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Joseph Louis Fohn

Born in Renton, WA on January 26, 1930
Passed away on Tue. January 17, 2017 and resided in La Conner, WA

On January 17, 2017, Joseph Louis Fohn passed on to be with our Lord following a seven year bout with multiple myeloma. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Bertha, three sons and their spouses, seven grandchildren, one soon-to-be great grandson, many nieces & nephews and several godchildren. Joe was born in Renton, Washington on January 26, 1930, to Josef Fohn, Swiss immigrant dairy farmer, and Pauline (Mettler) Fohn, also of Swiss descent. Even as a young boy, Joe worked closely with his father on a leased dairy farm in Puyallup, Washington. In 1940, long-time friend Joe Niderost convinced his dad, Josef, to relocate the family to La Conner, Washington, to purchase the current dairy thereby starting Fohn Farms. It was there Joe grew up with his two brothers, Ed (dec), Fred and his sister, MaryAnn (dec). On September, 1954, Joe met Bertha Kaelin at a Swiss dance in Monroe. After a long distance romance involving rowdy Swiss dances near Tacoma, Washington, speeding back to the farm in La Conner at 3:00 a.m. and sleepless early morning milkings, Joe and Bert married on September 10, 1955, in Bothell, Washington. Many rumors persist about what exactly happened at that event but the truth must remain out of the public domain to protect the guilty. Always a frugal planner, Joe and Bert have three sons: Arne & Ronda (Kalin, Josef & Jared), Mike & Maureen (Eric [spouse Anna] & Anna [spouse Jake]) and Dick & Rose (Kensley & Richelle). This worked to his advantage to keep labor costs to a minimum. Those who know Joe well know him to be very intelligent, prudent and pennywise. But he is also one of the most generous people you will ever meet. Joe has lived a very full life . . . out of the spotlight as much as possible. Though a naturally quiet man known for only speaking when he had something important to say, he remained active in many organizations: Sacred Heart Church (75 year member), Tacoma Swiss Men's Society, Swiss Sportsmen's Club of Tacoma, La Conner School Board, Dairy Herd Improvement Association and member of Northwest Dairyman's Association (Darigold). Though an excellent student (Valedictorian of La Conner High School class of 1948); in the Swiss tradition, Joe continued the farm started by his father, foregoing a college education. However, he strongly encouraged (insisted) his sons attend college and work off the farm. This expectation has been passed on: all of his grandchildren have at least one college degree. Joe is a successful dairyman, viewing the cows as a steady, fairly predictable source of income. The cows are a business to Joe. He was always interested in any business - whether cows, equipment, crops, accounting, taxes or real estate - because it's the business of business that fires Joe's passion. Arne has continued in the dairy business in the same barn that Joe built with his father in 1941. Joe, Bert and the entire family are very proud of their Swiss heritage. They have traveled to Switzerland several times, including two all family trips (1970 and 2006 to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary). Joe’s family's roots are in Muotathal, Canton Schwyz, Switzerland. There will be a rosary for Joe at Sacred Heart Church in La Conner, Washington on Friday, January 27 at 7:00 p.m. The following day there will be a Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. at Sacred Heart. Following the ceremony, Joe will be laid to rest in the family plot at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, adjoining the family farm. Immediately after internment, the family invites attendees to a reception to honor Joe's life at the La Conner Yacht Club. The family requests no flowers. Memorials may be made to the Sacred Heart Church Building Fund (www.sacredheartchurchlaconner.org), Tacoma Swiss Kids Kamp, 9205-198th Ave. East, Bonney Lake, WA 98391, (www.tacomaswissclubs.com) and La Conner Fire Department (www.laconner.net/fire.cfm), P.O. Box 581, La Conner, WA 98257. You may offer Joe's family your condolences online at www.kernfuneralhome.com Funeral arrangements are under the care of Kern Funeral Home. Nicht arbeiten, nicht essen!


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