Vigen Memorial Home obituary – Josias Neri Cruz, 97, Keokuk



Josias Neri Cruz, 97, affectionately known as “Joe” and “Papa” died Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at home.
He was born on May 26, 1921 in Baymon, Puerto Rico the son of Vicente and Maria Rodriguez Cruz.
On August 28, 1949 he was united in marriage to Marilyn Dunagan in Kahoka, MO. She preceded him in death on March 19, 2012.
He was a veteran of the United States Army and proudly served his country as a combat medic during World War II.
Joe graduated from Robert Morris College with a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Philosophy.
He had worked for Sheller Globe in Keokuk as a Research and Development Engineer for 33 years before his retirement in 1983.
Joe was an extremely talented carver, carving statues out of stone, wood and metal, specializing in religious and Native American art. He enjoyed golfing, reading philosophical books, writing poetry, and socializing with people. He loved being with his family and friends. Joe thoroughly enjoyed watching and listening to Cardinal baseball games with his wife. They never missed a game.
He was a member of the Deer Run Golf Club in Hamilton, IL.
Joe is survived by two sons: Michael (Elizabeth) Cruz of Orlando, FL, and Randy (Jane) Cruz of Waukesha, WI, five grandchildren: Deanna (Dr. Jason) James of Keokuk, Josh (Rachel) Cruz of San Antonio, TX, Erin Cruz of Keokuk, Bradley Cruz of Waukesha, WI, and Megan Garcia of Houston, TX., great-grandchildren: Ben James, Caleb James, Will James, Mia James, Alexandra Cruz, Josh Cruz, Jr., Grace Cruz, Cain Cruz, and Bella Cruz, a great-great granddaughter: Guinevere Cruz and several nieces and nephews in Puerto Rico.
Besides his wife he was preceded in death by his parents, three brothers and three sisters.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Monday at the Vigen Memorial Home in Keokuk with Pastor Mike Shea officiating. Burial with military rites will be held at the Keokuk National Cemetery.
Visitation will be held from 2-4 p.m., on Sunday, at the funeral home with the family meeting with friends at that time.
Memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Online condolences can be made to the family at

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