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Joseph John Prasil, Jr.

March 16, 1943 - April 8, 2022

Joe Prasil died Friday, April 08, 2022, in the Greenville Memorial Hospital.

Born in Chicago, Illinois, on March 16, 1943, he was one of the four children born to Joseph John Prasil and Helen A. Palucki. He graduated from St. George High School for Boys and he received a BA in English from the University of Dayton, and then an MA from Northwestern University. Following his graduation, he accepted a job teaching at the St. George High School for Boys for three years. Joe then accepted a job teaching English and coaching football for the Dept. Of Defense Overseas Dependents School system. He spent three years in Japan teaching at the Johnson Family Housing Base which housed many of the military families who worked at the Yakota Air Force base. He then spent one year teaching on a top security base in Karamursel, Turkey, where he was also the JV football coach. The school had never won a football game before, so Joe was very proud that they had an undefeated season.

 

While living in Japan, Joe returned home during the first summer to attend his sister’s wedding. At the wedding, he met his future wife, Judy. They dated for the remainder of the summer and Joe returned to Japan and Judy returned to France where she was studying at the Sorbonne. They repeated this the next summer. At the end of the third summer, Judy asked if Joe was ready to get married. He said no, and they didn’t have any contact for the next seven years. Judy called Joe one New Year’s Day. Her first question was “Are you married?” When he replied that he was not, she invited him to visit her in Minneapolis where she was then living. Joe later learned that immediately after their conversation, she called her mother and told her that they were going to get married. Joe didn’t know about the engagement for another four months.

 

Joe’s father owned a machine shop where he designed and built custom machines. While in Turkey, Joe received letters from his mother expressing concerns about the company. She pleaded with Joe to come home and see if he could help. At the end of the school year, Joe returned home with the idea of quickly selling the business and then returning to teaching. But Joe discovered that it was not that simple. Joe spent 11 years building the company and with the help of a much larger company was able to start exporting some of the machines. Joe then sold the company to Oakley Industries in Niles, Illinois. As part of the sales agreement, Joe would become the sales manager for their machinery division. They had done almost no exporting, so the first thing Joe did was make an arrangement with the company that had represented Prasil Inc. This company had agents in 48 countries. Together they managed to triple Oakley’s machine sales during the first year. Joe enjoyed the 25 years he spent at Oakley. Joe eventually traveled to 66 countries helping the agents sell machines, giving seminars, and closing deals.

 

Judy was able to join Joe on many of his trips until Joe retired in 2009. Joe and Judy sold their home in Mt. Prospect, Illinois, and moved to Hendersonville, NC, in 2011. Judy and Joe were ardent birders and they traveled the world in search of different species. They eventually were able to view more than 2500 species of birds. Joe was also very involved at Grace Lutheran Church in Hendersonville. He served on the church council, produced one of the Grace picture directories, and was a member of the Building and Grounds committee. He also served as a volunteer on the twice-yearly blood drives and eventually served as co-chair of the blood drives.

 

Joe was predeceased by his parents, beloved wife Judy, brother Bill Prasil, and sister, Gail Prasil.

He is survived by a sister, Linda (John) Rank, extended family, and his Grace Lutheran Church family.

A memorial service will be on May 10, 2022, at 2:00 pm in the afternoon at Grace Lutheran Church in Hendersonville, NC.  A time of visitation will follow the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Grace Lutheran Church at  1245 6th Ave W, Hendersonville, NC 28791.

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