Joseph Starrett “Joe Boy” Vestal, 81, of the Clear Creek Community in rural Marquez, Texas passed away on Tuesday, June 04, 2019 at the home of his brother and sister-in-law about 500 yards from where he was born. Graveside services for Joe were held on Saturday, June 08, 2019 at 10:30 am at the Clear Creek Cemetery; Reverend Billy Bob Evans officiated. Arrangements were under the direction of Walters Funeral Home in Centerville, TX.
Joseph Starrett Vestal was born in rural Marquez, Texas in Leon County on September 20, 1937 to Dale Bertram and Lilla Lee Dezelle Vestal. Joe attended the Concord and Centerville Texas school systems and in 1956 graduated from Centerville High School. Later, Concord merged with Jewett and Marquez to form Leon ISD. Joe loved sports. After working with watermelons in Flynn for 10-14 hours per day, he would run on foot the 4.5 miles from Flynn back to his home to change clothes and then ride a horse to Toady and Curtis Neyland’s in Bowling. They would then travel to Concord or wherever a game was to play baseball.
After graduation from High School, Joe lived in Houston, Texas where he worked at the University of Houston as well as for the Southwest Road Boring Company. In March 1960, Joe went to New Mexico and Minnesota and began working on oil pipelines. In December 1960 Joe was drafted into the United States Army. He was honorably discharged in November 1962 while continuing to serve as a Reserve until November 1966. He was stationed in Korea where he was one of an elite group to be selected out of 10,000 troops to represent the Army as a member of the All Star basketball team. While in the Army he was awarded/cited as a Sharpshooter (Rifle), Expert (Carbine), and a received a Good Conduct Medal. He also developed a specialty as a welder.
From 1962-1994 he was employed as a pipeline welder. He welded in Iowa, Wisconsin, North Dakota, Texas, and other states. Most welding included extension work, maintenance work, and mainline of all sizes up to 48 inches.
Joe always did his part and then some. While he owned one cow his entire life, he spent many hours building 4 metal stock pens and maintained miles of fences. He worked the land with his brother for many years. The Vestal family arrived in Leon County in 1863 and homesteaded a half section in the Clear Creek Community in 1866. The Dezelle family arrived in Leon County from Tennessee in the early 1850’s and homesteaded more than a half section in the Redland Community in 1855. He helped to continue their legacy to within a year of his passing. The last project was building a fence on the east side of Vestal Branch on County Road 427 in June 2018.
Joe Boy is survived by brother, Ewing Calhoun “Sonny” (Mabel) Vestal of rural Marquez and sister, Mardie Jane (Don) Ballard also of rural Marquez; nieces: Lea Ann Brummond (Roger) Tremayne of Walthill, Nebraska, Wendie Olsberg (Brian) Plautz of Elkhorn, Nebraska, Suzanne Fitzgerald (Marc) Walter of Burien, Washington, Zee Ann Fitzgerald of Tenino, Washington, Roxanne Fitzgerald of Tenino, Washington, and Vickie Lee Olsberg Naccarato of Vista, California; nephews: Cecil (Jolene) Brummond of Bancroft, Nebraska, Corey Jay Olsberg of Omaha, Nebraska, Brad Fitzgerald of Tenino, Washington, Stan Fitzgerald of Tenino, Washington, Eric Ballard of rural Marquez, Joe Ewing (Roxanne) Vestal of rural Marquez, and Evan Dale Vestal of College Station. He is also survived by many great and great-great nieces and nephews and many cousins. He had great friendships with Bob Snyder and Wayne Cullefer.
Joe Boy was preceded in death by his grandparents, Ewing Calhoun and Marcella Rebecca Jane Vestal and Thomas Evan (TE) and Carlene Streeter Dezelle; parents, Dale Bertram and Lilla Lee Dezelle Vestal; sisters, Lilla Joyce Vestal, Duskie Ann (Jim) Fitzgerald, Naomi (Kenneth) Brummond, and Shirley Beth Olsberg; and his niece Fay Lynn Brummond Cullefer.
Pallbearers were Evan Dale Vestal, Joe Ewing Vestal, Hunter Calhoun Vestal, Morgan Garrett Vestal, Eric Ballard, Cecil Brummond, Camron Brummond, and Connor Brummond. Honorary pallbearers were all nieces, nephews, great, and great-great nieces and nephews that are not listed as pallbearers including Kenley Addison Vestal, Karson Skye Vestal, Cullen Rance Vestal, Amanda Brummond, and many more.
A special thank you to Mabel Vestal for taking care of Joe on a daily basis and thank you to Mardie Jane Ballard and Kenley Vestal for assisting. The family extends gratitude to Traditions Health Care and Traditions Hospice. Thank you to Sharon, Carolyn, Melissa, Crystal, Alexis, Kenisha, and the many others that assisted. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to CHI St. Joseph’s Cancer Center in Bryan/College Station.