obit template2018-11-29T12:10:12+00:00

Joel James

Known for his quick wit and fun loving personality, Joel Buchholz certainly put the spice into the lives of those around him. He could be a bit stubborn about the things he felt passionately about, yet he was quick to smooth things over with his charm. Joel was an avid sports fan who was loyal to his home teams and someone who truly appreciated the great outdoors. Life will never be the same without Joel here, but the memories he leaves behind will remain lasting gifts in the lives of those who cherished him.

The 1960s were time of great trial and tribulation in America. The Civil Rights Movement was front and center while the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963 rocked our nation to its core. This same year was a year to remember in the lives of one young couple from Cudahy, Wisconsin, for a much different reason as they were pleased to welcome a healthy baby boy into their hearts and home on June 11th. Joel James was the second of four children born to his parents, Jerry and Geraldine (Dvorachek) Buchholz, and was raised in the family home alongside his older brother, Jeff, and his younger sisters, Janice and Judi. During his youth his mother and father owned and operated their own local business, Jerry’s Inn.

For the most part Joel experienced an upbringing that was fairly typical for the youth of his generation. Music by artists such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Jimi Hendrix dominated the airwaves while James Bond movies were wildly popular. One of Joel’s favorite TV shows as a child was Shock Theater. Saturday night couldn’t come soon enough. He also enjoyed putting together Shock Theater character models with his brother. Joel and Jeff made a haunted house in the basement of their home where they would take their sisters and friends on a tour to scare them. Joel enjoyed playing with his siblings, yet there was also the normal sibling rivalry between them at times complete with teasing and competitiveness. As he came into his teenage years Joel enjoyed sports of all kinds such as baseball, pool, fishing, bowling, and wrestling; he also loved music, the band Boston was amongst his favorites. He enjoyed going to concerts, local festivals and Summerfest. The red “X” at Summerfest will never be the same as this is where “everyone” would meet!

It doesn’t come as a surprise to those who knew Joel that he was adventurous and daring right from the start. On one occasion he got into a bit of mischief while visiting his aunt and uncle during the winter when he hopped aboard an idling snowmobile and proceeded to cruise around the house, crashing through a newly installed fence in the process. There was also the time he used a jump rope as a harness to repel down from a second floor porch to light firecrackers and put them in a bees nest and then quickly repelled back up. Of course this was not something that even Joel could accomplish on his own so he enlisted the help of his brother and a friend. As a family the Buchholzes spent time at Phantom Lake, Dandelion Park and vacationed in Brillion, Wisconsin. While there Joel and his siblings enjoyed playing with their cousins.

As a student Joel’s earliest years found him at local schools. He then went on to Cudahy High School. After graduating from high school Joel later attended Milwaukee Area Technical College, studying computer programming.

Throughout his adult life Joel found employment in the trucking industry. He began working on the docks, loading and unloading trailers, for Brown Transport. Joel eventually worked his way up to driving there. Over the years he moved on to several other trucking firms, but the slow economic times more recently found him between jobs.

In his mid-twenties Joel was married for a short time, but the marriage later ended in divorce. Although he never had any children, Willie came into his life and for the years that followed Joel and his faithful dog were never far apart. Over the past several years Joel was in a committed relationship with Caroline Samolinski. They lived together along with Caroline’s daughter, Hannah.

Joel was a man of many interests, and his life was enriched in many ways. He loved cheering on his local sports teams like the Packers, Brewers, and Badgers, and he also liked following NASCAR. Joel was active in many things, too, as he enjoyed playing pool, fishing and boating, hunting, bowling, and golf. He took regular camping trips with his buddies in addition to bus trips to the Packer games where he once overslept and held the bus up for quite a long time. There again was that charm. Any other time the bus would have left! Not the case for Joel, they waited.

Through the life he lived each day Joel Buchholz made a significant impact in the lives of those around him. He was personable, even described as someone who could charm the socks off you, and he loved to have a good time. Joel could be a bit of a wise guy at times and was often the instigator when differences of opinion arose, yet his love for his family and friends was easy to see. We will miss his laughter, his antics, and his witty charm, but most of all we will miss his love.

Joel James Buchholz died on August 18, 2012. Joel’s family includes his beloved companion and best friend, Caroline Samolinski and her daughter, Hannah; siblings, Jeff (Rita) Buchholz, Janice (Darren Hull) Buchholz, and Judi (John) Masnak; nieces and nephews, Jessica (Jason), Stephanie, Lindsey, Haley, Lauren, Taylor, Jamie, Brett and Matthew; and other relatives and friends. Joel was preceded in death recently by his mother, Geraldine Buchholz. Visit with Joel’s family and friends on Friday, August 24, 2012, at the Funeral Home from 4:00 p.m. until time of the Memorial Service at 7:00 p.m. Private inurnment Holy Sepulcher Cemetery Cudahy, WI. Arrangements provided by Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes, Niemann / Suminski, 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. 414-744-5156. Please visit where you can leave a memory or sign the online guestbook.

Past Comments

caroline samolinski

Joel was my best friend and my soul mate, It has taken time for me to get the balls, WILL!!! to post. …..hannah and i vist him everyday…. I can not say enough about the man he was. I am very thankful for everyone of you who has posted. I know i will never know another man like him. Im lucky to have spent the life i did with him…. Thankyou……. I will never forget, or ever disrespect you….. I LOVE YOU FOREVER!!!!

Lauren Buchholz

Joel was my uncle, and I love him very much! There isnt a day that goes by without me thinking about him. I still cry over him too. I didnt get to see him often but I know he loved me and my sisters. I will never forget his friendly smile. I love you uncle Joel! And I miss you badly!


theres gonna be an empty seat at the next Boston concert, or is there ? because if music truly is the voice of God then your gonna have the best seat in the house.

I remember you, and Erv, and Steely Dan.



We’re so sorry about the loss of your brother. Our hearts go out to you.


(Chad’s sister)

Geno, Cindy and Mary Marks


You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

Geno, Cindy & Mary Marks

Bob Janiciek

I will see you on the other side, my Brother…..

Barb (Wiher) Hegna, aka "Fence"",2012-08-24 14:33:56"

Kurt Cottier

Dear Janice and the Bucholz Family – I would like to extend my condolences to all of you. Although Joel was a grade above me in High School, we had the opportunity to interact on several occassions. What always impressed me about Joel was his sincerity and friendly demeanor. He made you feel like a friend not just a classmate. Joel’s athletic talant was admirable. He will make an exceptional guardian angel. God bless.

Rob Wegner

This past week I’ve had time to think of so many memories with Joel, Jeff, Janice and Judy! Fond thoughts of goofing off by the coal furnace, bottle chute, sneaking beers underneath the stage on Saturday nights. And that was the first 2 years!! And who could forget ‘Crank’ football, getting stopped by the police on our way behind Patrick Cudahy with bb guns, sling shots and bows and arrows, real bows and arrows! I have fond memories, you will not be forgotten.

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