Joseph LeRoy "Popsi" McKerlie
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May 2, 1925 - March 7, 2019
Joseph LeRoy “Popsi” McKerlie, 93, of Wenatchee, WA and a lifelong Wenatchee Valley resident, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Thursday, March 7, 2019 at his home in Wenatchee where he wanted to be.
He was born on May 2, 1925 in Leavenworth, WA to the late Emslie and Elizabeth (Garrippi) McKerlie. He was raised in the Leavenworth and Cashmere areas. He attended Cashmere High School prior to entering the U.S. Navy in 1944. He served aboard ship during W.W.II. He passed through the Panama Canal twice before receiving his honorable discharge in 1946. He returned to the Wenatchee Valley and settled in Wenatchee, WA. He met the love of his life Renetta Louise Lillie and they were married on June 22,1950 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They made their home together in Wenatchee,WA. Joe later went to work for the Wenatchee City Fire Department as a Fireman and Driver. He also worked as a local delivery Truck Driver for Eagle Transfer, P.I.E., and Consolidated Freight Companies. He retired from the Fire Department in the mid 1970’s after more than 25 years of service. He continued driving delivery trucks until retiring in the mid 1980’s.
Joe was an avid Steelhead fisherman as well as an avid Bowler. He bowled two perfect 300 games, one at age 73 and the other at 78, and has the rings to prove it.
He was also a youth baseball and youth bowling coach. As a Volunteer at the Morris Park Baseball Field, American Legion Food Booth, he became known as “Smokey Joe”.
He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Renetta McKerlie, Wenatchee,WA three children, Judith "Judy" (Charles) Puuohau, and Jennifer "Jenny" Ritzenthaler all of Wenatchee, WA and Joseph "Joe" (Velma) McKerlie, of Othello, WA; five grandchildren, Daniel (Angel) Delaney, Wenatchee, WA; Kyle Delaney, Wenatchee, WA; Kale Puuohau, Bellingham, WA; Kevin McKerlie, Pasco, WA; Julyssa McKerlie, Moses Lake, WA and eight great grandchildren. One sister, Patricia “Pat” Nield, Houston, TX.
He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, Robert "Bob" and Richard "Dick" McKerlie; two sisters Betty McKerlie and Onnalea Benedict, one infant granddaughter and two infant great grandsons. We want to give a special “Thank You” to Randi, Jana & Shawn with Hospice and a huge “thank you” to his niece Deb Benedict.
A Commemoration Service will be held for Joseph at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at Heritage Memorial Chapel, 19 Rock Island Road, East Wenatchee, WA, 98802. Following the Service, a light reception will be held at the funeral home. You are invited to visit Joseph's online tribute at www.HeritageMemorialChapel.com to leave a condolence or share a memory.