Fallen Hero SSGT Joseph H. Fankhauser, United States Marines

Joseph H. Fankhauser

August 27, 1981 - April, 22, 2012
U.S. Marines

Joe was thirty years old when he lost his life in Afghanistan. I have great admiration for this young man who among other things attainted Eagle Scout in his early years; was in the Marines for 12 years; served four tours in Iraq, and two in Afghanistan. His mother, Mary, and I have corresponded many times during the process of painting this portrait. She sent me this bio telling us about Joe, her only child:

Staff Sergeant Joseph (Joe) Fankhauser was born Aug 27, 1981 in Edinburgh, Texas. He spent most of his childhood with his mother in Robstown and Kingsville, Texas. His middle school years were spent in San Marcos, Texas where he was in the Junior ROTC program at San Marcos Baptist Academy. He also spent some school days with his father in the Rio Grande Valley where he attended Sharyland schools and participated in the high school band. Joe enjoyed activities such as Cub and Boy Scouts, achieved Eagle Scout and received the Arrow of Light award. He was also active in Royal Ambassadors (church group), Vacation Bible School, Little League, and playing with the neighborhood kids. He loved his GI Joe toys, teddy bears, reading and was especially fond of elderly people and young children. Joe liked Christmas colors red and green, Spam, MREs and broccoli.

Upon graduation from Mason High School near the Panhandle of Texas, he entered the Marines. He served in Okinawa, Japan; Washington, D.C, four tours of duty in Iraq, and was serving his second tour of duty in Afghanistan at the time of his death. He was a member of the EOD (Explosive Ordinance Detail) stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. During his twelve year career in the military, he earned numerous awards including two Purple Hearts. He married Oct. 1, 2005.

Joe is survived by his immediate family: his wife of six years, Heather Fankhauser of Oceanside, California; his father, Henry Fankhauser of McAllen, Texas; and his mother, Mary Wyscarver of Temple. He had numerous relatives and friends and is very much missed by all of them.

Portrait sponsored by:
The Powers Family, Canadian Honker Restaurant, Rochester, MN
Second sponsor: Dr. Charles W. Smith D.D.S., Rochester, MN