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Obituary for Joseph R. DeGrave

November 5, 1931 – August 23, 2023

Joseph R. DeGrave, 91, passed away on Aug. 23, 2023, at Ascension All Saints. He was born on Nov. 5, 1931, in Racine, the beloved son of the late Wilbur and Laura (née George) DeGrave.

Joseph R. DeGrave
Joseph R. DeGrave

Joe attended Jefferson Elementary, McKinley Junior High and Washington Park High School, “Class of 1950.” On June 20, 1953, he was united in marriage to Joan B. Free. He was employed by Wisconsin Electric for 38 years, retiring as a maintenance machinist from the Oak Creek Power Plant in 1992. He was an avid hunter and enjoyed grouse, goose and deer hunting with his brothers John and Raymond. He was a longtime member of Racine-Belle City Lodge No. 18, F&AM and the Valley of Milwaukee Scottish Rite Freemasonry.

Joe will be dearly missed by his son and daughter-in-law, Gavin and Mara DeGrave; cherished grandson, Riley; nieces, nephews and other relatives; cherished loved ones, Dr. Susan and Joe Jester and daughters Katie and Melissa; the pre-COVID Hardee’s morning coffee clutch, Dominic Versace, Dave Hetchler, John Madsen and other dear friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 60 years, Joan; brothers, Bill, John and Raymond DeGrave; in-laws, Ruth DeGrave and Mary DeGrave.


A celebration of Joseph’s life will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Tichigan Volunteer Fire Company Station 1, located at 8205 Big Bend Road in Waterford.

Obituary and photo of Joseph R. DeGrave courtesy of Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home.

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