Joseph Bruce ‘Joe’ Hunn, 90, of Mahomet, IL and formerly of Columbia, MO, died on Friday, November 17, 2023, at Bridle Brook Assisted Living surrounded by his loved ones. He had late onset Parkinson’s Disease and a brief diagnosis with an aggressive cancer before he passed.
Joe was born in St. Paul, MN on March 12, 1933, to Joseph Charles and Iveas (Ehlers) Hunn. Growing up, everyone knew him as Bruce. He graduated from Cretin Catholic High School in 1951 and went on to earn his undergraduate degree at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN in 1955. He started the graduate program at Michigan State University but was drafted into the army in 1957 before he could complete his higher education.
Joe served in the Army for 2 years, spending time at the Army Chemical Center in MD before being honorably discharged to finish his education at Michigan State. He completed his master’s degree and earned a PhD in Physiology in 1963 and was then granted an NIH Post Doctoral fellowship in Leetown, WV. After his fellowship, Joe was employed by the US Fish & Wildlife Service in La Crosse, WI at the Fish Control Lab starting in 1965. He became assistant lab director in 1969, and in 1977 Joe earned the title
of project leader and station chief at the Hammond Bay Biological Station in Millersburg, MI. In 1980, Joe led the fish toxicity section of the Columbia National Fisheries Research Laboratory in Columbia, MO. Joe was very well known in his field, and highly respected for his extensive knowledge of fish toxicology, and his oversight of key research on the biology and behavior of sea lamprey. He authored or co-authored over 55 publications during his 30-year tenure. He was an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri, teaching courses in fish physiology, fish culture and fish diseases. Joe was united in marriage to Susan Wozney on August 5, 1967 at S.S. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Independence, WI. Together they were very active in multiple churches where they lived. Growing up Bruce served as an altar boy, and later taught Sunday school and was a lector.
Joe enjoyed curling, racquetball, handball and tennis. He inherited his love for music from his parents and played the flute and piccolo growing up. He worked for the MN highway dept mowing road ditches as a young man, and he played ice hockey in college. He loved pheasant and goose hunting, flower and vegetable gardening, playing cards and cribbage. He was an avid reader and was known to love his daily newspaper. He always had a story to tell, a hearty laugh, and a pen in his front shirt pocket.
Joe is survived by his loving wife of 56 years, Susan; sister Rita (Charles) Frundt; children William (Kim) Hunn of Woodbury, MN and Susan ‘Suzy’ (Jeffrey) Reeves of Mahomet, IL; grandchildren Matthew and Joshua Hunn of Woodbury, Kelsie and Trever Reeves and Evan and Gracie Shuff of Mahomet. He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Francis ‘Frank’ Hunn.
Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday, December 2, 2023, at SS Peter & Paul Catholic Church with Father George Thayilkuzhithottu officiating. Family and friends are welcome for visitation one hour prior to the service at church. Burial will be in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Joe’s honor can be made to Saint John’s University in MN. To express condolences to his family online, please visit www.edisonfuneralhome.com.To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joseph B. Hunn, please visit our flower store.