Memorial to be held in June

Friends and family will be notified

Joseph Patrick Fleischman

May 28, 1933 - May 6, 2021

Joseph Patrick Fleischman, 87, died on Thursday, May 6, 2021 at his home in Roseville, Minnesota.

He was born in Oswego, New York and was the youngest of seven boys.  After serving in the U.S. Army, Joe attended Le Moyne College, and a Jesuit seminary in upstate New York. He later received his masters degree in history from Creighton University.


Joe moved to Winona, Minnesota to teach at St. Mary’s College where he held many positions including professor, dean of students, athletic director, college center director and fundraiser. He also participated in the local chamber of commerce and arts organizations. Joe cherished the good friends he made in Winona and met with his “lunch bunch” friends on a regular basis until his passing. 

Joe moved to Minneapolis in the late 1980s and lived with his sweetheart, Sue Garber, who supported him as he overcame addictions and became active in the recovery movement. He supported others challenged by addictions and surrounded himself with guys who helped each other stay sober.

Before retiring, Joe raised funds for the non-profit employment organization, Hired. After retiring, he put his energy into his passion for jazz and classical music. He remembered all the lyrics to American standards, and enjoyed live music regularly. After attending one of the first JazzMN Big Band concerts, Joe committed himself to volunteering for the band. As a board member and JazzMN’s most avid booster, he did fundraising, marketing and helped with tickets at every concert from then on.


Joe was known as a storyteller with a wry sense of humor, an enthusiastic golfer, and a competent cook and baker. He was proud to share his homemade pies, scones and cookies with neighbors. He was a friend to many and an adoring father.

Joe was preceded in death by his partner of over 20 years, Sue Garber (in 2014), and his six brothers John, Philip, Bill, Dick, Fred and Art.


He is survived by his daughters, Elizabeth Fleischman (and husband Charles Ornegri) of Brooklyn, New York and Catherine Potter (and husband Eldon Potter) of Portland, Oregon, and grandsons Isaac and Gabriel. He will be deeply missed by his family as well as his companion of the last few years, June Decker.


A memorial for Joe will be held in June. Friends and family will be notified.


In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to https://jazzmn.org/ or https://www.hired.org/.

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