Joseph “Joe” Showalter, age 59, of Isanti died unexpectedly September 13, 2021 at Cambridge Medical Center. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 A.M. Monday, September 20th at First Baptist Church in Cambridge. A memorial visitation will be held from 4:00 – 7:00 P.M. Sunday, September 19th at Strike Life Tributes in CAMBRIDGE, and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
Joseph Leo Showalter was born in St. Paul on March 31, 1962 to John W. Showalter and Joanne (McGonigal) Showalter. He met Jodie during his junior year of high school, and they began dating 7/27/1979. Joe graduated from St. Paul Harding High School in 1980. He studied photography at Dakota County Technical College, class of 1984. Joe and Jodie were married 7/20/1985, Joe worked at a photo lab in Osseo MN until he was hired at 3M on November 3, 1986. (Retired 12/31/2017).
March 21, 1987, his first born, James Joseph was born. Shortly after Jimmy was born, Joe was approached by a district commissioner of the Boy Scouts of America, she remembered how dedicated Joe was to his Boy Scout Troop and told Joe the troop was dying and needed leadership. He recruited some friends and agreed to be an “Assistant Scout Master”, however, when he came home after the first meeting, he had Jodie remove the “Assistant patch” and replace it with the “Scout Master” patch.
July 6, 1989, Jason Thomas was born. When both boys were ready to start cub scouts, he got Jodie to become a Den leader and continue in the Cub Pack until the boys graduated to Boy Scouts. Joe worked hard with all the boys in his troop and eventually became the proud parent of two Eagle Scouts. Joe earned the District Award of Merit, the Silver Beaver Award on 02/02/2002, also made Order of the Arrow Vigil. Joe and his boys volunteered a lot with many scouting events.
Joe didn’t stay long in the photography field and was moving more into computers. Joe was involved with the initiation of using the internet to place orders between 3M and their customers. He received a plaque of recognition as a founding member of the innovation network. He received a large enough monthly raise to buy himself his first mid-life crisis automobile, 1997 Jeep Wrangler. He got to order what colors he wanted (interior and exterior), the type of running boards, the hard top and the rag top, and of course the removable doors.
Joe continued to move up the ladder at 3M but needed more education to go further, so he went to night school for 5 years. He studied at Cardinal Stritch University and received his BS MIS in 2001.
In 2003, he was blessed with the opportunity to have another mid-life crisis big purchase. 2003 Harley Davidson (the 100-year edition), which of course he had to accessorize. Joe, and his family moved from St. Paul to Isanti 12/28/2004. Although the kids have grown and moved out, Joe and Jodie continue to consider Isanti their home. Joe retired from 3M as an IT Information Rights Management Lead on 12/31/2017.
Joe lived life to the fullest. He loved learning about people, and he loved learning new things. Joe went all in on every interest and hobby you could think of. Once he obtained the gear for each hobby, he had to accessorize and get backups for everything. Joe was instrumental in keeping up with social media; he kept everyone up to date with his life on Facebook, with almost 1300 friends and over 200 followers. Everyone knew what he was up to. He even developed a Facebook page for our neighborhood, which is the best neighborhood anyone could ever ask for. Joe was a very giving man. He would buy things from schools, clubs, or organizations just to help them out, which is where a lot of his hobbies began. He attended many fundraisers such as MDHA (Minnesota Deer Hunters Association), Ruffed Grouse Society, Pheasants Forever banquets. He was on the board for Recycled lives. He volunteered to make mini donuts, cotton candy, popcorn, snow cones and much more for many fundraisers, events, and parties. He volunteered 4 years for the John Beargrease dog sled races. He volunteered at First Baptist Church of Cambridge on the Worship team running power point, sound, and live streaming.
During his time at 3M he had been part of the 3M trap shooting club, 3M Motorcycle club, 3M Ham Radio Club, and even the 3M quilting club (just to get Jodie started in a hobby of her own). Joe was also a member of the Elks Lodge in Stillwater MN, Sons of the American Legion in Forest Lake MN, Gopher Rifle and Revolver Club in Harris MN, Lifetime member of the NRA, St. Paul Police Band, Lifetime member of American Radio Relay League (ARRL), Skywarn Spotter, Amateur Radio Emergency Services (ARES) and was the Isanti County Emergency Coordinator. Joe was a gun safety instructor, range officer, and youth shooting sports coach, and partner with Patrick Moore in SAFE Carry (MN personal carry) classes and has helped most of Isanti County learn the safe way to handle and store firearms.
Some of his hobbies include playing guitar, wood working, welding, black smithing, metal machinery, motor cycling, bike riding, (recently started e-biking), rock climbing, geocaching, soap making, wine making, 3D printing, making dog tags, making stencils, making labels with his vinyl cutter, metal detecting, flying his drone, ice fishing, pinball, scuba diving (in his earlier years), playing cribbage on a league for the Forest Lake American Legion, camping (from back packing, to tents, to pop up trailer camping, to camping in a tipi, then finally after retiring he began “glamping” in a travel trailer). We camped many years at “rendezvous” (pre-1840 re-enactments). He enjoyed shooting and of course Ham Radio.
You can guarantee he was and still is probably doing something incredible right now!
Joe died unexpectedly on Monday, September 13, 2021 at the age of 59. He is preceded in death by his father, John W Showalter, and his mother-in-law, Judy Bland.
Joe is survived by his wife, Jodie; sons, Jim and Jason; brother, John (Nancy); mother, Joanne, father-in-law, Ralph Bland; sister-in-law, Mary Jo Johnson; brothers-in-law, Bill Bland, Dennis Bland (Fawn); nieces and nephews: Michael Showalter, Dustin, Jerimiah, and Shauna Johnson, Samuel, Josephine, and Riley Bland.