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March 21, 1953 ~ September 14, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Joseph Potocnjak was born March 21st, 1953, in Zagreb, Republic of Croatia. He passed away peacefully at his home on September 14th, 2023, in Grande Cache, Alberta.
Joe came to Canada with his parents from Europe in 1969, graduating from Robert Service Secondary School in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, in 1971 and was extremely proud of his Canadian citizenship. He went on to work for various mining companies including open pit operations in Asbestos, Gold, Platinum, and Palladium mining industries.
Joe spent time living and working in parts of The Yukon, Alaska, Thunder Bay and finally Grande Cache, where he remained part of that community for more than a decade, working as a heavy equipment supervisor at Grande Cache Coal. He also spent time in the United States, living in Texas, Arizona, and Southwest Florida in the 1990’s.
Throughout his life, he was quite the outdoorsman, enjoying fishing, hunting, skiing, foraging for mushrooms, hiking, and camping. Joe also loved to take care of the plants in his apartment, loved music and animals, the allure of the open road. Joe loved classic American muscle cars, with a special place in his heart for the Corvette. He absolutely loved the foliage changes in the fall, and loved Alberta so much. Everyone my brother and I spoke with after his passing said that he especially loved talking about his kids.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, Alexander and Marija Sabolic; he is survived by his two children, daughter Julia (Bryan) of Boulder, Colorado, and son Joseph (Stephanie) of Tyler, Texas. He is also survived by Lana Potocnjak (Baleski), also of Tyler, Texas.
A celebration of Joe’s life will be planned for a future date, with scattering of his ashes at some of his very favourite spots also planned. To quote one of his favourite songs by Trooper:
“We’re here for a good time, not a long time, so have a good time, the sun can’t shine every day.”