Joseph (Joe) Arthur Brauner Jr., 84, passed away peacefully Saturday morning, May 13, 2023, at his home.

     Joe was born June 26, 1938, to Joseph and Doris (Mathews) Brauner in Black River Falls, WI. He graduated from Black River Falls High School in 1956. After graduation, he worked at Brauner’s Garage with his father. Joe was a very skilled mechanic and tow truck operator. He could fix anything and was known for his ability to use the tow truck (Big John) to get misguided drivers out of some sticky situations. When his father retired in 1982, Joe continued the family business until his retirement in 2005. The business was a central part of Joe’s life, and he was proud to pass it on to his son, Pat.

     Joe married Catherine Diehn in Black River Falls June 6, 1964. Joe and Cathy raised their family near the family business just outside of Black River Falls.

     Family was everything to Joe. He loved his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, instilling in them strong family ties. He supported the American Red Cross, donating over 30 gallons of blood during his lifetime. He was an active member of the Masonic Lodge and Royal Arch as well as the WFLA-ZCBJ local lodge (Bohemian Hall). Joe also served as the president of the Hatfield Chamber of Commerce for several years. He enjoyed spending time outdoors hunting, fishing and gardening.

     Joe is survived by his loving wife of 58 years, Cathy Brauner; children Pat (Judy) Brauner, Cindy (Jeff) Lass and Bill (Sarah) Brauner; grandchildren Paul (Amanda), Mathew (Katie), Stephanie (Isaac), Maggie, Max, Thor, Pearl and Florence; great-grandchildren Ethan, Charlie and Maelie; siblings Charles (Carrie) Brauner, James (Michelle) Brauner and Mary (Gene) Maurer; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

     He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Doris Brauner; in-laws Connie and Ethel Diehn; his infant son, Paul David Brauner; and his infant grandson, David Gerald Brauner.

     Joe will be missed dearly by those who knew him. He was a humble man, and his strong sense of family, helping others and humor will live on as his lasting legacy.

     Joe’s family would like to thank the St. Croix Hospice team for the compassionate care provided during his final days.

     In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the family in care of his wife, Cathy Brauner. A memorial will be given to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital and the Shriner’s Children’s Organization.

     Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, May 18, at the Buswell Funeral Home; a Masonic Memorial Service will also be conducted. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, May 19, at the Family Worship Church, 740 Alder St., Black River Falls. Friends and family are invited for visitation at the church from 9 a.m. until the time of service. Burial will immediately follow at the Komensky National Cemetery. Friends and family are invited to return to the church for a luncheon and time of fellowship to share memories of Joe.  

     The Buswell Funeral Home of Black River Falls is serving the family, 715-284-2231.

Banner Journal

409 East Main Street,
Black River Falls, WI 54615

715- 284-4304 (ph)

715-284-4634 (fax)

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