Joseph Frank Conrad, 86, died peacefully in his sleep on Friday, April 3, 2020, after an 18-month battle with lymphoma.  

Born in Grand Rapids, Mich., on Aug. 11, 1933, to Joseph W. and Ethel Conrad, he learned to work, fish and hunt from his father. 

He served in the Navy from 1952-56 and was stationed on the East Coast. He married his wife, Joanne Wiktorowski, in 1952 and they had six sons. They moved to Cottage Grove in 1960 and raised Ron (Renee) of Alpine, Calif.; Greg (Judy) of Lodi, Calif.; David (Cindy) of Cottage Grove; Jim (Sarah) of Lodi Calif.; Mark of Cottage Grove and Chris.  

Joe was a devoted family man. He worked for Underwriters Fire Sprinklers, and Harvey and Price for 31 years. In his spare time, he loved to take his boys, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren fishing, hunting and camping. “Bluegill Joe,” as he was known, had 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. 

He enjoyed visiting with his hunting and fishing buddies and telling stories, and he often would end the visit by saying, “next time, I’ll let you talk.” He was a friend to many and loved by all, he will be dearly missed. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Tom; and son, Chris, in 2007. A celebration of life will be held in August during fishing season. Arrangements in the care of Smith-Lund-Mills Funeral Chapel, Cottage Grove.