Joseph J. Pelisek
July 4, 1923 – January 7, 2019
Joseph J Pelisek, age 95, of Lincoln, NE passed away Monday, January 7th, 2019. He was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on July 4th, 1923 to Joseph and Fannie Pelisek. Joe graduated from Cedar Rapids High School before enlisting in the US Navy in 1943. After being honorably discharged in 1946, he attended Cornell College in Iowa and received his masters in education/coaching at New Mexico State University.
While attending college at Cornell, he was part of the wrestling Dream Team of 1947, in which a book was written about a small Iowa college and how they recorded one of the greatest seasons in collegiate history and for that, Joe was awarded a National Championship ring.
While working as a college professor and football coach, he met and married his first wife, Alice. They had two daughters, Cathy and Wendy. Later, while working at Peru State College, he met and married his second wife, Anita (French) Gaines and gained 4 step-children, Deb, Julie, Greg, and Kelly.
He enjoyed Husker Football, classic cars, and spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. "As a very outgoing person, once you met him, you had a new friend for life."
Preceding him in death are his parents, Joseph and Fannie; brothers George and Fred; sisters Lillian and Blanche; first wife Alice; daughter Wendy Engles; step-son Greg Gaines and his wife Joan; and step-son-in-law Dave Rombach.
He is survived by his second wife of 46 years, Anita Gaines; daughter Cathy Milstead and her husband Bob, step-daughters Deb Rombach, Julie Kovar and her husband Mark, and Kelly Oakes and her husband Kevin; son-in-law Bob Engles; several grandchildren and great-grandchildren and numerous other family members and friends.
A celebration of life will be held at Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home at 12:30 pm on Monday, January 14th, 2019. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations have been suggested to Nicodemus (Nico) Comfort Dog in Seward NE (http://www.therockseward.org/nicodemus/), St. Gregory the Great Catholic Seminary in Seward NE, Capital Humane Society in Lincoln NE.
- Celebration of Life Monday, January 14, 2019
Joseph J. Pelisek
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January 15, 2019
Thanks Coach for taking a chance on me. I loved playing for you. To the family my prayers and condolences. Randy and Cheryl Den
January 13, 2019
My condolences to the Pelisek family. Joe was a good friend, fellow instructor, and coach with my father, Tom Fitzgerald. Many a moment spent round Joe during my formative years at games and in locker rooms. He always had a laugh and something funny to say. I know he was a huge influence to those around him in his days at PSC, and he will be missed.
Bill & Anne Fitzgerald