Joseph A. Vlazny

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Joseph Anthony Vlazny, 63, died suddenly on Feb. 5, 2021, on the family farm in rural Farmersburg. He was born Aug. 3, 1957, in Fairbank. He attended St. Patrick's Catholic School and graduated from MFL High School in 1975. He was raised Catholic and was an active member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, where, as a young boy, he served as an altar boy and played the organ.


Joe was united in marriage to Lori Nelson on July 22, 1989, at Norway Lutheran Church, St. Olaf. Five children were born to this union, Krista, Andrew, Kelsey, Mackenzie and Mackayla.


In his early years, Joe farmed with his dad, worked for Farm Service in Elkader and Murphy Farms in Luana, and was a farmhand for William Potter. Joe dedicated 26 years to Reilly Construction. Joe enjoyed the outdoors, hunting, fishing trips and spending time in the woods at National. The annual family camping trip was a clever ploy of Joe’s to ensure enough wood was cut for the winter. He enjoyed snowmobiling and was involved in the Clayton County Snowbirds. Joe put many miles on his snowmobile with his wife, kids and friends. Joe enjoyed the occasional ice fishing trip with family and friends. Joe was an avid deer hunter. Many deer camp stories have been told over the years.


He could be found most days out on the farm, raising his purebred Suffolk sheep. His passion for his sheep shined through with his five children, all actively involved in 4-H. An annual “vacation” for Joe’s family will continue, showing sheep at the Iowa State Fair. Joe was always working aimlessly behind the scenes helping perfect his kids’ sheep for upcoming fairs. On show day, you would find him clippers in hand and a towel hanging from his back pocket. During the show, he was always helping not only his own kids but others. He pushed his children to help other 4-Hers in and out of the show ring.


Joe was certainly a family man. He took great pride in his children and their successes. During gathering, you could hear his detailed stories being told. He always had a wealth of knowledge to share with others, whether they wanted to hear it or not. His grandchildren were his world. He was the grandpa that would get down on the floor and play farm animals or Barbies with you. At times, his kids even joked they thought Joe liked the grandkids better than his own children.


Joe is survived by his wife, Lori Vlazny of Farmersburg; his children, Krista (Eric) Begalske and their children Parker and Mason of West Union, Andrew Vlazny of Omaha, Neb., Kelsey Vlazny (Tony Koppes) and their children Takoda, Talia and Taylynn Koppes of Elkader, Mackenzie Vlazny of Iowa City (Brett De La Garza of Prairie du Chien, Wis.) and Mackayla Vlazny at home; sister, Mary Ann Turner and his great-nephew, Zac Hinman, of Dubuque.


Joe was preceded in death by his mother, Rose Vlazny, in 2019; his father, Leo Vlazny, in 1998; and his nephew, Jeremy Vlazny, in 1995.


Visitation was Feb. 11, at Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona, and funeral services were held on Feb. 12, at Norway Lutheran Church, St. Olaf, with Rev. Marshall Hahn as the officiant. Burial will be at Norway Lutheran Cemetery, rural St. Olaf.


Leonard-Grau Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Monona, is helping the family with the arrangements.

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