Joseph E. Fall, 82

Story Photo

Joe Fall, 82, of Mankato, passed away February 22, 2023. Joe was born on August 5, 1940, the son of Alvin Sr. and Vila (Kelly) Fall of Mankato. Preceding Joe in death were his parents and three brothers, Alvin Jr., Marvin, and William Kress. Joe was a lifelong Jewell County resident.
At around the age of two, Joe received a traumatic brain injury after falling out of a moving car. The family was outside talking when Joe, who was playing in the parked car, accidently pulled it out of gear. The car began to roll down an incline and Joe fell out, hitting his head. As the car continued to roll, one of the two older brothers pulled him away from the moving car just before it ran over him. The head injury likely caused damage to the Bronco region of the brain, affecting his speech. While rehabilitation was probably a promising option, he was kept on the family farm and worked as a laborer instead.
Many of the family members viewed Joe's life as sad. He would have had many more options had he been given an opportunity for rehabilitation and some education. Adding to this perspective were the family dynamics and dysfunction that created distance between family members. Unfortunately, Joe was part of the family mess, and the family grew apart. Most came to a peace knowing that sometimes trying to reconnect and heal causes more problems than does letting go. All of this was sad, especially for Joe.
But enough of the sad. There are some very beautiful things on which we prefer focus.
First, our heartfelt thanks to the people of Mankato who cared for and loved on Joe. Many of you showed him kindness and love - throughout his life and in his later years. To the remaining family, that is a beauty that outshines the sadness. Thank you. All of you.
Second, despite receiving no education, Joe taught himself basic reading, writing and math. He also learned how to work on cars, trucks, and repair farm equipment - no small feat for a man with no education.
Third, as kids, we used to love to hear Joe's brother Marvin make him laugh. Marvin would talk about something silly only he and Joe had in common. Joe's laughter would fill the home and raise the roof. At times we thought Joe was going to pass out he was laughing so hard and long. Sometimes he would ask Marvin to stop so he could catch his breath. You could not be in the same room with Joe laughing and not smile. That too, was beautiful.
Finally, we do not believe life ends at death. To the contrary, we believe life begins after our last breath... when we leave behind all our earthly and human limitations, skewed ways of thinking, and baggage. Perhaps we become something closer to who God created us to be... before others mess us up. No, we don't have any evidence, but we choose to believe it.
Something tells us Joe was welcomed home by his family in a way we can only imagine. A family who is now able to love and relate like they wanted to but couldn't. We imagine there was a lot of noise, mostly an indistinct, very loud Fall-family-kind-of-noise. The kind that causes Italian families to pause their celebrations and take notice. A noisy reunion where Joe's laugh echoes for all to enjoy.
Again, thank you to the kind people of Mankato!
Funeral Services will be Saturday, February 25, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Melby Mortuary in Mankato.
Burial will follow at Pleasant View Cemetery, rural Montrose.
Visitation will be prior to the funeral services, from noon until service time.
Memorials are requested to the Mankato Christian Church, and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
Melby Mortuary is assisting Joe's family with these arrangements, www.melbymortuary.com

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