Joseph Patrick Ashenbrener passed away Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021 in Portland Ore., just five days short of his 99th birthday.
Joseph was born Feb. 25, 1922 in Joliet, Ill. He was the second of five children born to Anton and Mary (Krotfil) Ashenbrener, originally from Croatia.
Joseph graduated from Bowen High School in Chicago in 1942, where he met Cecilia Strobot, who was to become his second wife. Because of the uncertainly of the war, they opted not to wed. He was drafted into World War II and was gravely injured during maneuvers in Tullahoma, Tenn., while training to be a paratrooper. He later said, he completed 10 jumps, eight successfully. Ankle and back injuries proved to be a blessing, preventing him from being deployed with his company to France on D-Day. He later learned that more than half of his company did not survive the mission.
After being discharged from the service, he moved to Nashville to recuperate. There, he met his first wife Marcelle Vreeland while taking a night class. Marcelle was a young widow, raising a daughter, Pattye. Joseph and Marge wed in Nashville Oct. 12, 1949.
Joseph worked for over 30 years as a safety manager for Time Trucking from where he retired in 1981. He later worked as a guard manager at Security Alarms & Service Inc. Marcelle passed in 1992. In 1993, Joseph reunited with Cecilia Strobot, both widowed, they wed in Portland, Ore., in September 1994.
They enjoyed traveling extensively, volunteering, and spending time with family and friends in Nashville, Chicago and Portland.
After Cecilia died in May 2015, Joseph remained active. He golfed regularly until he was 97 and traveled to Italy when he was 94. He attended college and high school sporting events and enjoyed regular BBQs and dining out with family and friends.
His four siblings predeceased him. He is survived by his stepdaughter, Pattye and Charles Brooks; two grandchildren, Larry (Penny) Brooks and Karen (Carl) Storey; six great-grandchildren; and nine great -great-grandchildren all living in the Nashville area. Other survivors include his nieces, Dorothy Ray, of Homer Glen, Ill., and Sharon Christianson and Michelle Noe, both of Las Vegas.
In Portland, his survivors include Monica (Sopke) and Joe Cory and their extended family; and Rosemary White, a dear friend to him in his final years.
A funeral Mass was held at St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church.
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