Family man and educator, Joe Daniels always looked on the bright side
When Joe Daniels stepped away from the classroom at Marquette University to become the next Keyes Dean of Business Administration, he immediately missed the students. Quickly, though, he found new energy in more frequent interactions with alumni — former students now enjoying success due in part to Joe’s mentorship.
Twinkly eyed and filled with positivity, Joe had a knack for finding silver linings.
At his wife Lora’s urging, he reluctantly moved from the couple’s Elm Grove home of 21 years to a house in Muskego. It was not long before the avid fisherman realized he was a mere pontoon boat ride away from an ice-cold beer or two at Bass Bay Brewhouse.
Joe, a beloved father, husband, friend and educator, died Tuesday, Feb. 11. He was 60.
Described as the consummate family man, Joe was incredibly proud of his three adult children, all of whom attended Marquette University. Bill, 31, and his wife — and Joe’s former student — Angela (Schrubbe) live in the Denver area. Leigh, 29, and her husband, Michael Tiberi, are in Los Angeles. His youngest, Wesley, 25, resides in Wauwatosa.
Joe met Lora in their native Daleville, Indiana — the high school sweethearts were married for 39 years. Together, they moved to Milwaukee in 1990 after Joe completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at Indiana University in Bloomington to begin his 30-year career in higher education as an economics professor at Marquette.
A devout Catholic, brilliant macroeconomist and an enthusiastic college basketball fan, Joe truly loved Marquette. His students and colleagues likewise adored him — hundreds turned out for a campuswide prayer service in his honor the day following his death.
Off campus, Joe and Lora enjoyed attending Marquette basketball and Brewers baseball games, enjoying evenings together on their pontoon boat, traveling to visit their children, and cooking together.
The highlight of each year for Joe was the fishing trip to Hayward he took with his lifelong friend, Tim Hale. He also enjoyed running, cycling and trying new beers. Often by Joe’s side was his beloved Irish setter, Patsy.
Perhaps nothing demonstrated Joe’s life of faith and purpose more than his greatest triumph. He was diagnosed in 2006 with stage four lymphoma, a grim prospect for anyone. Yet, he fought — and fought hard, but not alone. With the expert care of his doctors at Froedtert Hospital and on the shoulders of his family, friends and Marquette colleagues, Joe won the fight of his life — he remained cancer free for 14 years.
In turn, Joe prayed for and provided comfort and encouragement to others in his life who were stricken with cancer diagnoses.
That’s who Joe was — a selfless man of grace, humility and joy.
A man who loved a good silver lining.
A celebration of Joe Daniels’ life will be held Monday, Feb. 17. A visitation will be held at the Church of the Gesu on the Marquette University campus from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., followed by a funeral Mass.
In lieu of flowers, the Daniels family wishes to have gifts made in Joe’s honor to Marquette University, to help establish a scholarship in Joe’s name. Please send to: University Advancement, PO Box 1881, Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881 or at marquette.edu/giveonline.
Marquette University (University Advancement)
PO Box 1881, Milwaukee WI 53201-1881