Joseph "Smokee" Clarence Throndson, 77
Joseph "Smokee" Clarence Throndson, age 77, of New Hampton, Iowa died Friday, January 7, 2022, at his home.
Friends may greet the family from 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home & Crematory in New Hampton.
Interment will take place at a later date at Calvary Cemetery in New Hampton.
Joe was born on Sept. 26, 1944, to Clarence and Rita (Weigel) Throndson in New Hampton, where he grew up and began his education as a student at St. Joseph Community School. He then went to New Hampton High School, where he was a member of the Class of 1963.
He worked several jobs after high school before enlisting in the National Guard, serving his country from 1965 to 1971.
Joe knew Lea Mai from school, and they got to talking one day at the Sweet Shop and a spark was lit. The two began dating, fell in love and were married on Jan 28, 1967, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. They welcomed two daughters — Missy and Terri — who had a father who loved life.
He was an excellent bowler in the winter and the best softball pitcher in the summer. It was on the softball diamond where he was dubbed “Smokee,” and his wife and daughters remember traveling all around Northeast Iowa to watch Joe and his teammates play softball. Oftentimes, Joe would have two tournaments to play on the same day. Lea and the girls never missed a game though, and would go from one town to the next to make sure they were there. The Throndsons quickly became a part of a softball “family” that had the guys playing on the diamond, the wives talking in the stands, and the kids “cheerleading” and playing around the park. Joe also could shoot a mean game of pool, and more than a few guys over the years never got a chance to take a shot because Joe would run the table.
Joe helped build the freezer at what would become the Sara Lee plant in New Hampton and then he was among the first employees hired by the company when it began operations in Iowa. He worked for almost 30 years as a mixer and blender at Sara Lee, and after the plant closed, he went to work at the SMI saw mill in Cresco before retiring.
He was a heck of a grandpa to his eight grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, and just like he did with his daughters when they were young, Joe loved giving them lawn-mower rides. Joe was one of those guys who loved to mow — with a rider, of course! — and his lawn was always immaculate.
Joe had a great sense of humor, and he loved to argue yet it was always good-natured. He could take grief as good as he could give it, and trust us, he was a superstar grief giver.
Back when Jeff Gordon was racing, he enjoyed his NASCAR, and he also was a Minnesota Vikings and New York Yankees fan. But his true sports love was the Iowa Hawkeyes. When Iowa played, he always had his Hawks cap on and it was hard to find a bigger Hawkeye supporter than Joe.
Joe was a one-of-a-kind guy who liked to have a beer in his hand and loved spending time with the people he loved the most — his family and friends. He was a true character and his sudden loss has left a void for so many, but the memories Joe helped make for so many years will last a lifetime for those who knew and loved him.
Joe is survived by his wife Lea of New Hampton, IA; two daughters, Missy (Sam) Boos of New Hampton, IA, Terri (Bill) Drewelow of Fredericksburg, IA; eight grandchildren, Trevor (Kadi) Reicks of Lawler, IA, Trenton (Haillie) Reicks of Waucoma, IA, Elliot Reicks of Davenport, IA; Alex Burke of Fredericksburg, IA, Chloe (Ray) Schaufenbuel of Hiawatha, IA, Logan Burke of Fredericksburg, IA, Shelby Reicks of Chicago, IL, Eli Reicks of Lawler, IA; nine great-grandchildren, Tucker Reicks, Tate Reicks Thron Reicks, Trip Reicks, Aubrey Reicks, Peyton Reicks, Brody Reicks, Westyn Reicks, Reyna Schaufenbuel; one brother-in-law, Dennis Teske of Rochester, MN.
He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Sharon Teske.