Joseph 'Joe' Ramaker — Belle Vista, Ark.

Joseph Wayne Ramaker, 83, peacefully passed away Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at the Prairie Meadows Senior living in Kasson.

Joe was born May 28, 1930, in Preston, to Carroll and Frances (Leister} Ramaker. He attended Oak Grove Country School for eight years and continued his education at Preston High School, where he graduated in 1948. After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy and was later honorably discharged.After returning from the Navy, Joe farmed in Preston. On Jan. 23, 1954, Joe married Lois Jean Jacobson in Preston. They continued to farm in the Stewartville area. He worked at Mayo Clinic, IBM and sold real estate in Rochester. After he became a broker, he owned and operated Ramaker Realty in Chatfield for several years. During these years, he continued to farm northwest of Chatfield, where he raised shorthorn cattle and Belgian horses. After moving to Bella Vista, Ark., in 1989, he continued to sell real estate, and his ongoing love of farming led him to purchase a small farm where he raised beef cattle.

Joe also had a lifelong passion for gardening, which was evident in his own personal yard as well as many others he landscaped. Over the years, he had worked in several garden centers. He won "Yard of the Year" as well as the title "Mr. Joe" in Belle Vista.

Joe is survived by his loving wife of 60 years; his children, Jill (Fred) Woodward Kuhn of Bella Vista, Ark., Lynn (Terry) Tomke of Alamogordo, N.M., and Michael "Mike" Ramaker of Newport, Ark.; also grandchildren, Seth and Lincoln Jacobs, Emily Woodward, Laura (Chris) Woodward-Liston and Molly and Maurie Tomke; great-grandchildren, Logan and Drake Jacobs and Natalie Woodward. Additional survivors include his twin brother, Jerry (Sylvia} Ramaker of Rochester and younger brother James "Jim" (Jackie) Ramaker of Wells; and James "Jim" Ryanwho became like a second son and brother when he moved to the farm in Arkansas and eventually bought itfrom Joe.

A celebration of Joe's life will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26, at Bethel Lutheran Church, (810 Third Ave. S.E., Rochester, MN 55904), with Pastor Anjanette K. Bandel officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service at the church.

Memorials are preferred to Mayo Clinic Cancer Research, Bella Vista Community Church or Heartland Hospice.