Of Menomonee Falls, WI. Called home to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on June 14, 2022, at the age of 82. Beloved husband of Frances (nee Mudgett) for 58 years. Loving dad of Kim (David) Bloxdorf and second dad to Oscar (Jennifer) Vidotto. Immensely proud grandpa of Samantha (Cory) Stark, Nathaniel Bloxdorf, Alessandro and Marchello Vidotto. Fun great-grandpa of Greyson and Liam Stark. Dear brother of Charles (Joan) Whitburn, Joyce Riehl, David Whitburn and Julie Rae (Kent) Niermeyer, and brother-in-law of Richard Lambrecht, Jeanette Carias, Richard and Regina Mudgett. Further survived by key employees/friends Brent Olynick and Paul Haney, and treasured family and friends in the U.S. and Honduras.
Preceded in death by his parents, Russell & Ruth Whitburn, and his sister Margaret Lambrecht.
A nearly-lifelong resident of Menomonee Falls, Joel graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1957. At 6’6”, he excelled on the basketball court and played for his high school, Elmhurst College and semi-pro teams. He worked at a variety of jobs until 1970, when he founded his book publishing company, Record Research Inc. He turned his passion for music and chart research into a thriving business. Joel signed an exclusive contract with Billboard magazine to mine their chart data. Over the next 52 years, Joel’s company published nearly 300 books documenting not only the Billboard charts, but the chart data of every major music trade publication in the United States. His books are purchased by disc jockeys, record collectors and dedicated music fans worldwide. With a penchant for accuracy and painstaking detail, the name “Joel Whitburn” became synonymous with music-chart statistics. He was highly respected by the music industry and included many artists and record label executives among his friends, especially dear to him was Duane Eddy. Joel also collaborated with Warner/Rhino Records as creator of the series of 150 “Billboard Top Hits” CD albums, plus five CD albums with longtime friend Mike Curb of Curb Records. Joel’s own record collection remains unrivaled the world over and includes every charted Hot 100 and pop single, every charted pop album, collections of nearly every charted Country, R&B, Bubbling Under The "Hot 100" and Adult Contemporary records. He never lost his love and enthusiasm of music research and continued working until the day he died.
Joel and his wife, Frances (a native of Honduras), loved to spend time at his “Heaven on Earth” since boyhood, Long Lake, where they especially enjoyed hosting family and friends, snowmobiling, motorcycling, and boating. Together, they fervently watched nearly every game of their cherished Wisconsin sports teams: Brewers, Bucks, Packers and Badgers.
With his boundless optimism and extreme dedication, Joel was humbled and proud to embody the American dream of a kid from a Main Street in the Midwest who created something from nothing. Joel will be remembered for his abiding hope, devotion to Fran, quest for fun, and deep love of life.
Visitation at NORTHBROOK CHURCH, 4014 WI-167, Richfield, WI 53076, Friday, June 24 from 1:00 p.m. until the time of service at 3:00 p.m. Private interment at Lakeside Memorial Park in Waupaca, WI. In lieu of flowers, memorials are appreciated to Northbrook Church in Richfield, WI.