Semitruck 04
Official Obituary of

Joseph Elmer Sunstrom

August 30, 1938 ~ March 2, 2024 (age 85) 85 Years Old

Joseph Sunstrom Obituary

Joseph Elmer Sunstrom III age 85 of Newark, Delaware passed away at Christiana Hospital on March 2, 2024.

Born on August 30, 1938 in Baltimore, Maryland to the late Joseph E Jr.  and Bernice Sunstrom (nee  Johnson)  

Joe met and married his wife of 62 years Mildred Dawn and together they lived in Pasadena, Maryland at the beginning of their marriage.  Joe was a veteran with the US Army and was stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas.  He served during the Cuban missile crisis

After his service, he began his almost 40 year career as a tractor trailer driver.  He started with Flying A Petroleum in Baltimore, Maryland.  Later Getty Oil acquired Flying A and relocated his family to Newark, Delaware which became a lifelong home to his family.  Later in his career, he worked for Contractual Carriers as an over the road truck driver.  Joe competed in truck rodeos and was Delaware state champion for 5 axle tanks for 6 years.  In 1977, he was the Delaware overall truck driving champion for all classes.  These competitions allowed Joe and Dawn to travel the US to compete in the Nationals.  Joe was awarded the 2 million miles driven award by DOT.

Joe was a “larger than life” man to all his family and friends.  His physical size only being matched by the size of his heart.  Joe loved being on the water which is an activity he shared with his family and friends.  Many summer weekends were spent with his wife and kids crabbing at Wye Mills.  He also enjoyed fishing in the Delaware bay and later owned a place at Pot Nets.  All of these were treasured memories of his children

Joe was an excellent Father to his children.  Both he and his wife Dawn were active in their children’s education.  They were chaperones to many field trips, in particular the annual camping trip at Etta J Wilson school.  Joe drove his Getty tanker to the school for the children to see on career day. 

Later in life, Joe made his grandchildren the center of his world and could be found with his family at the beach or boating at Pot Nets in Long Neck. 

In addition to his wife Dawn, Joe is preceded in death by his parents, three sisters (Nancy, Carol, Jane) and a brother (James)

Joe is survived by children, Joseph E. Sunstrom IV (Karen) of Hartselle, Alabama; Erik R. Sunstrom (Sara) of Townsend, Delaware and Michelle Leach (Tony) of Newark, Delaware;  grandchildren Erik Jr; Joseph V; Nikolas; Taryn; Alexander, Bradan and Gunnar; brother, David Sunstrom (Sharon) of Aurora, CO;  Sister-in-la,w Sandy Thomas (Bill); and brother-in-law, Charles “Butch” Perkins (Mickey) of Baltimore, MD. 

Joe also leaves behind many nieces and nephews. 

Services are private at the request of the family.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph Elmer Sunstrom, please visit our floral store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Joseph Elmer Sunstrom?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Joseph's memory.


Private Services


AccentCare Hospice
220 Continental Drive, Suite 407, Newark DE 19713


© 2024 Doherty Funeral Homes, Inc.. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility