Joseph D. Wych was born May 11, 1921, on a farm in Grand Meadow Township, rural Washta, the son of George H. and Nettie M. (Pippett) Wych. He attended school at Grand Meadow where he played basketball and baseball. He graduated from Grand Meadow High School in 1938.
After graduation, he helped on the family farm and worked for neighbors when help was needed. He also played basketball and baseball with the Washta Town Teams. Later, he lived with and worked for the Glen Townsend family for two years.
Joe was drafted into the United States military Oct. 22, 1942. He was assigned to the Army Air Force after reporting to Camp Dodge. He then went to Sheppard Field, Texas, to begin aircraft engine mechanic school. Later, he went to Chanute Field in Illinois for electrical mechanic school.
He was assigned to the P-47 Fighter group in Westover Field, Mass. He and his squadron were then sent to Mitchell Field in Long Island, N.Y., where the pilots and crews trained.
On Dec. 29, 1943, he was among 8,000 troops who left Boston Harbor on the SS Argentina headed to the British Isles for the start of the buildup for the D-day Invasion. Joe received the rank of Staff Sergeant, serving in England, France, Belgium, and Germany.
For his service to his country, he was awarded six Bronze Service Stars, the Presidential Unit Citation Ribbon, WWII Victory Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and Rifle Sharpshooter Badge. On Oct. 10, 1945, he and his crew left Marseille, France, to head back to the United States. On Oct. 19, 1945, they arrived in Norfolk, Va. He was honorably discharged at Camp McCoy, Wis.
Following the service, he returned to Washta and started farming with his parents until renting a nearby farm in 1947. It was during this time he met his future wife, Marg Daniel.
He was united in marriage to Marg on June 10, 1947, at the Kingsley United Methodist Church. Marg and Joe moved to a farm near Cherokee, for a brief time before moving to their current homestead south of Akron in January 1949. Marg died Sept. 3, 2011.
Joe was a member of the Wesley United Methodist Church in Akron, the Hoschler American Legion Post 186 of Akron, and Plymouth County Farm Bureau. He was on the board of directors of the Akron Farmers Co-op for 12 years.
He and Marg enjoyed several trips overseas to see relatives in England and Europe and other trips to Mexico and around the United States.
He and Marg enjoyed going to Akron High School sporting events for many years. They had been fans of Akron-Westfield sports for more than 60 years. Joe and Marg received the "Fan of the Year" award two times. They also served as Parade Marshalls for the Homecoming celebration.
Joe enjoyed bowling. He bowled in three leagues and was inducted into the Akron Lanes Hall of Fame.
He was an avid fan of the New York Yankees, Boston Celtics, Indianapolis Colts, and the Iowa Hawkeyes.
Joe loved the times spent with family and friends. He will be greatly missed
Survivors include his three sons, Bob Wych (Debbie), of Sedona, Ariz., Jerry Wych, of Fullerton, Calif., and Ron Wych (Sandy), of Akron; six grandchildren, Heidi Cline (Nate), Aaron Wych (Abbi), Charity Leekley, Tori Dye (fiancÚ Jason Pangburn), Joe Wych, and Jake Wych; a great-granddaughter, Hope Hasenbank; a sister-in-law, Patricia White; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Marg; and two brothers, Paul and Kenneth.
Funeral services will be 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Wesley United Methodist Church in Akron. The Rev. Barbara Joy will officiate. Burial with military rites conducted by the Hoschler American Legion Post 186 and the United States Army Reserves will be in Riverside Cemetery in Akron. Visitation will be after 3 p.m. Tuesday, with the family present after 5 p.m., and a prayer service at 7 p.m., all at Carlsen Funeral Home - Schroeder Chapel in Akron.
Memorials can be made in Joe's name to the Akron Care Center Building Fund in c/o the Akron Care Center, 121 South St., Akron, Iowa 51001.
Expressions of sympathy can be extended to the family through www.carlsenfuneralhome.com.