Joseph R. Conrad was born July 27, 1941, in Cold Spring, MN to Walter and Martha (Kloeppner) Conrad. He passed away March 7th surrounded by family.
After graduating from St. Boniface high school, he joined the Navy, and spent the next two years transporting troops across the Pacific Ocean.
He was happy to return home to Minnesota and go to work for the Cold Spring Granite Company, where his father and brothers (Wally & Don) worked. One day, he was tapped on the shoulder and asked to move to Raymond California. The very next day he traveled west. He enjoyed the beauty of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
He asked Diane Sauer to join him and they were married. His son, Charles and his daughter, Sharie were born in this beautiful mountain setting.
In 1968, he packed up the family and moved to Portland Oregon. In Portland, he continued to work in the stone industry for several companies. In the early seventies, he took advantage of the GI Bill and attended Portland Community College and Portland State University. His degree was a BS in Social Science and a Geography Minor which had been delayed until he found out in 2016, that his service in the navy qualified as his missing PE credit. He walked with the class of 2016.
In 1985, he started his own company – Joseph Conrad Stonecutter. He opened the doors in the southeast industrial neighborhood so he could stay in sync with the local architect and design communities. He was proud to have built such a successful company with his children that employed local talent and beautified Portland area homes, commercial buildings and churches.
He was a veracious reader and deep thinker. He loved long in-depth conversations and could hold his own on almost any topic.
He loved to travel and explore. Joe had numerous adventures: SE Alaska, Mexico, Europe, Montana and Idaho to name a few. He was always searching for stone in nature and buildings where ever he went.
He loved to write about his life and adventures. You can follow his stories on his blog spot growingupinminnesota.blogspot.com and stonecutter.blogspot.com.
He was a self-taught artist. He started stone sculpting in his 50’s and he was involved in the Northwest Stone Sculpture Association. In his many years as a sculpture, Joe compiled a large body of work.
He was over the moon when his grand-baby, Jewell, was born. He participated in her life daily with zest. He loved cooking her breakfast, taking her to school, weekly swim sessions at the gym, music and acting lessons and whatever activity she was doing at the time. He set up an art station for her right by his workstation, so he could teach her how to draw with charcoal and sculpt with clay. Joe also made sure there was an annual Nutcracker outing and many more plays and performance experiences.
Joe would spend endless hours in his garden. Always trying to perfect his fruit trees, flowers and vegetables. His sculpture/garden vignettes were his claim to fame.
Joe is survived by his son, Charles Conrad (Debra Wicks), daughter Sharie Conrad and granddaughter, Jewell Conrad Deal.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Walter and Martha Conrad. His siblings: Wally Conrad (Irene), Don Conrad(Marilyn), Ramona Lund, Marian Zierden(Cy), Joanne Buermann(Herb), Tom Conrad(Sheila)
There will be a celebration of life this summer in his sculpture garden. If you are interested in attending, please call Debi @ Conrad Stonecutter – 503-235-3644 or send us your email at firstname.lastname@example.org.