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On Friday, the 27th of October 2023, Joseph Edward Irlander was welcomed into God’s loving embrace at the age of 90. He lived in Wentzville, Missouri with his wife Mary Ann “Dolly” nee Hoffman from 1998 to February of 2022 when a stroke required placement in a nursing home. While this was a big adjustment for him and his family, his stay at Gardenview Nursing Home in O’Fallon, Missouri was decent and respectable. Everyone that crossed his path liked him, and he really enjoyed the attention he received there.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents Joseph Irlander and Rosalia Helena nee Bohler, his first wife Margaret Ann nee Stienkemeyer, his third daughter Linda Marie (James) Smothers nee Irlander, his older sister Dolores Helen (Herman) Roth nee Irlander and his Aunt Gertrude (August) Hess nee Irlander.
To celebrate his legacy, he leaves behind four children. Deborah Ann (Gary) Wiersbicki of Hazelwood, Missouri. Karen Lynn (Steve) Radel (Mark) Osborne of Warrenton, Missouri. James Edward (Shelly) Irlander of St. Charles, Missouri. Michael Joseph (Tina) Irlander of Middleton, Missouri.
Joseph also leaves behind six grandchildren: Kelly Marie Holt nee Smothers, Eric Michael Radel, Brian Joseph Radel, Joseph Anthony Wiersbicki, Matthew James Wiersbicki, and John Michael Wiersbicki and three great grandchildren: Jimmy Ray Holt, Kaitlyn Marie Holt, and Michael Steven Radel. In addition, Joseph leaves behind three stepchildren, eleven more grandchildren, nineteen more great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.
Joseph was born at home in Spanish Lake, Ferdinand Twp., St. Louis County, Missouri on the 11th of September, 1933. His ancestral line goes back to his grandfather, Frank Irlander, who immigrated from Westereiden, Hoinkhausen, Germany to make a better life for himself and his future family. The Irlander family dates to the 1650’s there in Germany. The Irlanders were farmers with land in the old country and in America as well.
Joseph and his sister, Delores spent much of their youth living with and on their Uncle Gus and Aunt Gertrude Hess’s farm on Riverview Dr., (near to their father’s home), after their mother fell ill shortly after Joseph’s birth when his father needed help. The Irlander and Hess families had a strong Catholic faith. Joseph was baptized, celebrated First Holy Communion and Confirmation at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, near his home in Spanish Lake, where he attended 1st through 8th grade. Growing up, he enjoyed playing baseball and playing on the farm with his sister.
When he was fourteen years old the Hess family moved to 10809 Harper Lane near Spanish Lake, where Joseph stayed until he was about twenty-five years old. He took a bus to De Andreis High School in the City of St. Louis and graduated in 1951. After graduation, he worked as an apprentice learning to become a machinist and he helped farm the fields with his father and uncles on Riverview Dr. and Columbia Bottoms Rd., when time permitted.
On 18 January 1954, Joseph was drafted into military service. He served in the United States Army during the Korean War as part of Company C, 81st Medium Tank Battalion. He received the National Defense Service Medal and was honorably discharged on the 30th of November 1955.
On 25th of October 1958 Joseph married Margaret Ann Stienkemeyer, the daughter of Charles Henry and Rachel Izora “Dolores” (nee Perry) Stienkemeyer. The couple were married at St. Pius X Catholic Church near his home at that time. After their marriage they lived for a short time in his grandfather’s (Frank Irlander) log home on Prigge Rd. in Spanish Lake until their own home was built in 1959-1960 located at 1427 Widefields Lane, in Spanish Lake.
From 1959-1969, Joseph and Margaret had five children, all baptized at Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church near their home. Around 1975-1976 there were two events that created exciting times for Joseph and his family. He bought a new home in Florissant, St. Louis Co. and a one-hundred-and-twenty-acre farm in Callaway Co. that was near Montgomery City in Missouri. Joseph’s dream was to eventually move the family to this farm he was so proud of buying. After all, farming was so in his blood.
Tragedy struck a short time later when his wife, Margaret was diagnosed with cancer and the dream faded when Margaret died on the 4th of February 1980. All of his family and friends were devastated by the news, but slowly moved forward.
On the 15th of May 1981 Joseph was married, for the second time, to Dolly, a wonderful lady that helped the family heal and become whole again. She accepted all his children and really became close to and helped the youngest two the most. She also had three children of her own; Ron, Wendy, and Dee to oversee.
In 1998, when after all Joseph’s children left the nest, they decided to move to Wentzville. They bought a beautiful home and were very happy with their decision. Joseph worked as a machinist for Shell Oil Co. for many years, retiring when the computer age hit. Retirement was short-lived as he took up another job, working for Hertz Rental Car Co. He enjoyed driving to different areas of Missouri, picking up cars for the company. He would drive one way with a buddy and then drive back in another car. Eventually, he settled into a true retirement and a great chapter of life with Dolly: their health was good, they enjoyed traveling, and they loved going to the casino in St. Charles together.
Lastly and most importantly Joseph loved and enjoyed his blended family, especially the fact that he was able to watch the family grow and expand for so many years. His final wish was to live to ninety years old and he succeeded.
Memorial contributions may be made in Joseph’s honor to St. Jude’s Hospital