Joseph Mitchell Pekola, 89, a resident of Aberdeen, passed away on Dec. 25 at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington.
Joe was born on Aug. 4, 1931, to Martin and Regina Pekola in Wishkah Valley. He grew up on the family farm and attended the Wishkah Valley School where he received school letters in football and track and graduated in 1950. Joe once joked that he was so tired of milking cows and doing farm chores that he enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in the Korean War, working with Army engineers as a welder. After completing his tour in 1954, Joe returned to Aberdeen and did carpentry work for a few years before enrolling in a four-year automotive body and fender apprenticeship. Joe spent 40 years working in the auto body repair industry, eventually retiring in 1997.
In the early 1960s, Joe moved with a cousin to Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, where he recalled the construction of the Space Needle and the 1962 World’s Fair. Joe returned to Aberdeen to help out on the family farm. There he kept bees, raised cattle, and took care of the property. Joe’s little yellow farmhouse and the well-tended pastures have long been admired by his friends and neighbors. Joe also enjoyed fishing in the Wishkah River and visiting with his friends.
Joe was preceded in death by his father Martin, his mother Regina, his sister Josephine Gilpin, his brother Mike, and his brother Stanley. He is survived by his nephews Jim (Kirsten) Pekola of Aberdeen; Ken Pekola of Rochester, Washington; Rich (Susan) Gilpin of California; Mike (Judy) Gilpin of Sun City, Arizona and his sister-in-law Gloria Pekola of Aberdeen.
Due to COVID-19 there will be no formal services. Inurnment has taken place at Wynoochee Cemetery, Montesano, Washington.
Cremation arrangements are entrusted to Twibell’s Fern Hill Funeral Home.