Oct. 9, 1931-Dec. 17, 2015
Josef Recker, 84, died Dec. 17, 2015, in Homer.
There will be a community-welcome celebration of Josef’s life at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 30, 2015. at the Homer United Methodist Church. Please bring stories of Josef to share.
Josef was born Oct. 9 1931, the youngest of eight children, in Glandorf, Germany, to Clemens and Lidwina Recker. He liked to say he was raised in Ohio, because it reminded him of the rural countryside of northern Germany. Many of us on the Kenai know him for his candid observations, great sense of humor and singing voice. Others may know him as a jokester, happy bicycler, frequent swimmer, serious coffee consumer, student at Kachemak Bay Campus and food bank volunteer. Josef was hard not to notice when he was present nearby.
He grew up during World War II, studied for the priesthood in Germany and Canada, becoming an Ordained Roman Catholic priest in 1959 in Ontario, Canada. From1960-63 he was a parish priest in Cabalian, South Leyte Island in the Philippines, moving on to North Carolina, Newfoundland and then to California in 1969. Josef also served as a tour guide to the Holy Lands, Athens, Rome, Scandinavia and Russia, as well as being the minister on the maiden sailing voyage of “The Space Ship: TS Hamburg” in1969. During the 1960s he also became proficient in painting with Byzantine oils (a type of tempura) and had four one-person exhibits, selling many paintings. Only one of these is now locatable.
Josef became a naturalized US Citizen in June of 1969. In the 1970s he left the priesthood, becoming a real-estate sales-person and broker in Northern California, where he worked with his wife, Beatriz Llaneza Recker, being awarded many Outstanding Sales Achievement Awards. Later he was a civilian employee at McClellan Air Force Base in California.
In his spare time in the early 1990s Josef studied and received certificates from The American Institute of Vedic Studies, and in various healing modalities from The Healing Tao Center and the Jujitsu-Do Martial Arts and Healing Arts Center.
Having previously visiting Alaska, he retired to the Kenai Peninsula in about 2000, deciding to live in Homer in 2007, where he would sit in his car for hours on Bishop’s Beach, watching the birds, the waves and “talking to God.”
Josef had a passion for an eclectic range of spiritual traditions, and languages, delving into each with his characteristic enthusiasm and honed focus. Like many of us, Josef was a diamond in the rough — clear, sparkly and smooth on one side while rough and prickly on the other. Josef is one multifaceted Soul, a self-described “rascal,” a world traveler and a lifelong learner, who lived an adventuresome, intense and varied life. Once he listed “world curiosity” as a reason for leaving a job. Now maybe his lifelong spiritual curiosity finally drew him Home.
Any gifts or donations in Josef’s name can please be made to the Homer Community Food Pantry at 770 East Road, Homer, AK 99603.