Fond Memories

Memories of Joe

  • Memories of Joe by Derek Dwilson, Grandson

    Growing up, my grandfather was someone I always looked up to and aspired to be like. He had fun. He took chances. He was a fun adult and I genuinely felt that he cared for me.

    Arriving at grandpa’s house (or as we called him “Paw Paw”), you might see Joe speeding by on his four wheeler – taking some family member on the bumpy path. Or he might be leaning over my cousin’s car, checking bolts and gauges and spark plugs or changing a belt. He might be welding in his shop or unveiling a tree house he built for the grandkids (us).

    Joe worked a lot, and took part in many church activities – but he always found time to spend with family. And to help family. Like the time I needed a tow out of a muddy field at 4 in the morning. He was there an hour later with his favorite tractor.

    He had a great memory, and so he told some amazing stories. He’d describe how he worked his way up while working on the oil rigs. He managed to work a 40 hour shift once from atop an oil derrick. His trademark was that he’d descend every day using the “emergency” method of sliding down a steep rope. It impressed his boss and earned him a permanent position and higher pay.

    My grandfather was above all else a man who was dedicated to his principles. This was as true in his young age as it was in his old. My grandfather told me of how he’d helped his family buy a plot of land which ended up being worth quite a lot. He’d contributed greatly to acquiring it, but was utterly cut out of the family inheritance when he refused to become a Mormon with his father and brother.

    But Joe was also fortunate, as he would tell you. The land he later bought in Grand Prairie had gas deposits underneath it. So in addition to his salary working as an inspector for the FAA, he was able to receive royalty checks. He also ran a small trailer park on the corner of his property. Joe worked as a garbage man. He trained horses. And he even ran a full service gas station with his wife and children.

    My grandfather loved adventure and he was bold and young at heart. He was generous with family, with friends, and with those in need. He was generous with his money and with his time – especially for his family.

    He hated corn because when he was a child during the great depression, he ate nothing but corn for many months in a row. He hated to wear a seat belt because he felt that it was government overreach. He smoked cigarettes for 20 years, and quit for more than 20 more. He told me that despite the fact that he never once relapsed – the temptation to smoke had haunted him every day of his life.

    When I was getting married, he was in his late seventies. We designed and built a large trellis together from a tree in his backyard. A trellis that I would later say my vows under. I remember watching as my grandfather set a ladder against a tree, grabbed a gas-powered chainsaw in his left hand, and began climbing that ladder with his right. Three rungs up and he was starting the engine, sawing through a thick limb that fell with a massive thud. Even in his late seventies, that was Joe taking risks. He was never going to “act his age”.

    I learned so much fromĀ  him about what it means to be a man, to be brave, and to be loving. I admired him as a young man, and that admiration only grew and matured as time went by. Losing him has been one of the hardest times in my life. But I will treasure the times we spent together and the things I learned from him. I am truly blessed to have had a grandfather like Joe.

  • Notes Left on Joe’s Tribute Wall

    Ruth Cupp Stafford

    Joe you are a sweetheart, you will be greatly miss. I know my Daddy will see you when you get to heaven. Love you.

    Posted on October 16, 2014 11:27 AM

    Michael Waldrop

    Joe will be missed by those of us who had the opportunity to work with him during his DER career. Condolences to surviving family.

    Posted on June 10, 2014 10:54 AM

    Freda Taylor Blair

    So sorry your loss. Joe was a friend of my brother and sister Junior and Kathryn and my late sister, Etta and myself, Freda. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We all lived near Reydon, Ok. Freda Blair

    Posted on June 8, 2014 1:15 AM

    Jim Acree

    Great Guy, Great Life, RIP.

    Posted on June 6, 2014 8:09 PM

    Robert Feazell

    Joe set a very high standard and example to us all for is his dedication to the Aviation industry and people he helped so much all of his life. Thank you Joe and God Bless you. you will be missed

    Posted on June 6, 2014 12:12 PM

    Ken Farsi

    God Bless to a peer. RIP.

    Posted on June 6, 2014 11:12 AM

    Susan oliver

    So sorry to hear of his passing. I always thought of him as a gentle giant. He is loving heaven right now, I’m sure of it.

    Posted on June 6, 2014 8:54 AM

    Daniel and Carol Ratliff

    Joe was a great person. Lots of memories of times with him. He had a great personality.

    Posted on June 6, 2014 1:27 AM

    Howard & Debby Capehart

    Danielle we’re praying that God will be with you and your family and give you comfort and peace during this painful time. Your daddy was a very sweet man and I know he’ll be greatly missed. Our hearts truly go out to all of you. God Bless and we love y’all,

    Posted on June 6, 2014 12:05 AM

    Greg & Kim Gentry

    Lavada & Family, so very sorry to hear about Joe. He was one of a kind and I wouldn’t trade anything in this world for the friendship & advice he’s given me over the years. May God’s Peace be with all of you in the days ahead. Love & Prayers to all. Greg, Kim & Ryan

    Posted on June 5, 2014 5:41 PM

    Judy Dunn

    I am so thankful I got to meet Joe at the family reunions. He was a true joy to be around and he seemed to always be enjoying himself. Brogan, Destini and I will always remember him fondly. Hugs to Lavada and family – thanks for the memories Joe

    Posted on June 5, 2014 4:08 PM

    Gene & Gerri Ross

    May Joe,a good friend, rest in peace the living GOD.

    Posted on June 5, 2014 1:28 PM

    Hack & Carol Ratliff

    We are deeply saddened for the loss of our brother-in-law Joe and will miss him. Love and comfort to Lavada, Danielle, Joe, Jr. and Valerie and their families. Our hearts will always remember him; Goodbye to our “Good Ol’ Joe”.

    Posted on June 5, 2014 1:02 PM

    Jerry D. Gentry

    Sympathy goes out to the Condo family. Joe Was a wonderful and loving family man. His legacy will live on for years to come. You were better off for knowing him.

    Posted on June 5, 2014 1:54 AM

    Karen Qunn James

    I am so sorry to hear about Mr.Condo. He was a great person and loved his family. He will be greatly missed. Stay strong and keep the memories you have of him forever. Don’t ever forget what a great person he was. Karen Quinn James

    Posted on June 4, 2014 9:50 PM

    Linda Shults

    I am extremely saddened by the lose of such a wonderful man, but am truly grateful that I got to know Joe and his loving and kind heart. He has left a legacy of wonderful memories, and a beautiful family to carry on his good deeds on this earth. Love to Lavada and your family.

    Posted on June 4, 2014 8:35 PM


If you would like to submit a memory of Joe, pleaseĀ send to derek@willalwaysberemembered.com