After Joe’s wife passed away, he moved to Ocean Springs to be closer to his son Luke, who lived with his wife in Ocean Springs. Joe’s retired life in Ocean Springs was filled with his family and friends. He met with his buddies every day at the Senior Citizens Center on Washington Avenue in the morning for coffee and conversation. There, the guys would swap war stories and solve the world’s problems.
The way this brave marine died is what leads to the tragic end of a good man’s life. The group met for coffee every morning at the Senior center with the exception of Fridays. The center was closed on Fridays and the group moved the coffee meeting over to McDonalds on Hwy 90. Joe decided to walk to McD’s that sunny day and at the very moment he crossed 90 a drunk driver sped through a red light and took Joe’s life.
His friends, Gaylon Worsch,Max Jordan,Larry Brewer,Wil Charbonne and Bob Boweres were at the scene and knew immediately that it was their friend that was struck down. The driver fled the scene and was caught by OSPD at the BP a few miles east of the accident.
The group goes on without Joe, meeting every morning, talking politics, solving the worlds problems and remembering their friend Joe. Bob remembers his dear friend saying, “He was one of the most thoughtful individuals I have ever met. He sent flowers when I was in the Hospital. He loved to build model warships, he loved to take care of his yard, he loved his neighborhood.”
The guys shake their head in disgust, thinking of that day, wondering how a drunk driver could be on the road at 9 a.m.
“It is terrible, that guy just smashed into Joe. He didn’t have a chance.” Max shares.
Joe’s funeral was held in Chicago, where most of his family still resides. The driver of the vehicle, William Bridges, has been charged with hit and run and felony DUI. He remains in Jail.