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Joseph W. Kurleto

June 17, 1926 August 24, 2018
Joseph W. Kurleto
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Obituary for Joseph W. Kurleto

Joseph W. Kurleto, a longtime resident of Rochester Hills, died Friday evening August 24, 2018. He was 92 years old. Joseph was born June 17, 1926 in Lwoẃ, Poland to parents Bartholomieus and Bronislawa Kurleto.

As a young man, Joseph escaped from his boarding school in Czechoslovakia when Poland was invaded. He never heard from most of his family again. Along with a friend, he trekked by foot behind enemy lines through Germany and France until he was sponsored by the Red Cross to come to the United States.

Joseph earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Wayne State University, and would go on to work for General Motors for 58 years. There he helped design and engineer the legendary Chaparral race car and traveled on the Can-Am Racing Series. Joseph went on to work in GM Research & Development and Powertrain divisions.

He earned a J.D. from the Detroit College of Law, passed the bar exam, and practiced privately as a lawyer. Joseph spoke seven languages and was a member of Mensa. He enjoyed downhill and cross-country skiing, tennis, marathon running, sailing, hiking, camping, and reading.

Joseph is survived by his beloved wife of 44 years, Diane Kurleto, and children, Carol Kurleto, Betsy (Pete) Mikulec, James (Meghan) Kurleto, and Joe D. Kurleto. He is also survived by his grandchildren, David (Leigh) Chudy, Amanda (Jeff) Long, Zach Mikulec, Charlotte Kurleto, great-grandchildren, Patrick, Sam, Asher, and Elena and first wife, Velera Kurleto. Joseph is preceded in death by his sister, Lucyna Kurleto.

A memorial service will be held at Lynch & Sons Funeral Home, 1368 N. Crooks Rd. (between 14-15 Mile Rds.) on Thursday, August 30th at 12noon. Friends may visit beginning at 11am.

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