Joseph Ronald Hmielewski

Joseph Ronald Hmielewski “Hemi” age 83 of Ashland, WI passed away Tuesday, Mar 30, 2021 at Essentia Health-Saint Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN. Ron was born Mar 3, 1938 in Ashland the son of Joseph F. and Helen G. (Larvey) Hmielewski.

He was a U.S. Army Veteran, serving from 1961 to 1963. On Sept 13, 1969 he was united in marriage to Jeanne K. Duffek in Ashland. He was employed at the paper mill in Ashland as a Mill Wright for over 36 years. He was a founding member of the ABC Raceway in Ashland and raced his black Chevrolet, number 55 there from 1965 to 1979. He was inducted into the ABC Raceway Hall of Fame both as a driver and a volunteer. He enjoyed working on and overhauling engines, building race cars from the ground up and working with wood, often times building beautiful furniture for his family and friends.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Jeanne, of Ashland; sister, Cathy (Mark) Moore of Ashland; sister-in-law, Lorraine Zifko of Ashland; brother-in-law, John (Helen) Duffek of Ashland; children, Ron (Marsha) of Marengo, WI, Karen (Wade) Erickson of Albert Lea, MN, Sue (Todd) Abrams of Foley, AL and Donna (Brett Stricker) Kurilla of Ashland; grandchildren, Dakota, Dominic, Patrick, Samantha, Ryder, Grant and Eleanor; step-grandchildren, Zachary (Alyssa), Bridgett (David) and Brittney (Cal); step-great-grandchildren, Hayden, Logan, Emma, Lilly, Aubree, Louis, Leon, Teller, Zander, Cora and Winter as well as many nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; infant daughter, Kathryn; infant granddaughters, Brianna and Ivy; brother-in-law, Jerry Zifko and his son-in-law, Travis Kurilla.

A Mass of Christian Burial for Joseph will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Apr 6, 2021 at Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church in Ashland with Father Jerome D’Souza as Celebrant.

Visitation will begin at 9:30 on Tuesday at the Church in Ashland and continue until the hour of service.

Interment with Military Honors under the auspice of the United Chequamegon Area Veterans will take place in Saint Agnes Cemetery in Ashland.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Mountain Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Ashland and Mellen, WI.

Online condolences for Ron’s family may be left at

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