Cover photo for Joseph "Joe" Edward Pung's Obituary
Joseph "Joe" Edward Pung Profile Photo

Joseph "Joe" Edward Pung

October 22, 1943 — July 1, 2023

Stanchfield

Joseph "Joe" Edward Pung

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Joseph (Joe) Edward Pung, 79, of Stanchfield, MN, was called home to be with his Lord Jesus Christ on Saturday, July 1, 2023, at Abbott Northwestern Hospital.  A loving husband, father, Opa, and friend, he was beloved by all who knew him. 

Joe was born to George Francis Pung and Julia Anna (née Bueckers) Pung in Richmond, MN, on October 22, 1943.  He grew up in St. Martin, MN, where his family owned Pung’s Bar, and he attended grade school.  Joe’s father passed away when he was 11, and his mother operated the bar until he went to college.  A three-sport athlete at Paynesville High School, Joe was offered a full scholarship to play football at the University of Minnesota under legendary coach Murray Warmath. 

At Minnesota, the Gophers won the Rose Bowl during Joe’s freshman season in 1961 (when freshmen were ineligible to play); he was a three-year starter at center and was the Gopher’s captain and voted team MVP in his senior year.  He played in the Blue-Grey All Star Game after his senior season and considered trying out with the NFL; instead, he earned his master's degree in education at the U of M, working at the university’s General College, and coaching freshman football for the Gophers for four years.

While at university, Joe also met the love of his life, Vicki Rubis.  They married in August 1966 in Anoka, MN, and enjoyed a strong and happy marriage for 56+ years.  They had three sons, and both Joe and Vicki took immense pride in seeing their children (and grandchildren) grow and develop.

During his time at the U of M, Joe formed a personal and deep relationship with his Savior Jesus Christ.  Never afraid to speak about his faith, Joe and Vicki were active members of Stanchfield Baptist Church for many years where Joe also taught Sunday School and served as a Church Deacon.  Most recently, they attended Pine City Evangelical Free Church.

Joe taught for over 30 years in the Osseo School District.  At Osseo, he helped to develop a “school within a school” for students who were more vocationally minded and less focused on academic subjects. 

In the summers, he also worked as a water patrol deputy for the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department, patrolling ten lakes and a stretch of the St. Croix River.  In 2001, he was named the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Water Patrol Deputy of the Year, partially for developing a novel search method when responding to drownings.

In addition to his teaching and law enforcement, Pung served on the Chisago County Planning Commission for 26 years and as an admissions coordinator for the United States Military Academy for eight years.

Joe and Vicki lived in a home that they built on West Rush Lake in 1969.  Joe loved to fish and could often be found on the lake early in the morning fishing for bass or walleye.  Upon retirement, they enjoyed traveling widely, often to visit their children and connect with Joe’s German heritage. 

Joe is survived by his wife Vicki, three sons and their wives, nine grandchildren, and members of the extended Pung, Rubis, Fron and Spanier families. 

A celebration of Joe’s life; 11 AM Saturday (Aug 5, 2023) at the Pine City Evangelical Free Church "Lighthouse", 1045 Main Street South, Pine City, MN 55063 with visitation Friday 5-7 PM and one hour prior to the service Saturday; all at the "Lighthouse".  A light lunch will follow service.  The interment, at a later date, will be in the Stanchfield Baptist Cemetery. 

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Joe’s memory to: Kenny Danielson and the Oak Hills Center for Indian Ministries https://centerforindianministries.org, (selecting K. Danielson on the donations page)

Condolences and memories can be shared at the Swanson Funeral Chapel (Pine City, MN) homepage, https://www.FuneralAndCremationService.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph "Joe" Edward Pung, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, August 4, 2023

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Pine City Evangelical Free Church-Lighthouse

1045 Main St S, Pine City, MN 55063

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Saturday, August 5, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Pine City Evangelical Free Church-Lighthouse

1045 Main St S, Pine City, MN 55063

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Luncheon

Saturday, August 5, 2023

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

Pine City Evangelical Free Church-Lighthouse

1045 Main St S, Pine City, MN 55063

A luncheon will be served following Joe's celebration service

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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