Serving Western Wisconsin
Joseph Jilek 01/31/2020

Joseph Jilek 01/31/2020

Joseph Benedict Jilek, age 74, of River Falls died Friday, January 31, 2020 at Kinnic Health and Rehab in River Falls. He was born the son to John S. and Marie (Stodola) Jilek on March 9, 1945 in Rice Lake, WI. He graduated from Rice Lake High School. Joe attended the University of Wisconsin-River Falls where he played football for four years and was selected as an All-American Player. Joe taught Physical Education and Math, including several years as school Athletic Director and as Assistant School Principal, along with coaching baseball, football, wrestling and track before retiring in 2000 from the Glenwood City school system. He also was a referee for WIAA and a mentor to many officials and students. After 40 years of officiating, Joe was inducted into the National Wrestling Officials Hall of Fame. Joe enjoyed fishing, ice fishing and deer hunting. He is remembered as a sports enthusiast and was a Packer and Badger fan. He loved every minute of attending his sons and grandchildren’s sporting events and did not miss a game. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, John S. and Marie; granddaughter, Alyssa; brother, Tom; sister, Delores; sister-in-law, Anne; and brother-in-law, Jerry. He is survived by his wife, Renee; sons, Todd (Andrea) and Craig Jilek; grandsons, Daniel, Will and Nicholas Jilek; granddaughter, Delanie Jilek; sisters, Mary Nunke and Helen Jilek; brothers, John and Tony Jilek; brother-in-law, Gene (Cindy) McKahan; sister-in-law, Betty (Lew) Cran; many nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. A Mass of Christian Burial was held Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at 10:30 am at St. Bridget Catholic Church (211 E Division St.) in River Falls. Visitation took place on Monday, February 3, 2020 from 5-8 pm at St. Bridget and on Tuesday from 9:30-10:30 am. Interment was in Greenwood Cemetery. Arrangements are with Bakken-Young Funeral & Cremation Services.


  • Ted Pittman Posted February 1, 2020 7:45 pm

    My sincerest condolences to the Jilek family. Joe was an inspiration to me during my high school years at Clear Lake.

  • Linda Shepard Posted February 2, 2020 1:57 am

    Out hearts reach out with compassion and love to your family. God engulf you with tender mercies, grace, and peace. Our supportive prayers. John and Linda Shepard

  • Dale Krig Posted February 2, 2020 7:01 pm

    My deepest sympathy to the family relatives and friends of Joe Jilek my thoughts and prayers are with you God Bless you Mr. Jilek

  • Valori Zabel Posted February 2, 2020 7:19 pm

    My sympathies to you Renee and your family…if you keep a green branch in your heart, then the singing bird will come. 🙏🙏

  • Merle Richter Posted February 2, 2020 7:53 pm

    Our hearts go out to a good friend and to one of the greatest wrestling referees in Wisconsin. I had the opportunity to coach with Joe as ref in many matches. Being a Rice Lake Graduate like Joe we always had so much to share. He will be missed. Merle Richter. Retired Ag Teacher, wrestling coach. Bloomer High School

  • Terry Petrie Posted February 2, 2020 9:35 pm

    My prayers are with the Jilek family. Joe was a great guy and helped many young officials. He will be missed by all👍 Terry Petrie Retired Baseball Coach. U W Stout

  • Jan Monson Posted February 3, 2020 1:21 am

    Our deepest sympathy to the Jilek family. Joe was an amazing man. He was a great coach,official, and friend. He will always be remembered for being fair, and respected by everyone who knew him. Thanks Joe for being so many things to so many people. You will be missed my friend.

  • Amy Barstad Posted February 3, 2020 1:47 am

    So sorry to hear of your loss! My heart goes out to the family! Very fund memories of Joe from school. May he Rest In Peace!

  • Tom clark Posted February 3, 2020 5:26 pm

    My deepest sympathy to Renee and family. It was a joy to have Joe as a coach and mentor. I have nothing but fond memories of playing sports with Joe coaching and ice fishing with him, Joe was a great person and friend.

    You will be missed.

  • Karen Posted February 3, 2020 9:43 pm

    Our sympathies for your loss. Remembering Joe from high school From classmates Karen Schieffer Anderson and Larry Anderson

  • Steve, Racheal and the Bencs family Posted February 3, 2020 11:15 pm

    Our hearts are saddened by your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.

  • Steve Schutte Posted February 4, 2020 10:33 pm

    From all of the Wrestling officials from the state of Wisconsin and the Downing Association officials we are very sorry for your family’s loss. Joe was a great mentor for many officials and we will certainly miss him.
    Northwest Wisconsin Wrestling Association

  • Sali & Mike Mounce Posted February 8, 2020 5:39 pm

    Renee and family, our hearts are with you all. We remember fondly Joe and his smile, laugh and easy style. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. Our love to you all.

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