Cover photo for Joseph (Joe) Benusa's Obituary
Joseph (Joe) Benusa Profile Photo

Joseph (Joe) Benusa

April 7, 1934 — August 28, 2020


Joseph (Joe) Benusa

On Friday, August 28, 2020, Joseph (Joe) Stanley Benusa passed away peacefully while in the care of hospice at Benedictine St. Anne in Winona, surrounded by his loving family.  He was 86 years old.

He was born on April 7, 1934, in Waumandee, Wisconsin, to Steve and Pelchie (Palkowski) Benusa.  He married the love of his life, Dolores Reuter, at St. Boniface Catholic Church in Waumandee.  Between the two of them, they raised five children.

Joe had a big heart, and he had a rich and varied life.  He loved to cook, make sausage, stained glass art, hunting and fishing with his son, Gerry, square dancing with his wife and loving partner, Dolores, and he loved winning in cribbage, which he took very seriously.  Volunteerism was a large part of Joe’s life, often finding him working at a local food shelf.

Joe honorably served his country in the United States Navy from August 1951 to March 1955 aboard the USS Quincy CA-71, and the USS O’Brien DD-725.

Joe and Dolores farmed in Waumandee from 1955-1969, they then moved to Madison, WI, where Joe worked in large building construction to support his family.  In 1978, they moved to Minneapolis, where Joe worked as a restaurant manager for JC Penney.  Joe transferred to Atlanta, GA, in 1988, to take a position as a custom decoration installer for JC Penney.  Retirement brough Joe and Dolores to Hot Springs Village, AR, but after a while, their Midwest roots called them back, and they settled in Chetek, WI, with their final residence being in Winona.

He was a member of the Basilica of St. Stanislaus Kostka, the VFW, and the American Legion.

Joe is survived by his loving wife, Dolores (Reuter); children: Joseph (Margaret), Cynthia (Leon) Bork, Thomas, and Gerald (Ilana); six grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; as well as other relatives and friends.  He was preceded in death by his son, David; parents; half-brother: Stanley Milek; half-sisters: Molly McRae and Marcella Dlapa; and two great-grandchildren.

Due to the current pandemic we are facing, a celebration of Joe’s life will be held in a private ceremony for the immediate family only.

Joe’s family would like to thank Benedictine St. Anne and Winona Hospice for the loving, compassionate, and dedicated care they provided during Joe’s last days.  They are truly angels on Earth.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made the American Legion to help disabled veterans, or to Operation Comfort Warriors.

Online condolences or memories may be left for Joe’s family at

Watkowski-Mulyck Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph (Joe) Benusa, please visit our flower store.


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