Welcome to our new web site!

To give our readers a chance to experience all that our new website has to offer, we have made all content freely avaiable, through October 1, 2018.

During this time, print and digital subscribers will not need to log in to view our stories or e-editions.


Dr. Joseph Leon VanWie, 82


Dr. Joseph Leon VanWie died May 16, 2024 in Las Cruces, New Mexico.  He was born in Alexandria, Minnesota May 2, 1942, six months after Pearl Harbor.  Growing up in Garfield, Minnesota, a farming community, he saw the ending of horse-drawn equipment.  His parents, Leon Peterson VanWie and Violet Alice Bertha Christopherson VanWie, had two sons.  Joe’s younger brother is Steven LeRoy VanWie.  Joe spent his growing up years working on farms, fishing, and tromping the countryside.  He started school in a one-room primary school in Garfield and attended Alexandria High School.

His mother encouraged him to go to college.  Summer jobs helped him work his way through the University of Minnesota (UNM).  He spent three years teaching mathematics at Minneapolis Edison High School.  Learning about a National Science Foundation academic year institute at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, he applied and was accepted for the school year 1967-68.  It was a real learning experience living in the South.  In the fall of 1968, Joe took a job at Southwest Minnesota State College, which was in its second year of existence in Marshall.  During the thirty-nine years on the faculty, he taught most of the mathematics courses, helped start the computer science (CS) program, and taught CS for about five years.  He really enjoyed the students.  His nature affected the lives of so many people in meaningful ways. 

Joe met his wife (Eileen Kalberg) while at UNM, whom he married on August 6, 1966 in Hector, Minnesota.  They had two daughters, Nicolle Marguerite and Erika Jo.  

In 1971 Joe began work on a doctor’s degree in mathematics education at the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) in Greeley.  The family lived in UNC student housing during his residency year of 1974-75.     

Later years involved travel within the United States and around the world.  Joe returned to his love of fishing in Minnesota, Canada, and Alaska and hunting pheasants and ducks in North and South Dakota later in life.  Spending time in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area, he helped a friend with a pecan harvesting business for several years.  The mild, sunshiny winters brought Joe and Eileen to live in Southern New Mexico.  They travelled by bus in Mexico and enjoyed “old” Mexico too.    

Joe is survived by his wife (Eileen), their daughters, Nicolle VanWie (Brooke Anderson) and Erika VanWie Pollard (Aaron Pollard), a brother Steven VanWie (Christine VanWie), three grandchildren (Vann, William, and Gus Pollard), and two nieces (Shelley Beckler Gregonis and Danielle VanWie Schmidt).  A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, June 29th at 2:00 pm at the Farm & Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces.  Another will be held Saturday, July 20th at 2:00 pm at the Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart Senior High School at 220 – 3rd St. W. in Hector, Minnesota, where his cremains will be laid to rest in the Hector Cemetery. 

The following are suggested memorial gifts: VanWie Scholarship in Mathematics Education (Southwest Minnesota State University), the VanWie Scholarship in Learning Leadership (New Mexico State University), National Jewish Health (Denver, CO), The American Cancer Society, or plant a tree.


Arrangements are with La Paz-Graham’s Funeral Home, 555 West Amador Las Cruces NM 88005.  To sign the online guest book, visit www.LaPaz-Grahams.com

Obituary, Joseph Leon VanWie