Obit: Follmar, Joseph A. – Reverend (1932? – 2020)


Surnames: Follmar, Heinrichs, Jurgens

Source: Tribune/Record/Gleaner (Abbotsford, WI) 01 Apr 2010

Follmar, Joseph A. – Reverend (1932? – 25 MAR 2020)

Rev. A. Joseph Follmar, 87, Manhattan, Ill., formerly of Greenwood, passed away on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, while he was sleeping at his sister Rosie’s home. A private Mass of Christian Burial was held in La Crosse. Interment was in Catholic Cemetery of La Crosse in La Crosse.

Born in Long Island, N.Y., Joseph was the son of Ambrose and Dorothy (nee Heinrichs) Follmar. He was educated at Holy Cross Seminary High School and one of the original members of the first Holy Cross Seminary High School class in 1947. Fr. Joe undertook his high school, collegiate, and philosophical courses at Holy Cross Seminary and did his theological training at St. Francis Seminary in Milwaukee. Fr. Joe did further studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. Later, while on sabbatical, he studied at Oxford and traveled his beloved Scotland. Fr. Joe served as a parish priest for more than 50 years in the Diocese of La Crosse, before retiring from St. Mary’s Church in Greenwood and Holy Family Church in Willard, and moving to Manhattan, Ill., to be near his sister and family. He continued to serve as a priest in the Diocese of Joliet, Ill., until his death. For Fr. Joe, a walk with one of his beloved collies on an abandoned railroad in southwestern Wisconsin began a lifetime of interest in railroad history. He went on to help establish the Chicago & Northwestern Historical Society and authored numerous articles and books. While serving at St. James Parish in La Crosse, Fr. Joe spent a number of years at the Church Tribunal Office helping men and women obtain annulments. He was pastoral at heart and advocated for orphans and children in poor home environments. This compassion extended to the abused and those of humble circumstances.

Fr. Joe is survived by his youngest sister, Rose Jurgens of New Lenox, Ill.; his nephew Kurt Jurgens of New Lenox and his wife Laura and their children Moriah, Kiah, Nadia, Olivia, Aiden, and Luci; his nephew Erik Jurgens of New Lenox and his wife Amy and their children Alexandra, Molly, Theodore, and Elizabeth; and his niece Kari Ropers of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and her husband Mike.

He was predeceased by his sister, Sister MaryAnn Follmar of Pawtucket, R.I.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Fr. Joe’s name to: Mid-Continent Railway Museum, P.O. Box 358, E8948 Museum Road, North Freedom, WI 53951, 608-522-4261. For all other condolences or Masses, please send to the funeral home.

Arrangements are entrusted to: Forsythe Gould Funeral Home, 507 S. State St. (Rt 52), Manhattan, IL 60442. (815) 478-3321.



© Every submission is protected by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998.


Show your appreciation of this freely provided information by not copying it to any other site without our permission.


Become a Clark County History Buff


Report Broken Links

A site created and maintained by the Clark County History Buffs
and supported by your generous donations.


Webmasters: Leon Konieczny, Tanya Paschke,

Janet & Stan Schwarze, James W. Sternitzky,

Crystal Wendt & Al Wessel