Traphagan, Joseph Earl
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a "Greatest Generation" survivor, passed away on June 26, 2014 at the age of 94. A farm boy from a family of thirteen children, Joe was born and raised in McCook, Nebraska. As a young man, he later served in the Army Air Force during World War II as a B-25 bomber pilot in the South Pacific. During that time Joe received two Bronze Stars and a Purple Heart for meritorious service to his country. Upon being discharged, Joe remained in California where he eventually learned the carpenter trade and soon became a highly respected building contractor of housing and small businesses in Southern California. He was especially proud of the independent banks he built during that period, several contracts made binding by a simple handshake. Joe's first wife, Annis Traphagan, passed away in 1973. They had been happily married for 26 years. He remarried in 1978 and, ten years later, he and his current wife, Helen Traphagan, retired to Sun City West, AZ where they enjoyed many years of traveling and visiting with friends and family. Joe and Helen lived to celebrate 32 wonderful years together. Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Traphagan, in 2009. He is survived by a daughter, Dixie Goodman, two grandsons, William Goodman and Robert Goodman, two sisters, Delores Gettman and Alice Story, one brother, Robert Traphagan, five nieces, Teri Davis, Mary Traphagan, Tracy DeDore, Julie Gerl, and Faye Jensen, one grand-niece, Heather Jones, and four nephews, Michael Gettman, Mark Gettman, Michael Traphagan, and Patrick Traphagan. In loving memory of a very special person in our lives, a "Celebration of Life" gathering will be held for Joe in October, the time to be announced at a later date.
Published in The Arizona Republic on July 3, 2014