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Joseph Robert Harmeyer(1923 - 2013)

Joseph Robert Harmeyer
January 23, 1923 - February 19, 2013
Resident of San Leandro
Joe was born January 23, 1923, in Chicago, Illinois, to Helen and Joseph E. Harmeyer. He was the youngest of three children. He died of complications of congestive heart failure on February 19, 2013 at home surrounded by his loving family. Joe is survived by his wife of 57 years Mary, his sons Robert (Sandy), Jerry (Susanne), his daughters Mary Ellen and Susan and his grandchildren Phillip and Lisa.
Joe attended St. Francis All Boys High School in Chicago. He enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and was injured in a gun-cleaning accident where he lost his toes on his right foot. While recovering at the Awhane Hotel in Yosemite, the doctors insisted that he wouldn't walk without a limp or perhaps even run. He was determined to prove them wrong by becoming a terrific dancer and sportsman. After much rehabilitation, he was then stationed for limited duty in Hawaii until he was honorably discharged in 1945.He earned a Purple Heart.
Singing in the men's chorus at Woodminster Amphitheater, he met and married the love of his life Mary C. Martin November 26, 1955, at St. Elizabeth Church in Oakland. They lived in Oakland, San Lorenzo, and made their final home in San Leandro where they raised their four children. Joe worked at Naval Air Station in Alameda and PGE before working for the Bureau of Electricity for 21 years. In his retirement, he never really retired and worked as a volunteer for many organizations. He was particularly proud of his award for 15 years of volunteer service to Kaiser Hospital.
People were often surprised to learn of Joe's foot when they realized he spent a lifetime playing and enjoying sports. He coached CYO baseball teams, was the first tennis coach for his children, beat any competitor at racquetball, and loved watching A's and 49er games.
His funeral Mass is Monday, February 25, 2013, at 10:30 A.M. at St. Felicitas Church in San Leandro.


Published in Inside Bay Area on Feb. 24, 2013
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