Joseph Lee Wolff

Wolff, Joseph (Star)

Joseph Lee Wolff, 78, died November 13, 2015 due to complications following surgery. Joe was born October 17, 1937 in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a member of the Shawnee High School Class of 1955 in Louisville. Joe earned a BA in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and MA and PhD in Educational Psychology from Indiana University. He taught three years at the University of Illinois, Urbana and 23 years at the University of Missouri – Kansas City.

Joe was dearly loved by his wife, Sue Vartuli, brother and wife, Hays Wolff and Barbara Sprawls, daughter, Liesel Wolff and many cousins and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clara (Williams) and Leander Wolff, Aunt Hady Lou Beckett, who raised him after the death of his parents, and many other aunts and uncles.

Joe was an avid fan of the University of Kentucky Wildcats Basketball team, a master of trivia, especially Jeopardy and a film enthusiast.

Memorial donations in honor of Joe may be made to People of the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), 501 Front Street, Norfolk, VA 23510 ( or The Salvation Army (


  1. Hays Wolff on November 20, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Joe was my big brother literally and figuratively. I learned so much from him: good humor, probing mind , love of film, and undoubtedly our love of Ky. basketball. He told me jokes from his days at the University of Chicago. I would re — tell the joke to my metal shop teacher in junior high. He would laugh and I would get an A, not because of my metal shop abilities , but the jokes i heard from Joe. I will miss him greatly. And , of course, our hearts are heavy for Sue, who did so much.

    Our love, Hays Wolff and Barbara Sprawls

  2. Elizabeth Leach on November 20, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    So sorry about your loss, Joe was an interesting and erudite man. We will miss him. Our prayers for the comfort of your heart. Gary and Elizabeth

  3. Marlene Weishaar on November 18, 2015 at 9:25 am

    Sue, I was so sorry to hear about Joe’s passing. I know how much you will miss him.

    Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

    Marlene Weishaar

  4. Jeannette Kowalewski on November 18, 2015 at 7:13 am

    Dear Sue,
    I am so sorry for your loss. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Jeannette Kowalewski

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