Cover photo for Joel A Rellatz's Obituary
Joel A Rellatz Profile Photo

Joel A Rellatz

January 19, 1946 — February 12, 2022

Joel A. Rellatz, 76, passed away peacefully on February 12,2022 after a long illness. He is survived by his brother Ron (Pat) Rellatz of Merton, his sister Judy Reimer also of Merton, his sister Sally Doyle of Hartland and many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

After graduating from Arrowhead High School in 1964 and serving in the Army Reserve for 6 years, he began his lifelong Public Safety Career. He first was the Village of Merton Marshall before being appointed the Village of Merton Police Chief. Concurrently he was appointed as a Deputy to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department (WSD) in July of 1970. He was also active on the Merton Volunteer Fire Department (MVFD) being appointed Chief in July of 1975. Joel was a certified Scuba diver and performed many underwater recovery missions for WSD before there were dive teams in the area. He was one of the first Emergency Medical Technicians in the county for both WSD and MVFD. Along with responding to many EMT calls, he delivered 6 babies during his career! He retired in 1986 after many years of dedicated service to the Village of Merton Police and Fire Chief roles. He retired from the Waukesha Sheriff's Department after 26 years of service on his birthday in January 1996

Joel was very mechanically inclined, fixing things around the Police and Fire Station, setting up vehicles with emergency lighting and radio equipment. He helped design equipment and put into service several emergency vehicles. His favorite being the 1985 Mack Tanker "JR" that he played a key role in building. That title had two meanings, one being it was the newer "junior" vehicle on the department, but we really knew it was Joel's initials prominently displayed on the front of the vehicle, with the approval of the truck committee! Joel also was a technology guru, always having the latest, newest and best equipment, both for his careers and his personal life. He would buy multiples of these items and give them away to his department and friends.

Joel also had a love of aviation. He flew his ultralight airplane (once!) and attended the annual EAA convention in Oshkosh every year. Along with his brother Ron and friends, he enjoyed deer hunting on the family property near Iola, Wisconsin. While Joel had a tough exterior facade, he had a heart of gold and would always help others, especially his parents and the elderly however he could. Yet he was very modest of his accomplishments.

The family would like to thank the caring staff at AngelsGrace Hospice in Oconomowoc for easing Joel's last days. Special thank you to Joel's best friend, Glenn Leidel (his brother from another mother) and dear friend Bill Rohde for loving our brother and always helping him when needed.

Joel requested no service but did want a memorial tree planted in his honor at the Fire Department in his beloved Village of Merton. Anyone wishing to contribute to the future memorial can direct it to Joel Rellatz Memorial, c/o Evert-Luko Funeral Home, 170 Warren Avenue, Hartland, WI 53029.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Joel A Rellatz, please visit our flower store.


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