Josef F. Rothbauer, 76, of Oshkosh, went to meet his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ while surrounded by his family on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012. With the loving devotion and constant care from his wife he was able to live his final days at home as was his desire.
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Joe was born in Bavaria Germany on July 15, 1935 to Josef and Lena (Weber) Rothbauer. He was one of five children. In 1953, at the age of 17 he immigrated to the United States and lived with his Tante Katie and Uncle Aloise Tschech in Oshkosh.
Joe married Betty Fassbender on December 29, 1956 at St. Kilian Catholic Church in Hartford, WI. Together they had five children: Joe (Becky); David (Sarah); Mary Kay (Mike) Van Laarhoven; Sharon (Jeffrey) Boyce; and Amy Rothbauer. There are numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Joe was a man of few words but he taught and nurtured his children through the integrity with which he lived his life.
Joe was always driven to work hard by his desire to provide for the family he loved. He had a natural entrepreneurial spirit and he created various business ventures. After serving his apprenticeship for bricklayer, Joe worked for a number of contractors in the 1950's and 1960's. In 1963, he formed Oshkosh Construction Company, Inc. doing masonry and concrete work and mud jack service. In 1970, along with his wife Betty he opened Main Equipment Rental in Oshkosh. With his wife and sons he worked both businesses until 1995.
Over the years Joe and his wife purchased a number of rental properties. After the sale of the rental store he managed and maintained their real estate investments as well as purchased, renovated and sold multiple homes in the Oshkosh area.
Joe served on the Board of Directors for Second Harvest Food Bank (now Feeding America) in Omro; led a Bible study at the Oshkosh Correctional Institute for more than 23 years; hosted "Testimony Time," a 30-minute TV program on the local access channel, for 22 years; served as an officer for Full Gospel Business Men's Fellowship; and for many years led a weekly Bible study where many men's lives were changed.
He was a man of steadfast faith who simply believed God's Word which he studied diligently and passionately.
There will be no funeral service. A private graveside gathering officiated by Dr. David Bruenning will be held for the immediate family at the time of burial. In lieu of flowers, any donations received will be given in Joe's memory to International Children's Fund.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to the Aurora staff whose kind and dignified care offered much comfort along this journey.
Published in Oshkosh Northwestern on May 29, 2012