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Groff Funeral Homes
1607 East Perkins Avenue
Sandusky, OH 44870
Phone: 419-626-3632
Fax: 419-626-2445

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Joseph Nolan Willinger

Joseph Nolan Willinger, 32, of Sandusky, passed away unexpectedly, Monday, March 4, 2019 at his home.

Joe was born on November 16, 1986 in Sandusky, Ohio to John and Donna (Nolan) Willinger.

Joe was a member of Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and a former member of the Northern Ohio PGA. He graduated from St. Mary's Central Catholic in 2005 and later that year was the only Ohio applicant accepted into the Ferris State Professional Golf Management Program. Joe furthered his education at Kent State where he received a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice in 2009. He was a 4 year letter winner for the St. Mary's golf team; earning medalist or runner up in 5 tournaments, was named 2nd team all-district in 2003 and the 2005 SBC golfer of the year. Joe continued his passion for golf as an instructor and Director of Club Fitting for Windmill Lakes Golf Club in Ravenna, OH where he was instrumental in starting their very successful online sales business. In honor of his knowledge, people skills and production, Joe was named as the 2014 club fitter of the year for Ping and Titleist, where he was invited to corporate headquarters and presented with custom made golf clubs. He was featured in the Cleveland Plain Dealer for his knowledge about golf balls. Despite knowing nothing about cars, Joe worked as a salesman for Kasper Buick and achieved outstanding sales before being promoted to sales manager for Kasper Jeep. This past August, he went on an epic road trip with his mom to South Dakota to visit cousins he hadn't seen in 25 years.

Joe was kind-hearted, generous to a fault, funny and smart. He loved anything related to golf, music, his father's barbecue, playing poker, especially pot limit omaha, coconut cream pie and watching cooking shows or movies with his mom. Joe was an avid fan of Ohio State football, Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Joe is survived by his loving mother, Donna (Nolan) Willinger of Sandusky and many friends, especially, Joe, Jarrod, Anna, Dan and Charlie that never gave up on him.

Joe is preceded in death by his father, John C. Willinger, whom passed away in 2014; maternal grandparents, Sylvia and Lester Nolan; paternal grandparents, Peggy and Albert Willinger and his beloved, Beagle, Pokey Reese.

Groff Funeral Homes & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements. Burial will take place at a later date at Meadow Green Memorial Park in Huron.

Those wishing to contribute to Joe's memory may do so to, Back to the Wild, 4504 Bardshar Road, Castalia, OH 44824.

Condolences may be shared online at

"Close your eyes, have no fear, the monster is gone. He's on the run and your daddy's here." Rest in peace, my beautiful, beautiful boy.