2019 Maple Leaf Parade Marshal – Joe Heim

This year’s Maple Leaf Parade Marshal was born and raised in Milwaukee and, except for 2 years of active duty military service, has lived in Wisconsin all his life.

His parents, both of German ancestry, lived in Madison until they moved to Milwaukee in the mid 1930’s.

He and his only sister were born in the early 1940’s at the beginning of WWII.

He graduated from Marquette University High School and Marquette University before entering the US Navy in 1964, serving on a ship that included Vietnam service as part of his tour of active duty.

Following active duty, he became a member of the US Naval Reserve, attending meetings in Milwaukee, Madison and

La Crosse and also became the commanding officer of Naval Reserve Security Group units.

He moved to La Crosse in 1968 and taught for three years; then left for Milwaukee to complete graduate studies.  During this period, he found the time to meet, woo and wed his wife, also a Milwaukee native and law school graduate.  They returned to La Crosse in 1975, and have been happily married for 47 years.

Following the Navy’s theme of “Join the Navy and see the world”, he and his wife travel extensively. Friends usually start a conversation by asking “Where’s your next trip?”

I can assure our new Maple Leaf Parade Marshal and his Frau that his extensive travel is far from over as they join the adventures of the 2019 Royal Family contingent.

His wife’s father, Art, worked for Schlitz brewery all his life and taught them both how to pour a proper draft beer.  He continues to use this beer- pouring skill extensively.

He is best known for his involvement in area governments and politics.  He has been active in the political scene by conducting political opinion polls for WKBT and the La Crosse Tribune and giving occasional speeches to various civic groups.  He is a frequent political commentator/pundit for WKBT, WIZM, and Wisconsin Public Radio.

His civic activities are very numerous and have included being a member of the boards of the American Red Cross, the Chileda Institute, Riverfront, RSVP, LeaderEthics-Wisconsin  and the UW La Crosse Foundation.  He was honored to be appointed to state boards by both Governor James Doyle and Shirley Abrahamson, former chief justice of the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

He is very proud to be a co – founder of an organization called Coulee Region Collaboration, which morphed into United Coulee Region, and is now called the 7 Rivers Alliance.  He is also an active member of the La Crosse Area Chamber of Commerce.

Among his vices are a love for beer, cooking, and never being on time for almost anything.  His wife claims that he will be late for his own funeral.

His earliest memories of Oktoberfest are in 1968, heading down “to the tents” for one or two ……or three cool ones.

He and his wife-Pat- are both recently retired, he from teaching; Pat from the practice of law.

He was truly shocked and honored by being nominated, much less selected, to be the Maple Leaf Parade Marshal for 2019.

Former Maple Leaf Parade Marshals

YearMaple Leaf Parade Marshal
2018Neil Duresky
2017Gary Rudy
2016Brad Quarberg
2015Chuck Moore
2014Mike Desmond
2013Jean Thompson
2012Ed Biddick
2011Jim McGettigan
2010Ardie Schock*
2009Tom Thibodeau
2008George Smith
2007Dave Clements
2006John Stokes
2005Tom Pahs
2004Max Kottmer*
2003Marty Severson
2002Mike Kearns
2001Roger Harring
2000Elmer Grassman
1999Dolly Ozburn
1998Al Townsend
1997Pat Moore
1996Terry Peterslie
1995Bill Hoel
1994Bob Marck*
1993Dick Hackett
1992Edgar Kroner
1991Bob Wilhelm*
1990Lyle Anderson*
1989John Flanagan*
1988Noel Richards
1987Bob Soules*
1986Jim Jacobson*
1985Raymond Bice*
1984Russ Cleary*
1983Phil Quillin*
1982David Nudd*
1981John Alexander*
1980L. Peter Groves
1979Gordon Feinberg*
1978Dale Rudy
1977Paul "Pip" Wuest*
1976Jean Gitz Bassett
1975Fred Kramer*
1974Charlie Kearns*
1973Alma Burns Zahn*
1972Fred Abraham*
1971Ed Quillin*
1970Palmer Hanson*
1969Kootch Carroll*
1968Paul Kreutz*
1967Babe Weigent*
1966Jim Conway
1965Marge Lienlokken*
1964Frank Italiano*
1963Jack Martin*
1962Joan Engh
1961Esther Domke*
* Fondly Remembered

Parade Marshal Nomination

Know Someone that should “Lead the Way?” Nominate a Parade Marshal today using the Parade Marshal nomination form!

Submit your nomination for a 2020 Parade Marshal by completing the online form linked below.

Your nominee should be a person who:

  • has contributed positively to the good of the community through leadership and outstanding accomplishments
  • is someone of good character that is well-respected
  • is a resident for at least 10 years within 20-mile radius of La Crosse
  • is actively involved and well-known in La Crosse community
  • is well-known, well-liked, friendly and outgoing
  • has the time to devote to Oktoberfest activities!

Click here to nominate a Parade Marshal