Cover photo for Joel Ellis Skarpness's Obituary
Joel Ellis Skarpness Profile Photo
1938 Joel 2023

Joel Ellis Skarpness

July 10, 1938 — April 30, 2023

Willmar and formerly of Murdock

Joel E. Skarpness, age 84, of rural Murdock, passed away Sunday morning, April 30, at CentraCare Rice Therapy Suites in Willmar.


Visitation will begin at 12 noon followed by the Funeral service at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 4, at Hope Lutheran Church.  Interment will be at Spring Creek Lutheran Cemetery.  Military honors will be provided by the New London American Legion Post #537.  Arrangements are entrusted to the Peterson Brothers Sunburg Funeral Home.


Joel Ellis Skarpness was born on July 10, 1938, in Starbuck, Minnesota, the son of Julius and Esther (Hagen) Skarpness.  He grew up in Glenwood and at the age of 3, moved with his family to the Skarpness farm near Spring Creek in Kerkhoven Township, Swift County.  He attended school in Murdock and graduated from Murdock High School in 1956.  Joel enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served from 1956-1959 at the Barbers Point Naval Base on the island of Oahu, Hawaii.  Following his service, Joel attended the University of Arizona for 4 years and then received technical training for computer programing in Minneapolis.  Joel was employed as a computer programmer at Uni-Vac Corporation in St. Paul.  In 1973, he retired and moved back to the homestead to assist his parents with the farming duties.  In 2005, Joel retired from farming and moved into an apartment in Willmar.  He has resided at Rice Care Center for the past year due to his declining health.  Joel enjoyed photography and telling jokes.  He had a wonderful sense of humor.


He is survived by several cousins, besides other relatives and friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents.

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Joel Skarpness Bulletin.pdf

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, May 4, 2023

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, May 4, 2023

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

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