JOSEPH RAYMOND SONTGERATH
June 22, 1932 ~ December 24, 2015
"Joe will be greatly missed by those
who knew and loved him."
Joseph Raymond Sontgerath, 83, of Pullman, WA, passed away peacefully in his home on the most holy day of the year, December 24, 2015. He was the second son of Joseph and Josie (Schmitt) Sontgerath, born on June 22, 1932 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA. Joe graduated from Gonzaga Prep High School a 1951 and the enlisted in the United States Navy and served on the USS Antietam in the Korean War.
After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 1953, he returned to Spokane to work at the Armor Meat Packing Plant. He later attended Monasteries in the religious communities in Utah, Big Sur California and Boston. He returned to Spokane and began a 44-year career with the United States Postal Service.
Joe met the love of his life, Marlies Richter, and they were married on February 27, 1965 at St. Ann's Church in Spokane. They were blessed with their only child, Michael, on December 31, 1965. Joe received a promotion that moved the family from Spokane to Vancouver, WA in 1971, where he eventually became the Area Manager for the US Postal Service in Portland, OR.
While in Vancouver, Joe remained very active with his parish, St. James. He enjoyed working in his yard, going for drives to Mt. St. Helens, driving his boat on the Columbia River, and attending church functions.
Upon retiring from the Postal Service, Joe volunteered for 10 years at Kaiser Hospital, and managed a contract Post Office for Mike's Pharmacy in Vancouver. In 2007, Joe and Marlies moved to Pullman, Washington to be near their son, Mike, his wife Marci, and their first grandchild, Joey, who was followed by Alan in 2009.
During the final 8 years of Joe's life, he was very active in both his grandsons lives, attending many sporting events, church and school functions. He was also very active in Sacred Heart Parrish. He still enjoyed working in his yard with beautiful flower gardens which he maintained each summer.
Joe is survived by his son, Michael (Marci); grandsons, Joey and Alan; brother, Art; sister, Mary; and numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Marlies; and his parents, Joe and Josie Sontgerath.
Rosary will be recited at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 30 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, December 31 at 10:00 a.m., also at Sacred Heart. Joe will be laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery later that afternoon. Viewing will be one hour prior to both services at the church.
Memorial contributions in Joe's honor are suggested to Sacred Heart Catholic Church of Pullman or the Our Lady of Guadalupe Monastery in Oregon, c/o Kimball Funeral Home.
Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman has been entrusted with funeral arrangements.
Please sign his guest book at: www.columbian.com/obits
Published by The Columbian on Dec. 29, 2015.