Joseph L. Lech, 89, of Mandan, passed away August 5, 2022, at St. Alexius CHI Medical Center, Bismarck.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 AM on Wednesday, August 10, 2022, at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, ND with Rev. Nick Schneider as celebrant. Burial will be at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, August 9, 2022, from 5:00-7:00 PM at Christ the King Catholic Church, Mandan, with a Knights of Columbus Rosary/Parish Vigil at 7:00 PM. Visitation will continue at the church one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.
Joseph Lawrence Lech, 89, completed his earthly journey passing away peacefully on August 5, 2022, surrounded by a praying family and caring nursing staff. His death was due to side effects from the Covid vaccine.
Joe was 11th of 14 children born on a farm near Gladstone, ND on June 19, 1933. He graduated from Dickinson High School in 1952, worked for Magnoleom Petroleum Company, a division of Mobile Oil for 18 months, prior to being drafted into the Army in 1953. He was honorably discharged from service in 1955. Joe returned to Dickinson, ND and met the love of his life, Betty Mrachek. They were married at Our Lady of Consolation in Alexander, ND, on June 11, 1957. He began working for Northwestern Bell Telephone Company, living in Dickinson and Wishek, before moving to Mandan, ND in 1960. After 15 years with the telephone company, he purchased Executone, from which he retired in 2001.
Joe’s life passion was making the world a better place by serving others through Christ in all activities. He was an active member of the Knights of Columbus, third & fourth degree and held various local & state positions. He led his family to be named North Dakota Catholic Family of the Year in 1989. He was a man of deep of faith, involved in many Christ the King parish activities, including parish council, school board, lector, Eucharistic minister, finance committee (and was still counting Sunday collections through July 2022). In addition, he and Betty were involved in pro-life activities, Serra Club and served hundreds of funeral luncheons for the parish.
He was a proud veteran, serving on the Honor Guard, and led countless burials at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery. He proudly represented his country in the Veterans Honor Flight with his brother, Steve, in October 2018.
His hobbies included telling jokes and sharing stories, wood working, where he made the furnishings in the Christ the King Chapel, numerous family keepsakes, including little chairs for grandchildren and great grandchildren, patterned from the chairs his father built for others and building a harp for his granddaughter which she will play at his visitation. After retirement he enjoyed gardening, presenting a rose to his wife almost daily from their rose garden and traveling with Betty, including a pilgrimage to Rome. The highlight of their list of travels was a cruise to celebrate 55 years of marriage with their entire family. One of his greatest enjoyments was Saturday night dominoes with their faith-filled best friends, Deacon Dennis & Vesta – however, even with a Deacon on his team, he & Deacon Dennis remain 7000 points behind Betty & Vesta.
He was a humble man of integrity, who surrendered his burdens and cares to the Lord and Our Blessed Mother Mary praying the rosary with Betty at 7 pm nightly. In his younger days while traveling for work he used the grooves in the steering wheel as rosary beads and never went on a family trip without praying the rosary in the car.
Joe is survived by Betty, his loving wife of 65 years, and their children, Kevin (Marcy) - Matthew & Adam, Nancy Obritsch (Jerry) – Andrew, Amy, Bradley & Brian, Tammy Lofrano (Ty), Carol Flaa (Mike) – Brent & Jay, Dan (Cathy) – Stephanie, Emily, Grace & Abby and 10 great-grandchildren. Four of the grandchildren will be getting married in 2023. Joe has three remaining siblings, Marge Willer, Regina Hlebichuk and Steve.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to Christ the King Parish or School.