July 17, 1954 - April 26, 2013 DOWAGIAC - Joseph DeFauw, 58, Dowagiac, MI, passed away on April 26, 2013, after a yearlong battle with cancer. Radical in spirit, Joe disliked rules almost on principle, and he left this life the same way he lived it: on his own terms. His loving family surrounded him with his favorite music in the background. Joe was a quiet man with simple wants - a hard day's work followed by a good steak and a cold beer. He had many talents, and with an entrepreneurial spirit he was a builder, designer, and painter. He could complete any task to perfection. He was fearless by nature and lived life with a daredevil attitude. Some of his fondest memories were days spent on his boat in St. Joseph, MI. The last several years brought many health challenges for Joe, but he still found peace and contentment studying the history and architecture of Dowagiac as well as working on his computer skills (smile). Joe was born on July 17, 1954, to Joseph August DeFauw and Caroline (Ackerman) DeFauw, and will always remain the apple of their eye. His son and daughter survive him, Joseph DeFauw (Liz Giannuzzi) of Edwardsburg, MI, and Kelly (Victor) Barraza of Littleton, CO. He also has a sister, Pamela Austin (Monte Hershberger); two brothers, David (Julie) DeFauw and Dan (Melissa) DeFauw; as well as one niece and five nephews. He found great delight in his four grandchildren, Julianna DeFauw, Kierra, Madison and Kaid Barraza. He leaves behind many lifelong friends and continued to make new ones wherever he went. A special thank you to the nurses of Hospice at Home, Niles, MI, who offered Joe the utmost kindness and respect even when he was his most difficult. Joe has requested that his ashes be scattered in St. Joseph, MI, where he spent many of his happiest days. This will be a private service for immediate family, with a celebration of his life to be held at a later date. He will be remembered for his mischievous grin and playful wit. In the end, he felt he had a "spectacular life," only regretting that it ended so soon. He was a one of a kind son, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend, and will be forever missed. Elkhart Cremation Services is entrusted with arrangements.
Published in South Bend Tribune on Apr. 30, 2013