Joseph (Joe) G. Mau, age 92, of Isanti passed away on November 14, 2019 after a valiant battle with liver cancer. He was at home surrounded by family and friends. A visitation will be held at Strike Life Tributes in Isanti on Friday, November 22nd from 5-7 PM with a rosary service at 7 PM. His funeral will be at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Isanti on Saturday, November 23rd at 10:30 AM, with visitation also one hour prior at church, with Military Honors provided by the Isanti VFW Post. A graveside service for family only will be held following a luncheon at the church. Donations to the Lions Eye Bank are requested in lieu of flowers and gift memorials.
Joe was born on April 2, 1927 and raised by his maternal grandparents in Donnelly, MN after his mother’s death in 1929. He was an entrepreneur from an early age, delivering milk and newspapers before school to earn money to fix up his bike (“the sharpest in town”). He worked on farms in the area during summers while in high school.
After serving on a ship in the U.S. Navy during WWII, Joe moved to Oregon where he was introduced to Joanne Guzman by her brother Bob. After he and Joanne married in 1948, Joe was eventually hired as an apprentice at the gas company. In 1953, he moved his family back to MN where he worked for Blaugas until he purchased Triangle Shell in 1955. During the next 5 years he successfully managed two Shell service stations. He sold those, then owned Heights Shell in Columbia Heights from 1960 to 1973 when he established Mau’s Corner in rural Isanti. His son Joe A. took over the business in 2000, though Joe still enjoyed being at the store most days until it was closed due to highway 47 expansions. He always enjoyed chatting with customers, many of whom became lifelong friends.
He had an infectious sense of humor, along with a quick wit and ready smile. He enjoyed collecting many, many “Smiley Face” items that were displayed throughout his home and adorned the walls of his garage. Interests included woodworking, leather work, gardening, boating, family gatherings at the lake, going to Arizona, and being the best dad and grandpa ever.
Joe was an active member of the Knights of Columbus at Ascension Catholic Church in Minneapolis and St. Elizabeth’s in Isanti. He was also a charter member of the Isanti Lions Club, and organized the Isanti County Christmas Project with Joanne for many years until her death in 2009. He continued his membership in the VFW when he moved from Minneapolis to Isanti.
Joe was preceded in death by his grandparents Ed and Gertrude Ruff, parents Joseph L. and Verena (Ruff) Mau, wife Joanne, sister Betty (Jerry) Johnson, and brother Ervin Mau. He is survived by his beloved children Susan McCune, Terrie Mau (Tom), Joseph (Wanda), Rick (Brenda), Pam (Rob) Kuchera and Charles (Susan) Atchley, cherished partner Carol Clark, twelve grandchildren, and over twenty great-grandchildren, sisters Fran (Ken) Habisch and Karen Foede, as well as many other treasured relatives, and countless friends.