Joe Glenn Oates, of Groesbeck, passed away at Parkview Medical Center in Mexia on Monday, June 3, 2019 at age 91.
Visitation will be Thursday, June 6, 2019, from 5:00-7:00 PM, at the Groesbeck Funeral Home.
Funeral Services will be at Friday, June 7, 2019 at 10:00 AM in the Groesbeck Funeral Home Chapel, with Brother Richard Williams of the Groesbeck Church of Christ officiating, and music by Mrs. Barbara Walker. Interment will be at Old Union Cemetery following services.
Pallbearers will be Dennis D. Wilson, Robert B. Walters, Thomas A. Onda, Seldon E. Graham, Charles Steve Brown, and Mikel Brown. Honorary pallbearers will be Fred D. Dawley, Larry Stewart, Billy J. Harrison, and Arnold Gray.
Joe Glenn was born April 6, 1928 in Oletha Texas to Arthur Earl and Annie Eunice (Mayo) Oates. He was married to Frances Merle Brown on February 10, 1951.
Joe and Merle lived in Groesbeck for the next thirteen years, and he operated heavy equipment. Due to the competition of their equipment with her family’s equipment work as well as other dozer operators locally, Joe and Merle and the boys moved to Timpson around 1964. Merle worked with Joe, even drove a bulldozer herself part of the time, as well as operating four chicken houses, raising cattle and the boys.
Joe also enjoyed at fishing, and when he got out of the dozer business, he worked as a guide at Toledo Bend a few years. On days he wasn’t being paid to fish, he took the boys out and gave them precise instructions on how, where and when to cast. Glenn was the son ending with the skills and the obsession for fishing.
After twenty-four years in Shelby County, the family moved back to Limestone County, where Joe was involved in his cattle ranch and other agriculture work, and playing piano and keyboard as often as he had an opportunity.
Joe’s big love in life was music. He had taught himself to play piano “by ear” when a young fellow because he wanted to play in a band. When he played with groups, they would put a nickel in the juke box and listen to a song just one time and then be expected to play it. He could not read a note of music until he was in his fifties and even in later years after he lost his hearing he continued to play by ear. Joe was traveling with bands and playing in honky-tonks, including playing with some of the popular bands in the area, until the boys came along. Then Merle made him choose to stay home with the family instead of going on the road. But the boys were expected to play music instead of sports, with only David allowed to play football. Joe Glenn continued to love to play music all his life, playing with the Gene Cox band at Old Union in their garage, joined by Barbara June Walker singing, every Friday night during the winter months. Even when he should not still be driving, he would drive to New Baden to play at their Jamboree. He was past master of Thornton Masonic Lodge #486 and Groesbeck Masonic Lodge #354.
Joe Glenn was preceded in death by his older sister, Glynnis Sheppard; son, Johnny Joe Oates; and by his wife, Merle in 2012.
He is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Glenn Ray Oates and wife Laura, James William “Bill” Oates and wife Barbara, and David Wayne Oates and wife Georgia; six grandchildren, David Warren Oates, John Arthur Oates (wife Renee), Matthew Oates (wife Kelli Michelle), Kenneth Joe Bowen, Billie Yvette Myrick and Jonathan David Oates; great grandchildren, Carson Ray Oates, Emma A. Oates, Kairi Elizabeth Oates, and Logan Carter West.