Joseph E. DeBay, age 86 of Rhinelander, died Friday, June 10, 2016, at his home, surrounded by his family. He was born on November 19, 1929, in Somerville, Mass. to Warren and Louise (Beaudry) DeBay.
Joe enlisted in the United States Air Force in January of 1951 during the Korean War. He graduated from the Air Force Medical Tech School and in 1952 assisted with the Polio epidemic in South Carolina. He served in Alaska, England, Texas, California, and South Carolina and was a member of the first graduating class for male delivery room technicians. While serving as a Senior Medic, he was involved with Nursing Services, Surgery, ICU, and Labor and Delivery as well as many other departments in the health field. He retired from the USAF in April of 1971 with twenty years of meritorious service; receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Following his service career, he settled in Rhinelander in 1971 where he was employed at St. Mary’s Hospital in the Emergency and Surgery Departments. He was also the medical physician’s assistant at Blackwell Job Corps Center, retiring in 1983.
Joe was a 30 plus year member of the Disabled American Veterans and served as sixth District Commander; was a 28-year member of the Lake Tomahawk American Legion Post 318, and was a member of the AMVETS for 11 years.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Wilma DeBay of Oklahoma. Joe was then blessed to marry Billie Fay Adkins on May 28, 1965. The two met while serving in the Air Force.
Joe is survived by his wife, Billie DeBay of Rhinelander; his children, Myra (Barry) Bissonette of Lake Tomahawk, Joseph (Carol) DeBay of Rhinelander, Michael (Janice) DeBay of Rhinelander, Mark (Nadine) DeBay of Minn.,, Vicky (Greg) Cummings of Rhinelander, Ernest DeBay of Rhinelander, Warren (Kim) DeBay of Rhinelander, Heidi (Chris) Lindner of N.D. and Beth (Bob) Rasmussen of Appleton; a brother, Bobby of Modesto, Calif.; 23 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
In addition to his first wife, Wilma, he was preceded in death by his parents; a son-in-law, Tony Smaglickand three brothers.
A memorial service for Joe will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 14 at the Carlson Funeral Home (715-369-1414) with Father Randy Knauf officiating. Military honors will follow the service. Visitation with the family will take place from 10 a.m. until the time of service on Tuesday at the funeral home. Condolences to the family may be directed at www.carlsonfh.com.