Joe was born February 6, 1926, 1 of 10 children to Thomas Ann and Lyda Pearl Whitworth in Sallisaw, OK passed away peacefully in his sleep February 18, 2020 at the ripe old age of 94.
Joe was not one to brag, so the family feels compelled to do so for him. Joe was a product of the Great Depression. Joe’s dad, Thomas would make moonshine to supplement his railroad salary. Every Saturday Joe was sent to town with the finished product in a horse-drawn wagon. He was given 25 cents to go to a movie while the moonshine was unloaded by a 3rd party, after the movie was over, young Joe would return to take the empty wagon home.
After his parents died, the family was split apart… older children taking younger ones. Joe learned the value of hard work and developed a strong work ethic.
During WWII, Joe at 15, worked as a civilian at the Mare Island California Naval Shipyard. Afterwards Joe’s work ethic continued on. Joe worked as a stuntman for the Western movie Shane and The Far Horizons. He also worked at picking vegetables and cotton, but thought his hands were too big to be successful. No job was too menial. He was a ranch hand in Wyoming and worked at Yellowstone, and many, many jobs.
Later, Joe was involved in the development of South Lake Tahoe helping his father-in-law, George Canon, dismantle a Quonset hut in Colfax, CA and transported it to South Lake Tahoe where eventually they reassembled it into George’s Gateway Club. Joe helped with the initial planning and building stages of Heavenly Valley Ski Resort, Barton Memorial Hospital and other structures in Tahoe. Joe’s father-in-law finally advised him to become a cook where he would always have a job and be warm. He went on to work at Harvey’s Lake Tahoe and Harrah’s Casino for 26 years, continue on to work in Reno at the Holiday Hotel and then the Ormsby House, in Carson City and finally retire in 1990. Joe was all about work and providing for his family.
Joe is survived by JoAnne, his wife of 53 years, daughters Barbara Joe Wood, Lorna Lee Hall, April Whitworth, Dianna Whitworth, Susan Whitworth and Joe’s son, Joseph Thomas Whitworth. Also survived by brothers Kenneth and George Whitworth. Joe is also survived by many grandchildren, great grandchildren, great, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews who truly appreciate Joe’s big heart.
Joe would not want us to fuss, so no service is planned. Please celebrate his life and your part in it.