Joseph W. Ferris II, 78
Joseph W. Ferris II was born to Fallo"Fud" and Rose (Farach) Ferris on August 26, 1942 in Valentine. Known to all as "Joie", he was the youngest of five children. He attended school in Valentine and later, college in Chadron.
He joined the US Navy in 1962 and trained at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, CA. He served 27 months aboard the USS St. Paul stationed in Japan, and sailed to the Philippines, Australia, and Hong Kong. His time in the Navy was the beginning of his lifelong love of travel. As a watch captain in the ship's galley, he began his long and illustrious career in cooking.
After Joie left the Navy, he truly became a jack-of-all-trades with jobs ranging from tow truck driver, bodyguard for an oil tycoon, car salesman, barman and more. However, his passion seemed to lie in cooking good food. Through the years, Joie owned or operated thirty-six hotels, bars, restaurants, and one ski resort, in fourteen different states. He seemed to love the challenge of taking a business and turning it into his vision of success.
His adventures were so vast and so varied, it would take a book to recount them all. Luckily, he wrote a collection of his stories in 2019 titled, "Life of the Ferris Wheel." Just a few of the amazing events in Joie's life were: obtaining a commercial pilot's license and flying for hire, cooking for three American presidents, and food and bar manager at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago.
Joie loved people, often feeding and entertaining them with stories, card tricks, and magic. He never met a stranger, had advice to share for any situation, and it was said he could sell ice to an Eskimo. He was a proud American and veteran, and he was thrilled when his sons, Joie and Tony, along with grandson Shawn, entered military service. Joie truly lived life on his own terms and to the fullest extent possible.
Family was also paramount in Joie's life. He was blessed with seven children, thirteen grandchildren, and a multitude of nieces, nephews and cousins who all loved Uncle Joie's stories and tricks. He married the love of his life, Lois, in 1987, and together they traveled, worked, lived, and loved for the rest of his days. Even as his health deteriorated, anyone stopping by was treated to card tricks and magic, jokes and stories.
Joie departed this life on September 4, 2020. Despite being a lifelong Catholic, he requested no services be held. He was cremated and inurned at Mount Hope Cemetery in Valentine near his Ferris family.
He is mourned by his wife, Lois of Valentine, children Nicole (Gabe) Aviles, Nicholas, Gabriel and Erik of Virginia, Christie Wickett and Kennedie of Valentine, Tony (Kelli) Ferris, and Emily of Wyoming and Shawn of Florida, Joie (Melissa) Ferris, Cory, Jace, and Keatley of Washington, Michelle Green, Bella and Shawn of Virginia, Kathy (Monte) Linabery and Kassidy of Valentine, and Cody (Nikki) Ferwerda and Rylee of Iowa, and a huge extended family of nieces, nephews, and cousins, and friends from across the country and around the world.
He was preceded in death by his parents and all four siblings: Wakyn, Carl, Fuddy, and Rosemary.
Holmes Funeral Home of Valentine was entrusted with the arrangements.