Joseph Dean Dunkley, age 54, of Hinckley, passed away on December 11, 2017 at his home.
Joseph Dunkley “Nishekeywigahbo” was born on February 7th, 1963 in Sandstone, MN to Eugene and Cecelia Dunkley of Hinckley. He attended Hinckley School and later became a Conservation officer for the DNR, and also fought forest fires. Joe had many jobs during his life. He worked at Bork Tree Farms, built many homes for the Mille Lacs Band, painted and worked at the Grand National Golf Course, worked at the Chevy Garage and attended Northern Hydraulic School.
“Joe, Joe make it go”, He enjoyed helping others with their vehicles and built many hot rods and demolition derby cars. Mama always said to help other people because you never know when you may be talking to the Great Spirit. Dad said “Always work hard for social security so you can retire and enjoy life. No free rides.” It didn’t work too much for dad either!
Joe loved carpentry. Joe loved to bowhunt, fish, go ricing, make bows, knives and maple syrup. He loved the outdoors, snowmobiling, 4-wheeling, and roasting weenies around the campfire. He loved music and to sing. Joe was smart, strong, widely talented, and had a quick witted and funny sense of humor. He loved to laugh and make people laugh.
In 1992, Joe was in the Federal Treaty Rights trial. He was the main witness for the Band of Minnesota Chippewa Tribe of the Mille Lacs Band. The Mille Lacs Band won the treaty rights and opened the door to let the other bands get their rights also.
The best accomplishment was to sober up in 2003. He then met Jeanie Douglas, bought a house, married and helped raise a step son Leonard, who he loved and was proud of. His step daughter Jami (Noah) and their 3 children Ethan, Jacob, Alayna, he loved to no end and was proud of all their accomplishments.
Joe loved his nieces and nephews. He had a special love for his niece Stephanie (Shane) Dunkley and her 4 children, whom he holds in his heart as his grandchildren Rogan, Shailey, Koi, Kash Davis. They always put a twinkle in his eyes.
Joe loved his dogs Peewee and Chip, they will miss “Dad” greatly. Joe was very proud to be a Native American.
He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Jodi Dunkley, Dorothy Anderson, Peg Klapel, and Barb Nelson, brothers Gene Dunkley and Curt Dunkley.