Alfred Joseph “Joe” Falcon, aged 98, peacefully passed away on the morning of Monday, May 9, 2022. He was a vibrant, strong, 98 year-old man, with a razor-sharp memory, until having a stroke in the last few weeks of his life.
Joe was born March 15, 1924 to Ralph and Virginia (Bonneau) Falcon in Williston, North Dakota. He was the second oldest boy of their twelve children.
World War II would forever change the course of Joe’s young life. He was part of the “Greatest Generation” and enlisted in the United States Navy, serving in the Pacific Theatre, aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Sangamon. The ship earned eight Battle Stars while they battled toward Japan. During the Battle of Okinawa, the carrier was struck by a kamikaze. As a result of the damage, they had to go in for repair, causing Joe to miss the Surrender of Japan at sea. Much to his dismay.
Up until the very last week, he was telling us the names and hometowns of two of the men who perished in that attack on the ship. Those two men may have died that day, but he kept them alive in his memory and by sharing those stories with his friends and family. in the fact that we have always known their names. We were all so fortunate that he would tell us the events and battles of his service.
Upon War’s end, he was honorably discharged from service, given a train ticket home from Norfolk, Virginia to Williston, North Dakota and entered into the rest of his life.
Because he was a member of the “Greatest Generation” he went from “saving the world” to the workforce overnight. He was employed with the Great Northern Railroad as a signal maintainer. It was a lifelong career.
Joe married Helga Gustafson on October 16, 1954 and they made their home in Culbertson, Montana. They welcomed son, Terry, in 1955. They happily raised him in Culbertson and supported him in his many sporting events and activities.
Joe retired in 1988 and he and Helga lived happily, until her death in 1997. He was sharing memories of Helga the day before his stroke.
He followed his grandchildren to sporting events all over the state. He loved going to coffee and visiting with friends and new acquaintances he met in Culbertson. Joe lived at his own home in Culbertson until February 1, 2022 when he moved to Butte’s Southwest Montana Veteran’s Home.
He loved the time he spent living at the Veteran’s home. The fellow veteran’s and staff became his instant friends. He was very appy there.
We’ll miss you, Grandpa, it was an honor and a privilege to be your grandchildren and we love you so very much.
Joe is survived by his son, Terry and Terry’s wife Becky and grandchildren, Nicole and Robert.
A Graveside Service with military honors will be held on Friday, July 8, 2022 at 1:00 p.m. at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery, 1911 Tower Street, Missoula, MT 59804. Joe’s family invites you to join them at a reception following the Graveside Service at the home of Terry and Becky Falcon, 5519 Riverview Dr. S., Florence, MT 59833.
Special Heartfelt thanks to the Staff of the Southwest Montana Veteran’s Home. You all are an incredibly special group of people and you helped make the end of his life so wonderful.
Please visit below to offer the family a condolence or share a memory of Joe.
Axelson Funeral and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Joe and his family.