Marier, Treffle Joseph
âT.J âor âJoeâ
Age 101 of Hugo
Hugo Feed Mill and Hardware owner Joe Marier passed away on April 8, 2020. He was preceded in death by his second wife Constance LaMotte Marier (2019), his first wife Emma LaCasse Marier (1979) and his son John (1956). He is survived by his children Leo (Dottie) Vince (Christy) Camille Grant (Ralph), Greg (Cindy), Steve, Fran (Jaci), Jim, 21 grandchildren, 32 great-grandchildren and 6 great-great-grandchildren. Also survived by his stepchildren George (Kay), Jean Day, John (Olya), Jim (Jeanne), Gery (Terry), Greg, Janet Shefchik (Mark). A WWII veteran, serving in the China Burma India Theater, he was a founding and past commander of Hugo Post 620 of the American Legion. He was a strong supporter of Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church. He was also Fire Chief and Mayor of Hugo.
Article from Citizen Press
100 years for hometown hero, former mayor, fire chief
HUGO â Family, friends and acquaintances packed American Legion Post 620 to celebrate a well-known pillar of the community Sunday, March 24.
T.J. âJoeâ Marier turned 100 the following day, March 25. People who know Joe know he has done it all. He raised a family, served his country, ran the Hugo Feed Mill, served as school board member, Hugo fire chief and mayor, and volunteered at church.
âHe was always interested in helping the city become a better city,â said Joeâs son Jim. âHe was all about community and how to make it stronger.â
In addition to the birthday party at the Legion, the Hugo City Council also recognized Joe for his long life and generous contributions to the community at its March 18 meeting.
Joe was born âTreffle Joseph Marierâ on March 25, 1919. He lived in Centerville before moving to Hugo in 1927. Joe grew up in a hardworking farm family and began working at the Hugo Feed Mill in his teens. His grandfather, Joseph B. Bernier, bought the mill in 1923; his father, Joseph T. Marier, took it over in 1927. Joe took it over in 1938. Although his son Steve is longtime manager of the business, Joe said, âI still look at the books.â
Joe served in the U.S. Army during World War II and was stationed in Burma, India. According to Joe, it took Uncle Sam three tries to draft him, as he was legally blind and classified 4F by a military doctor the first two times. âThe third time around, they said, âIf you squint, can you read the top letter?â I squinted.â
Joe was also known for his role as âthe icemanâ when he delivered blocks of ice to area residents, businesses and bars in 1937 and 1938. At the age of 18, Joe joined the Hugo Fire
Department, an organization he dedicated 42 years of his life to. He served as its fire chief from 1948-1964.
Joe said in the â60s, when he felt the Village Council was not supporting the fire department financially, he decided to try to make a difference. He temporarily gave up his role on the department to run for mayor of Hugo, which was a 2 1/2-square-mile Village back then. He was elected as the cityâs mayor in 1964 for a two-year term.
As a life member of the Hugo American Legion, Joe was involved in the purchase of the lot where the first Legion Hall was located on 147th Street. He is also a lifetime member of the Hugo Business Association and the Hugo Lions Club.
âJoe sold land to the city to allow City Hall to be built where it is today,â the councilâs resolution states. âJoe volunteered on many city committees and was instrumental in many Comprehensive Plan updates, dedicating countless hours to help shape Hugo to what it is today.â
Joe credits all of his accomplishments to his family, who he says âalways supported me and put up with a lot.â When referring to the two loves of his life, he always says, âI got lucky twice.â He married Emma in 1943 and the two were married for 36 years. After Emmaâs death in 1979, Joe married Connie, wife of 39 years and counting. Together, they have a blended family of 14 children.
In 2011, Joe was honored with the Melvin Jones Fellow Award for his dedicated humanitarian services to the Lions from the Lions Club International Foundation.
And his secret in reaching the century mark? âGenes are part of it,â he said, âand I enjoy life.â Son Jim said, âHe always had a lot going on and he stayed busy and involved in so many things.â
Story man- Citizen Press
Those who know Joe well know he always ready to tell a good story, many of them capturing his memories of the early years of the Hugo Fire Department. Some of those stories were written down in 2006 in preparation for The Citizenâs special edition commemorating Hugoâs Centennial Celebration.
He recalls that before the city was given its new engine by the Lions Club in 1938 â one of the first to be fabricated in Lindstrom â the vehicle used by the HFD was a car retrofitted by Eugene O. Peltier, the local blacksmith, to carry two 60-gallon chemical tanks on the back. The gas tank valve was always turned off when the truck was parked because âthe tank always leaked.â (Woe unto the firefighter who forgot to turn the valve back on before responding to a fire: the truck was apt to stall in the middle of the road just outside the Fire Hall, which was located beneath the fire bell tower at Old City Hall, about where Dominoâs Pizza is now.)
The âchemicalsâ involved mixing soda water and acid (âsulfuric or hydrochloric acid, I canât rememberâ) to pressurize the tanks. âThere was a cover with a little lead jar; youâd put acid in the jar. The tank was on a pivot; youâd turn the tank, and the acid would then mix with the soda water. The hoses were hooked to the tank. As soon as that was used up, youâd roll the other tank and people would come and fill the first tank back up with water.â
Joe recalls that Johnsonâs milk truck would make the rounds to the farms in town and collect the milk in milk cans, which would be taken to the creamery, where heâd be given clean, empty milk cans. Johnson would park the truck until his next round. When there was a fire, firefighters would take that milk truck and fill those milk cans from peopleâs wells in town. Each empty can was filled by the pump and emptied into the chemical tanks on the fire rig. Joe noted, âThatâs how they fought the grease fire at Louieâs (Kuchli) place,â a popular restaurant in downtown Hugo.
In 1938, the same year the Village of Hugo celebrated the addition of the new Lions Dodge pumper, it installed five cisterns using silo forms, with a capacity of 6,000 gallons of water. âThe water was emergency water so that if we had a fire, we could put a suction hose down into that water and spray it on the building. The Lions truck pumped 350 gpm, I think. The way the thing was set up, you could drop a hose down into the water; it sucked the water up into the pump, and then you could use it for firefighting.
âWe had access to the lake in back of Dominoâs Pizza; that was for firefighting. We could pull water out of the lake. The one by Ricciâs (vacant lot on Hwy. 61 next to 148th Street) was fed by runoff water from the street.â
LIVESTREAM - Below are the directions to view the livestream service:
1. Go to the church website: www.stmarys-wbl.org
2. Scroll down the page until you see the red and white YouTube symbol. Click on that symbol and you will see a link for St. Maryâs Mass of Resurrection for Joseph Marier and click on that.