Joe passed into life everlasting on his 64th wedding anniversary Dec. 27, 2008.
Joe was born in Oklahoma City to Elzie Lewis and Ada (Branson) Tyson on April 26, 1924; graduated from Central High School in Oklahoma City and from THE University of Oklahoma (Go Sooners!) in 1950 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
At 17 years old, prior to Pearl Harbor, Joe enlisted in the US Navy on Nov. 29, 1941, earning the rate of Machinist Mate 1st Class along with the Good Conduct Medal. His ship, the destroyer USS Murray, was involved in all invasions in the South Pacific. While on leave during ship repairs, Joe married Jo Lou Oross, his high school sweetheart, of Oklahoma City on Dec. 27, 1944. Joe received an honorable discharge in October 1945. After attending OU, Joe began his 36-year career with Halliburton Oilwell Servicing in June 1950; but was reactivated in the US Navy in August 1950 for the Korean War and again honorably discharged in October 1951.
Returning to work for Halliburton Joe advanced from washing trucks, cement truck driver, field engineer, district engineer, division engineer all in Oklahoma to assistant district manager first in Corpus Christi, Texas from 1968 to 1974 then back to Oklahoma City until his retirement in June 1986. Certified as a Professional Engineer both in Oklahoma and Texas, Joe was also a member of the Oklahoma Society of Professional Engineers.
Joe lived his life in service to others; first in the Navy, his family, then through his church, Kiwanis, and Deaconess Hospital Volunteers. Joe was an active member at Grace United Methodist. Active in the SW Oklahoma City Kiwanis club for many years, Joe earned Kiwanian of the Year in 1985, served as Club President in 1986-1987; always promoting Character Education, Joe spent nine years mentoring in public elementary schools. In 1989-1990 Joe served as Lt. Governor for Division 30 of Texas/Oklahoma Kiwanis. In October 1999 Joe was awarded the Kiwanis Hixson Award. In April 2004 the Oklahoma Public School Foundation awarded him the Terrific Tutor Award. Joe also served for many years as a Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer. Joe was an avid water-skier and a dad who participated with his daughters in their endeavors from Girl Scout banquets to Drill Team Sponsor. Then he started again as a PTA and home-room grandpaw.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and one nephew. Joe is survived by a loving family: his wife, Jo Lou, his daughters and their families: Jerri and Phil Buckmaster of Ardmore, Okla., grandson Preston Buckmaster of Oklahoma City, and great-granddaughter Ashton; Jamie and Richard Qualls and grandson Parry Qualls of Oklahoma City.
In lieu of flowers, donations to Deaconess Hospital Auxiliary would be appreciated.
Our husband/father/grandpaw and friend will be greatly missed, yet our comfort lies in that Joe knows the Lord Jesus Christ and we will be with him again.
Memorial service at Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper: 405-848-3744 at 2 p.m. today, Dec. 30, 2008.