon, elder, and assisted with teaching Sunday school and youth groups with his wife, Lil. He most recently was a member of Faith United Methodist Church. The entire Garrow gang enjoyed many summers at Gma’s and Gpa’s trailer at Snuffy’s Camp Grounds in Sauk City, Wisconsin. The family enjoyed playing along the river, hanging out on the beach, fishing, canoeing, camping, and cookouts. When the grandkids were small, Grandpa played pied piper around the park with them following behind, mimicking whatever he said or did. The grandkids also never missed the chance to go to the ice-cream shop with Grandpa to get a treat. Most of the kids and grandkids came up for the annual Father’s Day weekend to spend time as a family. The walls of the home at Snuffy’s were covered in pictures of the 40 plus years of family fun. Christmas time was spent with grandkids baking cookies, making ornaments, decorating the tree, and making memories. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved grandson Dion Garrow (son of Barb), and several cousins. Joe is survived by his wife Lil, their children Deb (Jesse) Purdue, Karen (Fred) Homan, Diane Garrow, Sue (Shawn) Dietmeier, Barb (Leon) Guenther, grandchildren, Joe (Jen) Pieper, Dallas (Tom) Elzen, Amanda (Jim) Bawinkel, Katlyn (Brandon) Gosch, Lauren Homan, Mary Beth (Ben) Lacy, Marta (Paul) Kobernick, Andele (CJ) Hendrick, Leah (Ian) Schiltz, Jaclynn Jordan, Cole (Dulce) Guenther, Brooke (Josh) Guenther, Bailey (Cam) Piper, and Chase Piper, great-grandchildren Austin, Dayne, Hanna, Sydney, Gunnar, Shiloh, Keegan, Brianna, BrayLyn, Finn, Hudson, Landon, Joseph, Serenity, Reina, and soon to be Kaison, and great-great-grandchild Lily. A private family service will be held due to COVID-19. There will be a Celebration of Life at a future date. Special thanks to FHN Hospice, FHN staff on 2 North who provided loving care for Joe, Dr. Muise, and nurse Rita at Monroe Clinic, who cared for Joe for many years.
Joseph Robert Garrow was born May 18, 1934, in Beloit, Wisconsin, to Martin Hugh and Anna Mae (Douglas-Bradt) Garrow. He spent most of his childhood in the small town of Ridott, Illinois. He loved growing up in Riddott, where he spent his... View Obituary & Service Information
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