July 22, 1926 ~ December 26, 2021
Born in: Dallas, Pennsylvania
Resided in: Redondo Beach, California
Joseph “Joe” Czuleger passed away at the age 95, on December 26, 2021, in Redondo Beach, California. He was born July 22, 1926 in Dallas, Pennsylvania while his parents were visiting relatives.
Joe lived one heck of a life during his 95 years as a Redondo Beach resident.
At the age of 17, following his junior year in high school, he was drafted into the Army and then served in the Pacific Theater during WWII. He faced combat in the Philippines for which he earned a Bronze Star. His division was amongst the first US troops to enter Hiroshima, Japan after the atom bomb was dropped.
Following the war, Joe finished up his studies at Villanova Prep in Ojai and Redondo Union High School before heading to UC Davis where he obtained his Bachelors of Science in Animal Husbandry.
Joe’s ties to Davis continued after graduation when he met his future wife Helen, a local Davis girl, while at a fraternity brother’s wedding.
Joe ran the family business, Redondo Marine Hardware (formerly Redondo Trading Post) along with his brothers and father. He worked full time, often seven days a week, from 1953 to 2020. After giving up his driver’s license he could still be found driving the Caterpillar forklift at his store where he continued to work well into his 90s. His legacy lives on as Redondo Marine Hardware is the last independent marine store between San Diego and Ventura.
Every summer Joe and Helen piled the family into their station wagon and drove up Highway 99 to Davis. The kids got to run wild on Helen’s family ranch, while Joe and Helen got to visit family. The family fondly remembers driving home with lugs of tomatoes and farm fresh fruit that Joe had masterfully tied to the roof of the station wagon.
Joe is survived by his wife of 66 years, Helen (Campbell); six kids – Russell, Jerry (wife Collette), Tony, Rick (wife Lauren), Mike, and Cathy; five grandchildren – Sarah, Brooke, Kaitlin, Jill and Kyle; three great-grandchildren – Jackson, Garrett and Jameson; along with siblings Rosemary (Rea), Annette (O’Neill), Antoinette, James (wife Ronelle) and sister-in-law Barbara Campbell. He was preceded in death by his parents Charles and Olive and his siblings Charles, John, Margaret-Ann (Keenan) and Richard. To his thirty-four nieces and nephews he was lovingly known as Uncle Joe.
Joe was a hard worker but also valued the importance of a balanced life and enjoyed many recreational pursuits. He was an avid outdoorsman and regularly enjoyed fishing, hunting, SCUBA diving, sailing/boating, and golfing. He was also a pilot and enjoyed riding horses (he owned a horse in his 20s). On his 80th birthday he flew in a Stearman bi-plane (the same model he used when he learned to fly) and on his 85th birthday he did a trail ride with his family. He also could bake a tasty chocolate chip cookie!
Joe was never one to sit around, he liked to keep busy and on the go and had numerous unique experiences in his lifetime. He witnessed a full solar eclipse while on a fishing trip off Baja California, was on a boat in Los Angeles Harbor the one day Howard Hughes flew the Spruce Goose, and downhill skied at the Palos Verdes Country Club in the late 1940s following a very rare snow storm. Joe attended the first Super Bowl in 1967 at the LA Coliseum; and in 1985, he was shipwrecked on Kodiak Island in Alaska and had to feed the Kodiak grizzlies the salmon catch on the boat to keep them away.
Most importantly Joe was a dedicated family man with a strong Catholic faith and was liked, admired and respected by all that had the honor of knowing him. His smile and kind heart will be deeply missed.
The family would like to thank all who visited and prayed for Joe these last few years and special gratitude to his in-home caregivers, hospice staff and the staff of Silverado Beach Cities.
Joe will be laid to rest at Los Angeles National Cemetery. Services will be held at a later date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to Providence TrinityCare Hospice, Torrance.
Memorial Service: January 6, 2023 1:00 pm
St. Lawrence Martyr Catholic Church
1900 S. Prospect Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
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