Joseph Francis Vojta, of Maryland but formerly of Naperville and Homer Glen, died suddenly on January 15, 2017. Born January 20, 1943 in Chicago to Maria Grethen Vojta and Joseph Francis Vojta, he earned engineering degrees from Illinois Institute of Technology and Lehigh University (PA). Joe then began a 33-year career with Chicago Bridge and Iron, working in the Chicago area, Memphis, South Africa, United Arab Emirates, and Brazil. In 2000 he retired in Dubai and returned to IL, until last October, when he, wife Yori, and daughter Lisa moved to MD. Joe was a devoted and supportive parent, coaching his daughters' soccer and basketball teams as well as volunteering at their swim meets. He played tennis and softball, and LOVED watching and talking sports. A fastidious handyman, Joe always had a project: woodworking, painting, cars, designing, and general tinkering. The family enjoyed camping, taking weeks-long car camping trips to explore the US and Canada - for which he over-engineering an entire packing system for the back and top of their vehicle. Later in life he enjoyed backpacking with buddies, including portions of the Appalachian Trail, and he and Yori traveled internationally, including Japan, China, Thailand, Brazil, the Middle East, Kenya, and southern Africa. And of course, he loved his new role as "Ojii-chan" to his granddaughter! Family and friends will remember Joe as a kind, gentle, loving man, with a generous smile and an infectious laugh, eager to help even if it meant tearing a hole in his new jeans. A friend to all who knew him, Joe was an excellent listener who rarely talked about himself but would ask about you. Joe was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Don and Ken. He is survived by Yori, daughter Michi and her husband Bruce, daughter Lisa, and granddaughter Memphis. You are encouraged, if desired, to donate in his memory to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (http:www.AppalachianTrail.org) or the American Heart Association (http:honor.AmericanHeart.org/goto/JoeV). And when you look up and see a well-engineered water tower (the tallest structure in many towns), think of him.
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