Joseph Hausauer, a financial innovator, active community volunteer, and coach died on Sunday, March 3, surrounded by his beloved family after a three-year battle with cancer.
Joe touched many people with his good works, from leukemia patients undergoing bone marrow treatment at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle to a group of young football players at Lely High School in Naples, Florida. Born in Wahpeton, North Dakota, in 1953, Joe grew up hunting and fishing, flying planes, and reading volumes of history, his passion. His penchant for public service was perhaps formed early in life by his father Roy's many years in the North Dakota State legislature and by his own formative experience as a college senior caring for his mother, Berta, during the last year of her life.
Joe graduated from the University of North Dakota, where he played football and served as an assistant coach. He earned a degree in history from UND but his love of business and economics eventually led him to Wall Street, where he worked as a broker for E.F. Hutton and met his future wife, Liz. Moving west to Bellevue, Washington in the early days of the internet, Joe pioneered one of the first online mortgage companies Keystroke Technologies. After relocating with his family to Marco Island, Florida, he worked in banking and commercial real estate and quickly became a community leader through his work with the Marco Island Charter Middle School board , the Rotary Club and the Marco Island YMCA.
Joe's compassion and kindness defined him. He was a natural mentor to children and teenagers, volunteering countless hours at the YMCA in their literacy and summer camp programs. In 2012 the Joseph A. Hausauer scholarship was established so that children who would normally not be able to participate in summer camp would be given the opportunity. "He never wanted anyone to be left out," said Cindy Love, CEO of the Marco Island YMCA.
As a volunteer coach for the Lely High School Freshman football team, "Coach Joe" inspired the many young men he so easily befriended, to reach far beyond the limits of the football field. He secured college athletic scholarships, took the players on school visits across the country, and often provided the necessary supplies and clothing so that they would have a better transition so far from home. "He gave me my first Christmas," said Ben Jean, who is now a sophomore at Saginaw Valley State College, Michigan.
Joe's pride at the team members' success was surpassed only by the joy he took in the accomplishments of his own children, Sam, co-owner of Line-X of SWFL, and Katey, an honors student at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
With humor, curiosity, and intelligence, Joe lived his life to the fullest and inspired countless others through his generosity and integrity.
He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, their two children, Katherine and Samuel (Jessica), and granddaughter Riley. He also leaves his sister, Janis Burke and her husband Vern, their children Clay and Caitlin and two brothers Steve and Terry Hoffman.
A memorial service will be held at the Marco Lutheran Church on Saturday the 9th of March at 11:00 a.m., 525 N Collier Blvd. Marco Island Florida.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Joseph A. Hausauer Scholarship of the Marco Island YMCA. Please make checks payable to the Marco Island YMCA, 101 Sandhill Street, Marco Island, Florida 34145, (239-394-3144).