Joe was born in Gersau, Switzerland on February 14, 1926, one of nine children.
He immigrated to Canada in 1950 and moved to Invermere in 1959 where he was employed in the sawmill industry. In 1962 he married Agnes Huebschi, a compatriot. Joe and Agnes were among the early investors of the Panorama Ski Lift. They built a new home in Juniper Heights in 1981. Agnes passed away in on February 24, 2006. Joe is survived by one brother, one sister and 24 nieces and nephews all living in Switzerland.