Joseph Risdon Deneen


Birth: October 8th, 1927
Death: January 2nd, 2019
Age: 91 years
Residence:Saginaw Twp., Michigan
Survived By: Joseph married the love of his life, Joanne Mae Clark, in August of 1955. After 61 years of marriage, Joanne preceded him in death in May of 2017. Joseph and Joanne traveled the world together and were always learning. Joseph was one of the foremost railroad historians in the area, helping guide as curator the Saginaw Valley Railroad Museum until he was no longer able to do so.

Deneen, Joseph Risdon – October 8, 1927 – January 2, 2019

 

Mr. Deneen, beloved Father, Grandfather, veteran, and lifelong educator passed away peacefully at his assisted living home on January 2, 2019.  Joseph was born to the late Leah and Joseph Kroc in Ypsilanti, Michigan on October 8, 1927.  He was their only child.  As a youth, his family relocated to Carrollton, Michigan, where he attended Union School. He attended Arthur Hill High School and Arthur Hill GM tech school, graduating in 1945.  Joseph served his country from 1946 to 1947 in Okinawa as a member of the Army Air Corps as a base technician and electrician.  After his military service Joseph earned a Master’s degree in education from Central Michigan University and began his lifelong career as an educator.  Among the schools he served were Buena Vista Public Schools and Saginaw Township Community Schools. He is remembered as a compassionate educator whose first priority was to make learning interesting. 

Joseph married the love of his life, Joanne Mae Clark, in August of 1955.  After 61 years of marriage, Joanne preceded him in death in May of 2017.  Joseph and Joanne traveled the world together and were always learning. Joseph was one of the foremost railroad historians in the area, helping guide as curator the Saginaw Valley Railroad Museum until he was no longer able to do so.  

Left to cherish Joseph’s memory are his children Susan (Robert) Michael, Timothy (Janet) Deneen and Kerry (Marc) Vitali and his grandchildren William Deneen, Benjamin Deneen (and his fiancé Bryley DeFriez), Mae Vitali, Leo Vitali and Francesca Vitali.

 Mr. Deneen’s family would like to thank the caring, professional and outstanding staff at Edgewood Assisted Living and the Care Team Hospice.

 In honor of Joseph’s wishes, his body has been donated to the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the University of Michigan Medical School. A Memorial Service will be scheduled at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Memory of Joseph Deneen to one of the following organizations:  Historical Society of Saginaw County, 500 Federal, Saginaw, MI 48607 or the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra, 201 N. Washington Ave., Saginaw, MI 48607.

 



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CONDOLENCE MESSAGES


“Sorry to hear of your father Joe passing. Our prayers and thoughts are with you. As a niece it is sad to be losing that generation. They were so caring and intelligent. They knew so much more of how life should be lived and enjoyed. ”


Diane McCartney



“Mr. Deneen was one my of my teacher's at Plainfield. He was always a nice guy to talk to as a teacher. Being one of his former students that made a name for himself while growing up. I also became a leader later in my life and I know he would be proud of me today. I want to thank him for educating this guy who had respect to show toward him.”


Dan Engelke





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