A hero has passed away.
But on that May, 1957, evening, Joe and Bob thought they would be fired the next day.
I first got acquainted with Joe when my Grandmother took me to visit the Weather Bureau office at what is now called the Charles Wheeler Airport (then, Municipal Airport) in downtown Kansas City. Joe eventually moved to the National Weather Service Technical Training Center in east KC where I got to know him again when I was in high school. He was always encouraging and upbeat to this aspiring young meteorologist who wanted to learn about tornado warnings from him.
Joe was married for 65 years to his wife, Lee, and I've always loved the photo of them on their wedding day.
Joe was not only the hero of the Ruskin Heights Tornado, he was the Navy meteorologist during World War II battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
There will be a visitation from 2 to 4pm Sunday at Terrace Park Funeral Home at 801 NW 108th Street (just off Highway 169 between Interstate 435 and Highway 152) in north Kansas City. He will be buried in his home town of DeWitt, Missouri, Monday.
Joe is one of those people of whom you say, "That was a life well-lived." Rest in Peace, Joe. Glad you made it to Heaven in time for this year's big celebration.