Joseph Bakle

IRON MOUNTAIN – Joseph E. Bakle, 84, of Iron Mountain, formerly of Coldwater, passed away Sunday, March 10, 2013, at Dickinson County Memorial Hospital in Iron Mountian.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Private interment will take place at Mason Cemetery in Coldwater.

Joseph was born Dec. 6, 1928, in Fort Wayne, Ind., to Edward and Caroline Bakle. He married Leah Sampsel-Corless on May 14, 1982, and they resided in Coldwater until 1999 when they moved to Iron Mountain.

Joe grew up on farm in rural Butler, Ind., and had worked in the automotive industry which peaked his interest in auto body. He earned his bachelor’s degree and became a teacher at the Branch County Area Career Center where he had taught auto body and other related programs for 21 years.

Mr. Bakle had received many awards of recognition for his years of teaching and was involved in many educational clubs such as V.I.C.A. In 2012, he was inducted into the National Technical Honorary Society. After his retirement he served on the Coldwater Zoning Board from 1990 to 1996. He volunteered his time at the Community Health Center of Branch County and in Iron Mountain for Habitat for Humanity, Dickinson County Memorial Hospital, Substance Abuse, and the Breen and Crystal Lake senior centers.

Joe enjoyed fishing, dancing and playing cards, especially bridge and smear. He freely shared his knowledge and experiences with family and friends.

Joe is survived by his companion, Peggy Laurich of Iron Mountain; his children, Teresa (Steve) Fleming of Aurora, Wis., Katherine (Martin) Fleming of Sagola, and R. Scott (Martina) Corless of Nurnberg, Germany; 10 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sisters, Carol Boyer of Toledo, Ohio, and Marianne Greub of Auburn, Ind.

He was preceded in death by his grandson, Thomas Scott Fleming in 1984; his wife, Leah on Aug. 19, 2003; and his sisters, Patricia Cox and Dorothy.

Condolences may be expressed at or the Remembering Coldwater High School Classmates website.