Francis Joseph Giesen ‘Joe’
A longtime Duluth resident and educator, Joe Giesen, passed on peacefully in his home on June 24th with his wife and children holding his hands. Joe was born on December 18, 1944 in North Minneapolis, Minnesota to Francis and Marie (Spanjers) Giesen. He graduated from St. Mary’s College and began teaching at Duluth Cathedral in 1966, later earning a Master’s graduate degree in Educational Administration Principalship and Supervision of Instruction. He had a career in education for 41 years serving as a teacher, Dean, and Principal at Duluth Cathedral, the Marshall School and East Central School District. Joe received recognition for his expertise numerous times, among them, the Bush Principals’ Leadership Scholarship, the Minnesota Chamber foundation “Excellence in Education” award, the Marshall School Distinguished Faculty award and the Robert D. Krey Research award. Joe’s vocation was to teach and write. He also was a long-time advocate for equal rights, most recently contributing several newspaper articles on peaceful resolutions to current national issues. Kindness and compassion were his underlying guides on how to solve problems and our treatment of others. Joe lived a life of service in hopes of helping others and making a difference while in this world. Over the years, he helped many students who have called him, wrote to him and visited him, all with thanks for making their lives better. Joe had many talents for home renovation. A treasured gift he gave his family is the beautiful Lake Home he built during the first years of his retirement. He spent as much time as he could there and enjoyed sitting in his rocking chair at the end of the day overlooking the lake. Joe was a voracious reader and has an extensive library. He never wanted to stop learning. In recent years, he attended University for Seniors and was so grateful for the friendships in his Friday coffee group. Joe lived his life as an amazing husband, father and dedicated educator. Surviving Joe are his wife of 48 years, Cindy, his children, Jennifer (Jason), Jessica, and Benjamin; grandchildren, Ella, Lauren, and Madelyn; and siblings, Mary Jo, Leo (Terry), Helen (his twin), and Bernadette. A private family service was held to remember this honorable man.