Joseph Charles Weis

Joseph Charles Weis, 88, of Rochester, MN passed away peacefully January 31, 2021 with family by his  side.

Joe was born February 12, 1932 in Rochester, MN to John and Cecilia (Mueller) Weis. After graduating  from Lourdes High School in Rochester, he completed the Architectural Drafting and Estimating course  at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis.

Joe’s father started a modest cabinet shop in 1939 called John Weis & Sons. In 1952, Joe and his brother Eugene took over the cabinet shop and in 1960 changed the name to Weis Builders Inc.

In 1971, Joe built his first Affordable Housing project and his passion for Affordable Housing continued  for the remainder of his life. After this first project, he formed Joseph Development Company which  continued his passion for Affordable Housing. He always said, “I want to die with my boots on”, and that  is what he did. At age 88, he was still working on Affordable Housing projects.

From early on, the community was especially important to Joe. He was active in Civic Associations, Trade Associations, and the Republican Party. He served as President of the Rochester Area Chamber of  Commerce, the Rochester Area Builders, the Minnesota Multi-Housing Association, and the Associated  General Contractors of Minnesota, just to name a few.

Because of all the work Joe did with these organizations, his list of awards is lengthy and just a few are  mentioned here: Entrepreneur of the Year from Dunwoody, Lifetime Achievement Award from the  Rochester Area Builders, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Builders Association of Minnesota and  the AGC of Minnesota, and the “Medal of Honor” from the Mayor of Rochester.

Joe built a lifetime of relationships who will remember his one-of-a-kind personality and his big cigars.

Joe is survived by his wife of 67 years, Darlene; his sons, Erik (Cathy) and Jay (Terri); his sister, Helen  Gathje; seven grandchildren, Chad Weis, Bradley Weis, Chris Stokka, Jenny Jo Stokka, Haley Weis,  Hunter Weis, and Grant Weis; two great grandchildren, Teddy Jo Weis and Joseph Stokka; and ex- daughter-in-law, Sue Weis; and sister-in-law, Opal Weis. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Clara Yerke, Mary Huinker, and Joan Carlisle; two brothers, Leo Weis and Eugene Weis; his daughter, Mary Jo Stokka (Weis); and his grandson, John Weis.

A family only private funeral service will be held, February 5, 2021 in the chapel at the Co-Cathedral of St. John The Evangelist in Rochester with Rev. Msgr. Gerald A. Mahon officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Mayo Clinic online at MC or mailed to Department of Development, Mayo Clinic,  200 First St. SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

Online condolences are welcome at

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