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Joseph Smrekar

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Joseph Smrekar Obituary
Smrekar, Joseph "Joe"

Joseph "Joe" Peter Smrekar, 52, passed away peacefully, with his family at his side, Saturday, April 19, 2014, after battling colon cancer since 2009. Joe was born on August 22, 1961 in Green Bay to the late John and Dorothy (Hamm) Smrekar and remained a lifelong resident of Green Bay. He graduated from Green Bay East High School in 1979 before attending UWGB. While at UWGB he put together the show, "Rock N Roll Chronology" with his two lifelong best friends, Dan Spangler and Jeff Schmidbauer. The show was on WGBW, the campus radio station, and played in order, every number one pop hit from 1955 thru 1985. This was considered an ambitious project as is was pre-internet. Joe graduated from UWGB with a degree in Communication and Media Arts in 1985.

He was hired as an intern at WBAY while he was still in college and became a permanent hire as a photographer in 1986. Joe loved the live shots and many great memories were made with reporters as they covered the state on breaking stories. Throughout his career he kept up with technology and was the stations first satellite truck operator. Joe was part of WBAY's Packer "on field" coverage for many years and was proud that he had filmed "away" games at all the NFL stadiums except five, including Super Bowl XXXII in San Diego.

Outside of work, Joe loved media of every kind. He owned a collection of over 500 DVD's including, "Silverado" which he insisted was the best western ever made. Classic rock and roll was his favorite and his detailed knowledge of the Beatles was unmatched. In addition to the Beatles and the TV show M.A.S.H., Joe had an extensive knowledge of anything that happened in Northeast Wisconsin from covering this area for so long.

He was intrigued by history and enjoyed photographing historical sites and buildings. Joe spent time tracing his family history, collecting birth certificates, marriage records and military enlistments. Last summer Joe was able to visit his father's church in Calumet, Michigan where his father's name has been on a memorial wall for residents who served in WWII. Joe had the trip of his lifetime with his family in 2011. He and his brother, sister and her husband and niece traveled to Europe. He always said it was the best three week trip crammed into two weeks he had ever taken. One memorable stop was Slovenia, the country their grandfather immigrated from in 1910.

More then anything, Joe loved his WBAY family. He always made himself available for any story and had an unmatched commitment and passion to his job. Joe was an inspiration to his colleagues, never missing a day of work in over 25 years.

He is survived by his brother, Jack Smrekar, Green Bay; his sister and brother-in-law, Liz and John Krummell and niece, Lindsey Krummell, all of Long Beach, CA.

Friends may call at the Proko-Wall Funeral Home, 1630 E. Mason St., from 5:00 - 8:00 pm Friday. Continued sharing and a celebration of Joe's life will continue on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Green Bay Distillery, 835 Potts Ave.

Entombment will be in the Allouez Chapel Mausoleum. On-line condolences may be sent to Joe's family at

Joe's family would like to thank Dr. Warren and the staff at Green Bay Oncology and the nurses and staff at Unity Hospice for their personal care and concern throughout Joe's illness.

Published in Green Bay Press-Gazette from Apr. 21 to Apr. 25, 2014
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