HUMBOLDT - Joseph P. Ennis, 95, of Humboldt, passed away May 4, 2012 at the Long Term Care Unit of the Humboldt County Memorial Hospital. A Mass of Christian Burial will be 11:00 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Humboldt with Fr. Jim Tigges officiating. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Humboldt. Visitation is from 4-7 p.m. Monday in the chapel of the Mason-Lindhart Funeral Home in Humboldt with a parish rosary at 4:00 and parish scripture service at 7:00 p.m.
Joseph Patrick Ennis, the sixth of seven children born to Patrick J. and Hannah (Hood) Ennis, was born May 5,1917 on a farm northeast of Clare, Iowa. In 1918, the family moved to a farm near Mallard. They settled on a farm five miles north of Humboldt in 1920, remaining there until 1936 when the family moved to Humboldt.
Joe graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1936. That year he began his 37-year employment with DeKalb Agricultural Assn. The company had just come to Humboldt, and Joe helped collect seed samples and took part in building the corn processing plant. In 1939, he was named assistant manager of the plant. In June of that year he married Vesta Looney.
JOSEPH P. ENNIS
In 1940, at the age of 23, Joe became the manager of the plant being built in Shenandoah, where he remained until 1952 when he was asked to relocate to the home office plant in Waterman, Illinois. There he took on the task of up-grading all aspects of the facility.
In 1958, Joe decided to move from corn production to sales, and moved to Atlantic, Iowa to become a district sales manager. In 1966, after 25 year in various locations, Joe and Vesta returned to Humboldt where Joe remained a district sales manager until he retired in 1973. Even after retirement Joe was a loyal DeKalb man. He and Vesta went to Hawaii in 1974 to head the production of a winter hybrid seed crop. He also organized and was an active member of the retiree organization. He has fondly been called, "Mr. DeKalb" by many associates.
Throughout his life, Joe was involved in civic and religious organizations. He served as a member of school boards, city councils, Elks and Rotary clubs. He was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, and was actively involved in many church building and financial projects. He was known to be instrumental in organizing the finances for the construction of the present Catholic School in Humboldt.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Vince and Harold; sisters, Mildred, Catherine, and Eunice. His son, Michael died at age 6 in 1958, and his wife, Vesta in 2000. He is survived by his daughter, Pat Voss; son, Joe Jr. (Marcia), four grandchildren; six great grandchildren; his sister, Mary Callahan; many nieces and nephews; and his loyal friend Jean Jennings. We grieve his death and will greatly miss his strong, wise, caring presence in our lives; his wonderful sense of humor, and that engaging, fun-loving personality.
Memorials will be made to St. Mary's Parish in lieu of flowers.