The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Joseph Manuel Sanchez


October 30, 2017

TOMAHAWK, Wis. - Joseph Manuel Sanchez, 74, passed away late Friday afternoon, Oct. 27, 2017, at Riverview Health Center, surrounded by his wife, family and friends. He died of pancreatic cancer.

Joe was born May 16, 1943 in Wakefield to the late Joe and June (Buccanero) Sanchez.

He attended Wakefield High School where he lettered in football and track. Joe played as a Guard. His football team earned the Barber Trophy in 1960 for their undefeated season. Joe was also selected for the First Team of the 1960 Michigan-Wisconsin All-Conference team. He graduated in 1961.

Joe attended the Michigan Technological University (1961-1963) and forged lifelong friendships as a member of Kappa Delta Psi. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Wayne State University (1967).

On February 23, 1963, Joe married Elizabeth A. "Ann" Buckler. They had two daughters, Laura Ann and Elena Maria. He was very proud of both of his girls.

Joe worked for BASF Wyandotte Chemicals (Wyandotte, Mich.), Vulcan Materials (Port Edwards, Wis.), Scott Paper Company (Marinette, Wis.), and Wausau Paper Company (Rhinelander, Wis.).

Joe is survived by his loving wife and daughters and four grandchildren, Emma Elizabeth, Clara Jane, Stephen Joseph, and Elsa Grace. His surviving siblings are Vicki Jean, Anita Louise, and Richard Luis Sanchez (Shellie). He is also survived by his nieces, Angela Rae (Bill) Lieberoff and Sierra Audrey Sanchez, Jane Marie Lucisano, and Cathy Lange, and nephews, Tim Smith, and Shawn Buckler, and many cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and June Florine, his sister, Mary Lou Smith, his maternal Aunts Mary Ann (Gene) Hopkins, Jean Buccanero, and Ruth (Pete) Hopkins, and his paternal Aunts Estrella "Stella" (Pedro) Garcia, Aurora (Joe) Kent, and Uncles Amelio (Winifred Finnegan) and Manuel (Julia Sanders).

Joe loved fishing, hunting, and camping. He was a peerless steelhead fisherman. Joe was proud to have learned the skill and art of sport fishing from his beloved grandfather, Celeste Anton Buccanero. He grew up at his grandfather's side, fishing their many secret fishing holes around Wakefield. Joe was a proud native son of Wakefield and felt that the Upper Peninsula was the center of the universe.

Joe fished as far north as Alaska with his father and brother and James Bay with his wife and family and as far south as Mexico with his sister. He fished countless lakes, streams, and rivers over his lifetime, but his heart can be found on the Little Presque Isle River, the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon, the Big Huron River, and most especially on the banks of the Little Manistee.

He took his family camping in all weather and seasons. His wife and daughters fondly remember camping trips to our nation's remote and beautiful wildernesses. Laura and Elena are proud to be the daughters of such a skilled, careful, and adventurous outdoorsman.

No one told a story or joke as colorfully or pulled a prank as artfully as Joe Sanchez. His humor and charisma will be forever missed. We will always bring him to mind with a fishing pole in hand and his dog, Pal, at his side.

A funeral service will be held Friday, November 3 at 11am, preceded by visitation beginning at 10:00am, at Wakefield United Methodist Church at 706 Putnam St. Pastor Ted Trudgeon will officiate. A procession will then bring Joe to Lakeside Cemetery, Wakefield for words of comfort and interment. Afterwards a luncheon will be served at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9084, 1 Lake Shore Dr., Wakefield, Mich.

Pallbearers will be Laura Sanchez, Elena Berg, Rick Sanchez, Steve and Stephen Joseph Berg, and Tim Smith.

The family would like to thank the staff at Riverview Health Center for their years of excellent care, comfort, and friendship.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Jerald Rocco, owner and manager of Lakeside Memorial Chapel, Inc, in Wakefield. Condolences may be expressed online at In lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the American Cancer Society.


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