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Joe Germann
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A rosary will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday at Lakewood Funeral Home Chapel for Joe Germann, 85, of Ceres. He died Friday, July 27, 2007 at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto.

Visitation will be from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

A mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Jude's Catholic Church, 3824 Mitchell Rd., Ceres.

Born Jan. 30, 1922, Mr. Germann was a native of Gossau, St. Gallen, Switzerland, the youngest of seven children. He served in the Swiss military, later he graduated from a well known farm and land management school. Mr. Germann worked as an arborist and farm hand for many years in Switzerland before pursuing his dream to own a dairy in America.

Joe sailed from Europe in 1954 on the Queen Mary with his bride Frieda. They began a dairy farm on the outskirts of Ceres with just 30 cows and through sweat and perserverance built it into a successful grade A operation. He proudly watched as his sons took over the family business but that did not stop him from working. He wore a baseball hat that said, "I'm not retired, just tired."

One of his great joys was driving tractor working the fields which he did as recently as just a few months ago. He had a passion for farming and family. He also took pride in watching his daughters graduate from college and become professionals.

Devoted to his family and God, Mr. Germann was a firm believer in hard work. He enjoyed carpentry, gardening, traveling, reading, watching old westerns, telling stories and listening to Swiss music. He belonged to St. Jude's Catholic Church, the San Joaquin Valley Swiss Club, the Stanislaus County Swiss Club, and was a former member of the Associated Dairymen and the Farm Bureau.

He leaves behind his wife of 53 years, Frieda Germann of Ceres; his five children, Trudy Fassler of Hughson, and Charlie Germann, Andy Germann, Betty Campidonica and Rosie Simas, all of Ceres; and 11 grandchildren, John M., Michael, Jared, Daniel, Patrick, Dominque, Gabriella, Jonny C., Emily, Joe and Joshua.

-Ceres (Calif.) Courier /August 1, 2007