Cover photo for Joseph Mark Libera's Obituary
Joseph Mark Libera Profile Photo
1962 Joseph 2020

Joseph Mark Libera

April 18, 1962 — March 31, 2020

Joseph Mark Libera, age 57, passed away on March 31, 2020, due to cancer. Joe was born on April 18, 1962, at St. Mary's Hospital, Rochester, Minnesota. Joe graduated from Lourdes High School and received a B.S. Degree in Marketing from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, and he later earned a B.S. Degree in Elementary Education from Augsburg College in Minneapolis.

After living in Minneapolis for a number of years, he moved to Fountain City, Wisconsin. There he started River City Kayaks where he built okoume African marine mahogany sea kayaks. Soon after that, he created the "Carpe Diem" Paddle Club which is still in existence today. Joe established "Greasy Motors", whereby he converted diesel engines to engines that ran on vegetable oil. Joe also opened Fortunata's Coffeehouse (named after his maternal grandmother), where he roasted his own coffee and "held court" with his customers. Joe was the "coffee guy" at the Winona Farmer's Market for several years. People gathered at his venue for a good cup of coffee and a bit of "ribbing". Joe also worked as a paraprofessional in several area schools. His most recent position was working as the maintenance engineer at the Winona BluffView Montessori School, where he was known as "Mr. Joe". Joe enjoyed kayaking the Mississippi River, fishing, traveling, camping and restoring VW Westfalias and engaging in animated conversations with people of all ages.

Thank you, Joe, for being a part of our lives. You remembered our names, you teased us, and you brought us so much joy. You have touched many lives with your generous spirit, your witty remarks and your kindness. We will dearly miss you!

Joe is survived by his partner, Jane Cyrus; his parents, George and Dolores Libera; two sisters, Julie (Greg) Margarit, Marylee (Jim) Horstman; two brothers, Peter (Lauren), James (Kristine); his very special nephews and nieces: Tony (Megan), Ricky (Ashley), Anders, Kyle, Isaiah (Teal, and their son, Greyson), Marcus, Laura, Katie, Annika; Jane's sons, Cory (Amanda), Jared (Sabrina), Jesse (Cindy); Jane's granddaughter, Harper, and, finally, his loyal dog, Jack. Joe was preceded in death by a brother, Gregory.

The family would like to thank Winona Health Hospice and the Gundersen Health System for the excellent care given to Joe throughout his illness.

A celebration of Joe's life will be held at a later date. Hoff Celebration of Life Center - Goodview is assisting the family with arrangements. Please share a memory of Joe and sign his online guestbook at If you wish to send a card to his family, you can mail it to: Hoff Funeral Home, c/o Joe Libera Family, 3480 Service Drive, Goodview, MN 55987.


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