Muehlig Funeral Chapel

403 South Fourth Ave, Ann Arbor, MI


Joseph A. Placek

October 14, 1929March 16, 2020

Joseph Anthony Placek, age 90, died on March 16, 2020 due to leukemia.

Joe was born on October 14, 1929, the son of Thomas and Catherine (Pieczontka), who preceded him in death, along with siblings: Helen, Cecilia Bomberski, Leo, Lottie, Virginia and Anna.

He graduated from the University of Detroit (A.B.), Catholic University of America (M.L.S.), and Georgetown University (M.S.).

He was Associate Librarian Emeritus at the University of Michigan. He was a valued mentor and influenced a generation of university scholars.

Joe was a devout Roman Catholic. He was passionate about literature and the arts.

He will be remembered as a man of great intellect, generosity and kindness.

He was a loving uncle and is survived by a niece, nephews, grand nieces and nephews, and great-grand nieces and nephews. Joe also had many friends in the Ann Arbor and Detroit areas, and around the country.

Cremation has taken place. A private memorial mass will take place at a later date. His cremains will be interred in the memorial garden at St. Thomas the Apostle Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.


  • A private memorial mass will take place at a later date.


Joseph A. Placek

have a memory or condolence to add?

Carla Montori

March 19, 2020

I am so saddened to hear of Mr. Placek's death. We were colleagues at the University of Michigan's library, where he treated everyone with great kindness, and gentle good humor. I hold him and his family in my heart.

Andrew Kraftson

March 19, 2020

While I only interacted with Joseph at medical visits, it was an honor and pleasure to work with him. The visits were always delightful. This speaks to his personality: After the clinic moved, many individuals had trouble finding the new location. They would often complain vociferously about having to drive around for a few extra minutes. Joseph was not like them. He casually mentioned that he had to walk half-a-mile to find the clinic but never complained and just mentioned that the walk was pleasant! He was in his late 80s, at the time!

Karen Downing

March 19, 2020

I am so sad to learn of Joe's passing. He was a kind, thoughtful and generous friend and colleague. After Joe retired (we worked together at the U-M Library), we used to go to the U-M campus gym at the same times, and we would talk about our travels and about art. He always encouraged me in my professional and personal endeavors, and I will miss his gentle influence. My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.

Josephine Fang

March 18, 2020

I met Joe at Catholic University, when we both worked for publications of the Catholic Library Association. He was a wonderful colleague, always helpful, very knowledgeble and always a gentleman. My husband and I enjoyed many dinners together at our home.. Unfortunately, this stopped, when we moved to Boston, except for Christmas correspondence. But it was a privilege to have known a fine person of Joe's character. My deepest sympathy to Joe's family for their great loss. But may they celebrate Joseph's exemplary life.