Joseph “Joe” Frazier Radcliffe was born to Grover C. Radcliffe and Thelma Bennett Radcliffe on April 9, 1921 in Petersburg, Virginia. He passed away peacefully on May 26, 2022, at the age of 101. Graveside services will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 3, at Perry United Methodist Cemetery, 93 County Rd 127, Riesel, TX, with Chaplain Craig Klempnauer of AccentCare Hospice officiating. The family will receive visitors from 6 – 8:00 p.m., Thursday, June 2, at Pecan Grove Funeral Home, 3124 Robinson Drive, Waco.
Joe attended school through the sixth grade. He told his father that he could read, write, and count money, so it was time to go to work and help his family. He started working at a lock factory in Petersburg, making ten cents an hour.
He joined the National Guard at 17 years of age. In the summer of 1941, Joe was offered “big money” to work construction at the airfield in Pearl Harbor. Instead, he chose to stay home to help his family. When World War II broke out, he was activated into the Army of the United States. He was stationed in Washington D.C. as a sergeant in the Medical Corps. He trained medics on battle field wounds and how to establish field hospitals under the supervision of a colonel. There, he met and married his wife, Golda Mae Bohot.
After the war, Joe transferred from the Army to the Veterans Administration, where he was charged with closing down surplus V.A. Hospitals across the Southern U.S. While working in OKC, he was reunited with Golda Mae. Joe went further south to the Marlin V.A. Hospital in 1950. He was charged with shutting the hospital down, but an act of Congress saved it. He became the Supply Officer. He settled there with his wife and two sons, Ronnie and Donnie. Two years later Scooter was born.
Through his travels, closing down hospitals, he met many people. As Joe rose in the ranks of the VA, he offered many of them jobs to move to Marlin which they accepted. While raising his family in Marlin, he was a deacon in the First Baptist Church and owned a termite extermination business, worked full-time at the V.A. and did other odd construction jobs for people in the community.
On August 4, 1968, he married Esther Landrum and helped raise her two daughters, Nancy and Susan. Joe retired from the Marlin V.A. in 1986 with 36 years of service, as the Chief of Contracts and Supplies. After retirement, he went to work for Drew’s Lumber Company and worked for several years doing general construction.
Later, Joe retired to the country near Lott, Texas on Tomlinson Hill. When Esther’s health began to fail, the couple moved to Waco to a retirement center in 2014. After her passing, he came to live with his son, Scooter and his wife Suzanne, in Bellmead. Joe enjoyed gun collecting, shooting, riding horses, and reading his bible. His favorite past time was spending time with his family, and other loved ones in the country, in his favorite rocking chair, while sipping a glass of Old Crow.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents, seven siblings, two wives and a daughter-in-law.
He is survived by two brothers, Jerry and Jimmy, one sister, Virginia May, his three sons, Ronnie and wife Marjorie of Dallas, Don Radcliffe of Longview, Scooter and his wife Suzanne of Bellmead, two stepdaughters Nancy Norman of Greenup Kentucky, Susan Mitchell and husband, Tim of Hewitt 15 grandchildren, 17 great-grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews.
Joe’s family would like to extend their appreciation to Visiting Angels, especially his care taker, Jessica, Accent Care Hospice, Dr. David Fedro, and Dr. Fedro’s staff for the wonderful care they showed to Joe in his last years.
Memorials may be made in Joe’s name to Perry United Methodist Church, 193 County Rd 127, Riesel, TX 76682.