Joseph “Joe” Theodore Flerlage III, age 60, of Alma, KS, was called unexpectedly to his forever home on Sunday, December 20, 2020. Born on May 28, 1960, in Topeka, KS, Joe was the firstborn son of Joseph and Sally (Sheppeard) Flerlage Jr. Joe was baptized and confirmed at Immaculate Conception in St. Marys and graduated from St. Marys High School in 1978.
Joe worked a handful of jobs over his lifetime, including operating a farm and cattle ranch for a number of years. Joe was naturally a builder, handyman, and maker of things, and he used these skills for his vocation as a welder working in that capacity for most of his adult life, most recently as a lead welder at Tower Metal Works in Maple Hill, KS.
Joe was wedded to the love of his life, Diane V. Hadsall, on June 6, 1981, in a small ceremony held in her parent’s back yard. This union would bring forth 4 children, 3 boys, and the long-awaited baby girl. Dad literally jumped for joy when Brenda was born. Family was Joe’s greatest joy in this world. Joe was a devoted husband to his wife, showing his love by his actions, care, and gentle touch. A wonderful father who was immensely proud of his children and grandchildren. He never missed a sporting or school event, oftentimes volunteering to help run the chain gang or in some other capacity. He enjoyed spending most of his vacation visiting his children and grandchildren throughout the Midwest. His grandkids loved when he would tell them stories of years past. Joe shared his love of nature, outdoors, faith, and work ethic with his children. For anyone that knew him knew he was a helper. It was best said that Joe woke up in the morning with the thought, “Who can I help today?” Joe loved helping his children, whether it was working cattle, building a home, walking a fussy baby around the house, or serving as an advice consultant. Dad was known for his well thought out advice. The topic didn’t matter. He would take his time and present you with a few options. If you waited just a minute more, you may even get one more scenario to consider.
A man of strong Christian faith, Joe was an active participant in his church. Serving on a handful of boards and committees at both Sacred Heart in Newbury, KS and Holy Family in Alma. An active member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1392, Joe took pride in being a Fourth Degree Knight. Joe also served his community as a volunteer firefighter in Alma taking part in a brotherhood that he deeply treasured.
An outdoorsman, Joe loved trapping, fishing, and hunting. Joe was a member of the Kansas Fur Harvesters Association. He especially loved passing his knowledge onto his children and anyone else that asked. He would talk for hours with his boys about trapping and putting up furs. Joe was able to experience a memorable ice fishing trip to Northern MN with one of his son’s and grandson. One in which his grandson was able to discover one of grandpa’s superpowers…snoring.
Joe was a man that worked hard and he loved much. He showed his love for others whether it was working in the garden with his mom, building a project with his brothers, or wrapping you up in a big hug. We will miss his laugh, his gentle smile, and sharing his Little Debbie snacks with his grandchildren.
Joe is survived by his dear wife Diane; his children, Adam of Harveyville, KS, Tony (Lisa) of Aitkin, MN, Wayne (Jessica) of Oak Ridge, MO, and Brenda (Ronnie) Timothy of Rulo, NE; 11 grandchildren, Bailey, James, Natalie, Levi, Thomas, Natalie, Owen, Eli, Blake, Jayden, and Tristan; mother, Sally, St. Marys; brothers Dan, Matt (Cheryl), Dave (Karissa), and Mike; sister-in-law Sherry (Mike) Clifton, and brothers-in-law Scott (Angela) Hadsall, and Doug (Liz) Hadsall; and many nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his father Joseph Flerlage Jr and his In-laws, Burt and Barbara Hadsall.
Joe will lie in state Sunday, December 27th at Piper Funeral Home in St. Marys, KS, a rosary will be recited at 5:00 pm and he will then lie in state until 7:00 p.m. Mass will take place Monday, December 28th at 10:00 a.m. at Holy Family in Alma, KS with burial taking place at Mt. Calvary in St. Marys.
The funeral mass will be recorded and will be available at the funeral home website later on Monday. Social distancing and Masks are required.