Joe Don Winkle, of Sanger, Texas, passed peacefully into the healing arms of his Savior on March 14, 2022, at the age of 84, surrounded by his family. Joe was born on September 18, 1937 to Claud and Valta (Rogers) Winkle in Franklin County, Texas. He was a faithful Christian and a member of First Baptist Church Denton.
Joe graduated from Winnsboro High School in 1955. Upon high school graduation, Joe attended Texas A&M University and was a member of the Corps of Cadets. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Texas A&M University in 1959. Joe was a proud Aggie, and anyone who knew him knew he bled maroon.
After college, he was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a Second Lieutenant. He was stationed in Dayton, Ohio at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. From there, he was stationed in Reykjavik, Iceland where he led a team at an important military fueling base. He concluded his time in the Air Force based in Dover, Delaware, but remained as a Captain in the Reserves.
On August 28, 1959, he married Jerrie Smith of Little Hope, Texas. They were married for over 62 years. They enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren and great-grandchildren, working at their farm, and traveling together – especially to Alaska where they spent several summers together.
In 1962, Joe began his professional career. He was an Infrastructure Engineer for Housing and Urban Development in Fort Worth, Texas and Alexandria, Louisiana. Much of Joe’s career was spent doing disaster relief working with the Office of Emergency Preparedness, currently known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). In 1966, Joe began working at the FEMA Region 6 Office on Loop 288 in Denton. Joe and Jerrie raised their family in Denton over the next 17 years. His career at FEMA took him to Washington D.C. as the Deputy Coordinator for their Natural Disaster Program. Joe and Jerrie returned to Denton in 1988 when he became the Region 6 Deputy Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Dallas office. Joe retired from EPA in 1994.
Nothing made Joe happier than spending time with his family. His family was always his first priority. In his free time, Joe enjoyed spending time outdoors. His first love was quail hunting and training his hunting dogs. He also enjoyed any kind of hunting, fishing, golfing, and watching football – especially the Texas A&M Aggies and Dallas Cowboys. Joe always had an assortment of favorite snacks in his hunting backpack, most of which included delectable junk food to satisfy his sweet tooth!
Joe was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Jerrie (Smith) Winkle of Sanger, daughter, Tanga (Winkle) Tidmore and husband Guy of Flower Mound, son, Greg Winkle and wife Ann of Sanger. He is also survived by his grandchildren: granddaughter Heather (Winkle) Libick and husband Steve of Aubrey, grandson Evan Winkle and wife Macy of Denton, and grandson Mason Tidmore of Flower Mound. Joe’s pride and joy were his four great-grandchildren: James and Sadie Libick and Lawson and Copeland Winkle. In addition, he is survived by his dear sister Patricia (Winkle) Holley of Winnsboro.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Disease Research at: brightfocus.org/stopAD
The family will hold a memorial service at the Winkle family farm at a later date but will receive friends and family for a visitation on Saturday, March 19, 2022 from 2:00-4:00 pm, at 461 Ridgecrest Place, Sanger.