Surprise Funeral Care

16063 W. Bell Rd, Surprise, AZ


William Joseph GREENE

June 12, 1946July 24, 2020

William Joseph “Joe” Greene, passed away on July 24, 2020 in Surprise, Arizona. He was born on June 12, 1946 in Galesburg, Illinois to John Kenneth and Rosina (McKeering) Greene. He attended St. Joseph Academy, Galesburg Senior High School and Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg. He joined the Navy on September 20, 1965. Served at NSA Da Nag, Vietnam 1966 to 1967, earning the National Defense Service Medal,Vietnam service metal, Vietnam campaign metal and the Navy Unit Commendation Medal before being honorably discharged on June 17, 1970. He married his best friend and soulmate, Magdalene “Magda” Nemeth, on May 24, 1969 in Galesburg. He is survived by his wife Magda; daughter, Bernadette (Alex) Placentia; Granddaughter, Mei-Ling Santistevan; Grandson, Hector Godoy (USMC); Brother, James Greene; Sister-in-law, Klara Kulcsar; brother-in-law, Steven Nemeth; numerous nieces, nephews and his precious Shih Tzus, Oreo and Marley. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, John Greene. Joe was Employed by Burlington Northern Railroad in Galesburg, Illinois; Casper, Wyoming; Alliance, Nebraska and Raytheon Missile Systems, Tucson, Arizona. A lifelong shooter and re-loader, member of American Legion Posts in Utah and Arizona. He was a past President of American Legion Riders in Utah, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and the patriot Guard Riders (PGR). Joe and Magda Loved Traveling in their RV, Volunteering in state and national parks, Oregon state light houses, kayaking, and helping veterans. In Lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Gary Sinise Foundation, Wounded Warriors Project, ASPCA or charity of donor’s choice.


  • Visitation

    Friday, July 31, 2020

  • Committal Service

    Thursday, August 6, 2020


William Joseph GREENE

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Hare

August 8, 2020

I grew up, just down the street from Joe. We went to school together, we hung out we were kids together. I knew Magda when they were dating.
I,as a lot of us do, grow up, move away and loose contact. We never forget those childhood memories.
I was saddened to hear of Joe's passing. I hope for the best for Magda and their family.
With respect and friendship to Joe and family,
Bill Hare

Ed Garren

August 3, 2020

What do we become, our sweetest friends, everyone we know goes away in the end.
Joe (and Magda) are two of the most loving, generous, joy filled people I have ever met. I know they held each other in their hearts, in the most precious of ways.
How can anyone articulate the overwhelming sense of loss when someone that wonderful moves on to the next life?
I try to remember that it is their spirit that we love, and that spirit is eternal. Like all of creation, they never really leave us. We carry them in our hearts, they carry us in theirs. Joe will always be with Magda, and at some point when the pain softens, you will feel his loving embrace in your heart.
In the meanwhile, cry the tears you've earned, so yo can rejoice with the rest of life, the others who love you, family, grandchildren, friends. We all will miss him too.
Warmest of hugs, Ed Garren

Kay Foley Barancik

August 2, 2020

I went to school with Joe and Magda for 12 years in Galesburg. Everyone who went to school with Joe remembers him--he was bigger than life. I may not have kept in touch but I remember and treasure both of you. A special hug for Magda from me in Los Angeles.

William Aramanda

July 30, 2020

I did not know Joe well but we rode together a few times. On one ride we stopped for lunch a Whataburger restaurant. We were wearing our American Legion Rider Vests. Some good Samaritan came over to our table, thanked us for our service and bought us lunch. Good Times. Rest in Peace Joe.


Fern Parish

July 30, 2020

Joe is a treasured friend, memory, never to be forgotten. Very happy we had the pleasure full times spent with Joe, Magda and Bernadette.. You all hold a special place in my heart, thank you for Those Great moments, love you, Fern

Michelle Sauer

July 30, 2020

So many memories Joe! Had a lot of good times on the bikes and at the Legion doing the Green Knights. That seemed so long ago. We missed you when you and Magda moved but I'm glad you enjoyed your time in Arizona. May God Bless you and may The Good Lord give your wonderful wife comfort. Love and Prayers for your family ♥️

Shellt Mundt

July 28, 2020

I don't have a true memory of Joe personally as it was many years ago I attended school with his daughter, Bernadette. We reconnected in recent years. I'm sharing this because she is dear to my heart and I know her dad was dear to hers. May he rest in peace now and may his family and friends also find peace and comfort in their memories of him.

John White

July 27, 2020

Just a note to say goodbye to my best childhood friend. Even though our adult lives went in opposite directions. I always thought of you as my oldest friend. I remember going to the rifle range with you and your folks. And watched you compete with the other guys. I still do that now. And think of you often when I’m out there. I’m going to miss you Joe. You were always a great guy.
John White


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