FOWLER, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Daniel Joseph “Big Joe” Kish, Sr., AKA, “The Legend”, age 79, of Fowler, died unexpectedly on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, 2022, at his family home.

He was born on June 20, 1942, in Warren, a son of the late Daniel and Mary Sanders Kish.

Joe was a graduate of Fowler High School and had served in the United States Army National Guard during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. 

He had been a member of the Johnson VFW, Mecca Moose Lodge, Vienna AMVETS, several 4H clubs and the Pymatuning Trail Blazers snowmobile club. 

“Big Joe” as most people knew him, was an extremely hard-working man who had many dreams and talents. As a young man, Joe helped run the family dairy farm before moving to Fowler where he, his father and his brothers, started the Fowler Landfill, Inc. He then founded and operated Custom Waste, Inc. and Suburban Disposal, as well as Kish Brothers Recycling. Joe later founded and ran the day-to-day operations of FJK Express LLC and the Topsoil King LLC. He was a truck driver, heavy equipment operator, mechanic and a farmer, having managed several large farms in the area. In later years, Joe worked for several companies driving charter buses and private coach nationwide. He had the privilege of driving for three United States Presidents as well as driving for the athletes and coaches during the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. 

When he wasn’t working, Joe enjoyed fishing, camping, hunting and weekend canoe trips. Mostly, Joe enjoyed spending time with his family and socializing. He loved people. He loved talking to people and meeting new people. Most of Joe’s socializing was done at the local clubs and bars where he was known to throw a few back with friends and family. “Big Joe” Kish never met a stranger. He had a heart as big as his large stature and he would help anyone in need. He lived the life he wanted and he did it his way. Joe will be greatly missed by his family, friends and all who had the pleasure of meeting him.

He is survived by his five beloved children who had his unconditional love, Dan (Lisa) Kish, Jr. of Howland, Lana Iklodi of Chagrin Falls, Frankie (Michelle) Kish of Austintown, Andy Kish of Fowler and Jarrod Kish of Boardman and two brothers, Michael (Brenda) Kish of Southington and Frank Kish of Fowler. Also surviving are his seven grandchildren, Tyler Kish, Breanna Kish, David Iklodi, Allison Iklodi, Matthew Iklodi, Mikayla Kish and Brayden Kish, as well as his first wife and mother of his children, Shirley Frederick of Fowler.

The family will receive friends on Saturday, June 25, 2022, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. at the Lane Family Funeral Homes, Shafer-Winans Chapel in Cortland. Services will follow at 1:00 p.m., at the funeral home, with Pastor Mikel Lagaras officiating.

Burial will take place at Dugan Cemetery in Fowler where military honors will be accorded by the Trumbull County American Legion Honor Guard.

The family would like to express their gratitude to all who helped Joe and his family along the way.

Cards and well wishes may be offered at the funeral home or sent directly to the family at 5375 St. Rt. 305, Fowler, OH 44418.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Woods-Rettig Funeral Home, Leetonia. Family and friends may send condolences at

A television tribute will air Thursday, June 23 at the following approximate times: 6:43 a.m. on WYTV, 9:32 a.m. on WKBN, 10:58 a.m. on FOX and 8:12 p.m. on MyYTV.