He was born on Dec. 6, 1928, in Fort Scott to Joseph and Mary Lily (Hickman) Karleskint. He grew up and attended school in Fort Scott, where he was a graduate of Fort Scott High School and attended Fort Scott Community College.
While serving in the U.S. Army, he was stationed in Germany. Upon his honorable discharge, he served in active Army Reserves until 1957. He lived in Topeka while he was employed by the state of Kansas. He then began his 37-year employment with AT&T Long Lines as an operations supervisor.
He married Theresa Rei on Feb. 9, 1957, in Fort Scott. The family lived in Fort Scott and Ottawa before moving to Parsons in 1965.
He was a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parsons and a third-degree member of the Knights of Columbus. He was also a member of Brown-Bishop Post No. 704 Veterans of Foreign Wars, Elks — BPOE Lodge No. 527 in Parsons and the Katy Parsons Golf Club. He enjoyed playing golf, hunting, fishing and spending time with his family at Grand Lake.
Joe is described by his family as a “selfless, patient, positive, non-judgmental man who felt nothing was a lost cause. He never met a stranger and was always smiling, as well as the epitome of morality and spirituality, and will be deeply missed.”
Survivors include his wife, Theresa Karleskint of the home in Parsons; a son, Brian Karleskint and his wife, Vicky, of Austin, Texas; three daughters, Terri Flynn and her husband, Mark, Julie Williams and her husband, Donnie, and Elisa Karleskint, all of Parsons; 13 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; a brother, Jake Karleskint and his wife, Leota, of Cleveland; and four sisters, Sister Mary Bernedette Karleskint, RSM, and Sister Mary Barbara Karleskint, RSM, both of St. Louis, Sister Mary Alfreda Karleskint, CSJ, of Wichita and Virginia McLaughlin of Phoenix.
He was preceded in death by a daughter, Erica Ann Karleskint; a brother, Anthony Karleskint; and a sister, Bessie Louise Karleskint.
The funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parsons. Burial will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Parsons. The rosary will be prayed at 6:30 p.m. today at Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home in Parsons, where the family will receive friends immediately following the rosary.
Memorials are suggested to the St. Patrick’s Catholic School Endowment Fund or the Parsons Youth Crisis Shelter and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, P.O. Box 374, Parsons, 67357.
Online condolences may be left at www.forbeshoffman.com.