Funeral services for Joseph Friend are pending. Joe will be laid to rest at Calvary Catholic Cemetery next to his parents and son Brian.
Joseph James Friend left this life on March 10, 2022. He died at home surrounded by family following a lengthy battle with emphysema and prostate cancer. Joe was born Sept. 16, 1939, in Tracy, MN, to Margaret Genevieve (Pilotte) and Jack Wyffels. His father died in 1945 and his mother married Donald D. Friend in 1946. Joe was raised in Walnut Grove, MN, with his sisters, Marilyn (Morhain) and Barbara (Rupp). Joe served as an Altar Boy at St. Paul’s Catholic Church and attended schools in Walnut Grove, graduating from High School in 1957. Following graduation, he entered Naval Basic Training at Great Lakes Naval Air Station in IL. He then went to San Diego, CA, for additional training where he joined the Admiral’s Staff aboard the U.S.S. Hancock as a Yeoman. His service took him to Japan, Hong Kong, and other parts of the South Pacific. Upon returning from an 8 month cruise on the Hancock, he was stationed at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station at Oak Harbor, WA. Joe shares many stories about the good times and good friends he made in the Navy, most especially Commander Huff. It was here where he met Donna Marie Sturgeon. The couple married June 18, 1960. Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, they relocated to Luverne, MN, where Joe entered a life-long career in banking. While in Luverne, they started a family with the arrival of daughters Cyndi and Michelle. In 1965, they relocated to International Falls, MN, where sons Charlie and Brian were born. In 1970, his career took him to Libby, MT, where his love for the State of Montana began. The family made treasured and lifelong friends in the short time they lived in Libby. Joe carried many exciting stories with him when he moved the family to Marshall, MN, in 1972, where he joined the Bremer Banking system. He worked in a variety of positions until 1978, when he returned to Montana to open a new branch for the Bank of Montana system in Lewistown. Like his time in Libby, he accumulated many lifelong friends and treasured memories. In 1982, he was promoted to President of the Bank of Montana System in Great Falls, MT, where he remained until 1990. Joe and Donna returned to Marshall, MN, when he was asked to come to work for Lloyd Amundson where he was the credit administrator and bank director for the various banks owned by the Amundson Group. While in Marshall he and Donna reengaged with lifelong friends. Joe and Donna retired to Billings, MT, in 2005 where they once again accumulated an amazing group of neighbors and friends. Joe attended various banking schools to further his career including University of Montana Morris Midwest Agricultural School, Minnesota School of Banking, Wisconsin Graduate School of Banking and the National Commercial Lending Graduate School. He was an avid sportsman with a great passion for hunting and fishing in Minnesota, Montana and Canada with his sons, grandsons and friends. He loved his dogs, Moose and Raider. Friends and family were the joy of his life. He especially loved hosting “Friday after work” in his garage in Billings.
Joe was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, son Brian (1991) and his sister Marilyn (2022). He is survived by his wife Donna of Billings, MT, daughters Cyndi (Doug Kay) of Boise, ID, Michelle of Angle Inlet, MN, Charlie (Joy) of Billings, MT; grandchildren Josh, Jake and Joe Friend, Emily (Dylan) Lawless, Kaitlin (Justin Stern) Kay; sister Barb (Keith) Rupp; brother-in-law Jerry Morhain; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Calvary Cemetery or St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital (a charity he thought very highly of.)