BANGE, Joseph

BANGE, Joseph Bernard

Age 97, of Hamilton, Ohio, passed away peacefully in his sleep February 6, 2021, at his home. His wife of 71 years, Phyllis, was at his side. Survivors include Phyllis; seven

children, Jeanne (Fritz Bell) Hogue, Jim (Anna Marie) Bange, Ray (Margaret

"Peggy") Bange, Mark (Pam) Bange, Ann (Todd) Smith, Mary (Rob) Gladstone, Mike (Shelby Gernon) Bange; 13 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and sibling, Donald (Margie-deceased) Bange of Centerville. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Mary (Tritschler) Bange and siblings, Rev. Ralph Bange, Mary (Hal) Fish, Thelma (Harry) Duccilli, Sister Ruth Bange, and Dorothy (Stan) Duke. Joe was born in Hamilton during 1923. On

August 19, 1950, he married Phyllis Hardwick of Bluffton, Ohio. Joe met Phyllis while working as a co-op student at the Triplet Corporation in Bluffton. Joe had many interests, none greater than his faith and family. He was devoted to Phyllis and loved his children and grandchildren greatly. Mr. Bange was a life-long active member of St. Peter in Chains Church. He was involved with many roles and projects at St. Peter and Badin High School. The most visible is the design and construction of the bell tower at St. Peter. Joe was an excellent

academic student and musician. He graduated from Hamilton Catholic High School. He earned a scholarship to the University of Dayton (UD). At UD, in addition to his studies, Joe was the Drum Major. His academics were interrupted by WWII.

Following Pearl Harbor, he left UD and enlisted with the

Army. He served in Europe and arrived on the Normandy Beach just days after D-Day. He was very humbled by his

experience. He was in the Signal Corps and Signal Installation Company. Often, he and one or two other soldiers would have to travel beyond combat lines to install communication lines and equipment. For this reason, the small group was

often on their own for periods of time. Joe's orders were signed by Eisenhower, and he recalled that this carried considerable authority when the small group would arrive in a town with no other support. One Christmas, while on leave in the Ardennes Forest, the Battle of the Bulge overtook the area and active duty unexpectedly resumed as they joined the

action. In yet another major event, he crossed the Rhine River at the Ludendorff Bridge during the Battle of Remagen. One of his strongest memories was that several of the Allies'

generals knew him by first name. On one occasion, he drove the generals to a concentration camp shortly after it was

liberated. Joe said those sights "stay with you." It was these experiences in the war that forged his outlook to never waste time, use it productively, make the most of life, and appreciate everyone. After the war, Joe finished his education at the University of Cincinnati. He earned his degree in Electrical

Engineering and was a very skilled engineer across multiple disciplines, as well as a great mathematician. He had a long and distinguished career at Western States Machine Company. He started as an Electrical Engineer. He became the Manager of Research and Development followed by the Director of

Engineering. Subsequently, he was elected to the Board of

Directors. He made many product innovations and was awarded several patents. Joe led the development and testing of the world's first truly four quadrant regenerative drive. Joe presented and published this breakthrough technology through the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). His work with Western States took him around the world at a time when global travel required much greater

effort. During one adventuresome layover flight in Uganda, he was unexpectedly detained by Idi Amin's supporters for several days. He often worked with global customers to install the company's machinery. In many cases, this required that he also teach the local electric power company how to produce and deliver reliable electricity. As a result of these extended interactions, he would experience the local culture, and bring it home to share through photos, stories, and products made by local artisans and craftsmen. In addition to his professional success, Joe practiced many trades and was a skilled craftsman. He personally built an addition to the first family home. Later he designed a new family home and oversaw its

construction. He could practice any trade and could build or repair most any electrical or mechanical device. One of his hobbies was wood turning, and he enjoyed making intricate pieces. He also enjoyed playing bridge and golf. One lighthearted memory was making a hole-in-one at Potter's Golf Course. He loved to swing dance and ballroom dance with Phyllis. They attended Big Band events and local dance clubs. They could really cut a rug and had great fun dancing. Some special memories include trips with Phyllis through Europe. Other memorial trips were to Africa, Australia, and The

Vatican. Joe lived his faith through his daily life. Common

impressions of Joe are that he was always cheerful, very

intelligent, a gentleman at all times, always willing to help, a wonderful father, a fabulous husband, and that it was a joy for him to visit with family and friends. He was loved dearly and will be missed by many. The family would like to express its heartfelt appreciation for the team of care givers who have so kindly cared for Joe. Prayers will be offered at 12-noon Wednesday in the Zettler Funeral Home, 2646 Pleasant Ave., followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 12:30pm at St. Peter Church. Visitation will be from 11:00am-12-noon, Wednesday in the funeral Home. Burial will be in St. Stephen's Cemetery. Memorial donations are suggested to St. Vincent de Paul

Society c/o St. Peter in Chains or the Sisters of Notre Dame

de Namur, Reading, Ohio. Online register book available at

Funeral Home Information

Zettler Funeral Home - Hamilton/Lindenwald