Joseph K. Meusey
May 16, 1941 – November 15, 2021
The family will receive friends on Monday, November 29th from 5pm to 8pm at the West Center Chapel. CELEBRATION OF LIFE: Tuesday, November 30th at 11am at Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1517 S. 114th Street. In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to: Presbyterian Church of the Cross; Nebraska Humane Society; Children’s Hospital and Medical Center; or charity of your choice.
Joe Meusey passed away peacefully from complications of a heart attack on November 15, 2021 in Omaha, surrounded by his loving family.
He was born and raised in Storm Lake, Iowa to parents Kenneth and Veronica Meusey. He had two younger brothers, identical twins, who when seen together, were often mistaken as triplets. Joe attended grade and high school at St. Mary’s Catholic School (1 of 17 classmates) where he excelled in sports and speech contests. He played high school baseball and was a starter in basketball his last two years. Joe went to Creighton University for one year before the death of his father in 1960 caused him to return to his hometown to complete his studies at Buena Vista College where he became a State Champion debater and received a BA in History.
Joe attended the University of Iowa College of Law during which time he married and started a family. Following graduation, Joe returned to Omaha and joined the Fraser Stryker law firm where he became a partner and worked for 54 years before retiring in 2019. He was honored for many years in the Great Plains Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America rankings based on reviews and nominations from his peers. Joe was a member of several professional associations: the American College of Trial Lawyers in 1982, president of Nebraska Association of Trial Attorneys -1984, president of the Omaha Bar association in 1989 and was a fellow with International Society of Barristers, serving on its board of governors from 1993-1999. He also was a guest lecturer at the Creighton Law school as well as an instructor at University of Nebraska College of Medicine. During the Vietnam War, Joe served as a member of the United States Army JAG Reserve.
In addition to his many professional achievements and accolades, Joe excelled as a son, brother, husband, Dad and Papa. Family was a priority for Joe. He always wanted to give more to all seven children than he had growing up. He was an incredible teacher and provider, always the person to go to for advice. Joe had a strong work ethic along with loyalty, honesty and trustworthiness. He was a mentor and a very good friend to many.
Sports that combined strategy and skill appealed to Joe, especially golf and baseball. Golf became another priority beginning at Field Club of Omaha. In 1985, after marrying Sue, they joined the Happy Hollow Club family where Joe was Club Champion in 1990 and President in 1995. Happy Hollow was his second home and all his fellow golf buddies were like brothers. Sue and Joe relished their many snowbird getaways to Avondale Golf Club in Palm Desert, California and traveling all over the US, Canada and Europe. Joe enjoyed tennis, hiking in the National Parks, scuba diving, skiing and fly fishing as well as a being a huge sports fan, often using his substantial oratorical skills to root on his beloved Iowa Hawkeyes and Chicago Cubs with the television sound off, the AM radio on, and his computer reviewing the fan comments. He was as excited as a kid to ‘Fly the W’ when his Cubbies finally won it all – the 2016 World Series Championship!
He took an active interest in each of his grandkids’ activities–following his grandsons’ baseball game play-by-play online and writing to them about it afterwards, travelling to all their homes to see school musicals and recitals of his granddaughters, watching his elementary age grandkids play sports or march in Halloween school parades and joining the party and games afterwards. “Papa Joe”, as he was known to them, was always eager to share his love for fishing and golf with them.
Another longtime passion of Joe’s was model railroading, and over the years he built a museum-quality HO layout. It was not treated as a museum piece–rather, it became another way to bond with the family. The layout started as a 4′ x 8′ foot floor model so the grandchildren could readily see the trains with a few small buildings. This turned increasingly more elaborate and extensive as the family grew. He named various places along the tracks after them. The trains zipped by handcrafted hillsides, lakes and towns in cities like Ellaville and Maxtown that were home to businesses like – Sara’s Dance Studio, Betty’s Card Shop, Alex’s Restaurant, Beau’s Sawmill, Rowan’s 24 hour Diner and Hazel’s Outfitters – that Joe had painstakingly put together and lovingly named for each family member. Each grandchild got to learn how to run the trains and make deliveries for their businesses. In addition, every year, just before Christmas, Papa Joe would write a “Letter to the Shareholders” (the grandkids) of the Spaghetti Western Railroad (SWRR) from its president Rhodes N Bridges highlighting the year’s additions and happenings at the Yourze Ore Mine and the Fed Ups Shipping Company. The SWRR now occupies an entire room of the basement.
He was a detailed oriented person. There are too many to count three ring binders and bins of important information on everything subject that held his interest located in his Den. For example: golf (he documented every round of golf he played and analyzed the stats), religion, the Cubs and Royals, Hawkeye football, Kansas basketball, fantasy leagues, investments, hundreds of books (He would read 2 to 3 books at a time.), jazz musician biographies and their music, Broadway musicals, cooking, HO trains — more than Sue ever realized. He researched and sought out knowledge on all subjects and filed it for future reference. When it came to his railroad, he had no idea how to wire the electrical system, or make a mountain or a stream look realistic, so “How to…” YouTube videos, became his “new best friend” and teacher.
Joe was universally beloved by family, friends, coworkers and fellow golfers for his quick wit, wisdom, knowledge, zest for fun and remarkable story telling abilities. He was a gentle giant (sometimes loud) who brought us an abundance of joy, laughter and love especially to his entire blended family and his best friend, confidant and loving partner, Sue.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Sue (Mack); children: Katherine (Richard Baguley), Boston; Mike (Kristin), St. Louis; Jennifer Brosseau (John), Denver; Matt (Faith), Missoula; and their mother Margaret Meusey, Omaha; stepsons: Rich Stemm (Maddie), Omaha and Rob Stemm (Ali), Denver; and brother Jack (Dawn) of Minneapolis; grandchildren: Tyler Petty, Austin, TX; Sara Christel (Alec), Omaha; Max, Meredith, Alex Meusey, St Louis; Joseph and Beau Meusey, Missoula; Ella and Avery Brosseau, Denver; Rowan and Sienna Stemm, Denver and Hazel Stemm, Omaha. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, daughters Mary Ann Meusey (infant), Molly Petty and his brother Jim Meusey.