Richard Joseph

Richard Joseph

Thursday, June 10th, 1926 - Tuesday, March 24th, 2020
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Richard H. “Papa Joe” Joseph, 93, of Benton Harbor, passed away at his home on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

A memorial graveside service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Caring Circle or American Legion Post 105. Those wishing to leave an online condolence may do so at

Richard was born on June 10, 1926, to Edward & Hortense (Vinez) Joseph, in Cuyahoga, OH. He joined the U.S. Navy on October 19, 1943 and proudly served his country as an Aviation Machinist for three years before being honorably discharged in June of 1946. After the service, Richard went to work for Railway Express as a Railway Machinist for over 16 years and was transferred to Benton Harbor in 1948. When Railway Express went out of business, he then worked as a Lieutenant for Benton Township Fire Department for more than 20 years before his retirement in 1980. Richard then moved to Florida where he and his best friend Dave Brady formed a close bond and had a business building carports and screen rooms. Due to declining health, Richard moved back home to Benton Harbor in 2012. On his 90th birthday, he earned his high school diploma from Benton Harbor High School and walked with the class of 2017. Richard was a proud member of American legion post 105.

Richard leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 44 years, Barbara Joseph of Benton Harbor; children, Edwin Joseph of Benton Harbor, Linda (Steve) Knuth of Benton Harbor, June Heyn of Grand Rapids; Beverly Kotyuk of Grand Rapids, Rebecca Reeves of Watervliet, Elizabeth (Edward) Joseph-Mohr of California, Thomas (Kelly) Joseph of Benton Harbor and Jeffrey (Bonnie) Joseph of Coloma; 16 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Papa Joe had many close friends, especially Dave and Debby Brady, Siegfried and Linda Frietag, David & Linda Arndt. His wonderful and caring sister and brother-in-law Robert & Deborah Appelget, two loving nephews Joe and Dan Appelget and many more nieces and nephews.
Richard was preceded in death by his parents, Edward & Hortense Joseph and two brothers.

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Service Details

A memorial graveside service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Caring Circle or American Legion Post 105.


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Private Condolence

Dan Fortenbacher

Posted at 02:13pm
Barb, We are so sorry about Joe's passing. We know he is now at peace! Our thoughts and prayers are with you! '
With sincere condolences, Dan and Sue Fortenbacher

Larry Snodgrass

Posted at 04:44pm
Barb, so sorry to here about Joe. know that you are in are prayers. Larry and Deb Snodgrass

Joyce Champion

Posted at 02:56pm
So sorry for the Loss you all are going through. Keeping each and everyone of you in my prayers. Love you all , Joyce Champion

RoccoGraziano Graziano

Posted at 12:08pm
We always called him Joe Joseph back in 1956. He was close friends with my step dad Angelo Cozzolino. Any time we needed his expertise with mechanical or electrical work, he was always willing to help. When he found out I helped him with a project with Angelo at Subco Products in Benton Harbor, he made me a trailer for my golf cart. He also did electrical work for our home in Stevensville. Our prayers are for his family and Joe. May their memories of Joe bring them comfort during this sad time.

Donna J Lippert

Posted at 09:50am
We are sorry to hear of Richards passing. My sister's and myself went to school with some of the kids. May God provide your families with much comfort during this time. Donna Loewen Lippert and Diana Loewen and Marcia Loewen Erb.

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