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Kerry “Joe” Meirndorf, 66, of Mancelona, passed away Sunday, January 1, 2023, at home with wife by his side. He was born in Mason, Michigan December 6, 1956; son of Lawrence and Joyce (Felton) Meirndorf. Joe graduated from Mason High School in 1975, where he enjoyed wrestling and playing football. His favorite thing to do growing up however, was to help on his grandparent’s farm, and he often credited his strong work ethic to the time he spent there.
After high school Joe began his career as a heavy equipment operator where he spent the next 45+ years being the best darn operator on any crew and living out every little boy’s dream of playing with construction equipment in the dirt all day. He ran a lot of different crews in a lot of different states and won several construction awards over his career.
On April 1, 2000, Joe married the love of his life, Lesley (Drew) and they spent the next almost 23 years having adventures together. They enjoyed living and working in different parts of the country, attending drag races and tractor pulls, and most of all, the grandkids.
Joe enjoyed restoring cars, woodworking, drag racing, and operating heavy equipment. He was always happiest when he was busy and could often be found tinkering with anything he could get his hands on in his shop. He took pride in running circles around the younger guys on the crews he worked with, but his greatest pride and joy were his family.
Joe is survived by his loving wife Lesley; his stepson Keith (Krista) Frick and four grandchildren, Liam, Aurelie, Sterling, and Lachlan (“Grandpa Joe, you’re a nut!”); loving brother, Larry (Cindy) Meirndorf; special niece, Amy Merritt; special nephew, Rick Meirndorf; honorary grandson, JP; honorary sons, Joshua, Jacob, lil’ Joe, and Brad; and many other nieces, nephews, and friends. He will be missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Terry.
A memorial service will take place in the summer. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Jude’s. Please share your memories and personal messages with the family on his guestbook below.
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