Joseph Edward Larakers, age 80, of Normanna, Texas (and long-time resident of Chicago, Illinois), went home to be with the Lord peacefully on Monday, October 17, 2022, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family.
He was born on May 28, 1942, to Joseph and Virginia Larakers. Joe gave his life to Jesus Christ at the age of 17. Joseph married Patricia Sue Watson on August 15, 1963. While pursuing math and physics degrees at the University of Illinois in 1966, the Lord called him to serve full-time as the senior pastor at Hoyne Avenue Wesleyan Church in Chicago. He ministered there for 35 years, involving himself fully in Bible study, prayer, evangelism, discipleship, counseling, building maintenance, church music, and the support of missions.
At age 59, Joe was called to the mission field of Haiti where he served as the Director of West Indies Self-Help (WISH) for eight years. In 2001, he retired to live near family in Texas where he faithfully attended New Hope Christian Church in Beeville. Joe’s life was dedicated to serving his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and he continues that service now in eternity.
Joseph is survived by his beloved wife of 59 years, Patricia; his five children, Karen (Thomas) Leininger of La Vernia, Texas, Joseph (Kathleen) Larakers of Normanna, Texas, Daniel (Angela) Larakers of Ashland, Illinois, David (Amy) Larakers of Wheaton, Illinois, and Elizabeth (Michael) Larakers Lee of Las Vegas, Nevada; thirteen grandchildren, Esther, Deborah, Mary, Joel, James, Kaylee, Kassidy, Declan, Zach, Lucy, Molly, Cato, and Cassian; six great-grandchildren; a sister, Susan (Gene) Brown; two sisters-in-law, Monica (Robert) Larakers and Phyllis (Ray) Bowman; and numerous nieces and nephews. Joseph was preceded in death by his parents Joseph and Virginia Larakers, his brother Robert Larakers, his brother-in-law Ray Bowman, his niece Diane Welenc, and three nephews: David Bowman, Jesse Brown, and John Larakers.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 23, 2022, from 3 to 5 p.m. at Oak Park Memorial in Beeville, Texas, followed by a funeral service on Monday, October 24, 2022, at 10 a.m. A private graveside service will follow.
Serving as pallbearers are Mary Larakers, Westen Graham, Joel Larakers, James Larakers, Declan Larakers and Zach Larakers. Honorary pallbearers will be Esther Leininger, Deborah Graham, Kaylee Santiago, Kassidy Wilson, Lucy Larakers, Molly Larakers, Cato Lee and Cassian Lee.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to WISH at http://haitiwish.com/ or P.O. Box 221608, St. Louis, MO 63122-9997.
OAK PARK MEMORIAL FUNERAL CHAPEL