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Joe M. Lundy, Sr. was born on October 23, 1923 in Albany, GA to Basil M. and Florris Chappell Lundy and died peacefully in his sleep at home after a brief illness on July 15, 2013 at age 89. Joe grew up in Albany in a large extended family since his father was the youngest of 13 siblings and his mother was the youngest of eleven. The annual Family Reunions were large and lively affairs. Joe often cited the fact that he had 21 first cousins in the military during World War II. Following graduation from Albany High School, he followed his brother up to the University of Georgia. About midway through, his studies there were interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. He had enough university credit so that he was admitted to the U.S. Navy's cadet flying program but took a path into the 'lighter than air' division, or blimps as they were commonly known, becoming the Navy's youngest commissioned officer blimp pilot at the time. Following additional training, he was attached to a squadron of blimps flying anti-submarine convoy patrol missions of up to several days duration out of Sao Paulo, Brazil. He had commented that his first Crew Chief was more than twice his age. Based on the needs of the Navy, he was transferred to the Pensacola Naval Air Station in early '44 in order to transition to 'heavier-than-air' aircraft. After finishing primary training at Pensacola in the Boeing PT-17 Stearman 'Yellowbird', he was posted to the Ottumwa Iowa Naval Air Station for advanced flight training. The next step was training in the F4U Corsair followed by assignment to a squadron assigned to the carrier USS Yorktown in the Pacific where he finished out the conflict. He was fond of saying that the only war wound he ever received was on the Yorktown and came from jamming a finger against the overhead of the hanger deck during a game of volleyball. He continued to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserves for over 20 years. While training in Iowa, he attended a USO dance where he met his first wife, Miss Patricia Eichhorn of Oskaloosa, Iowa and they were later married in the Chapel at NAS Pensacola in May of '45. Following the war, as with many of his generation, it was back to the University of Georgia to resume his education and the experience marked him as an enthusiastic, lifelong UGA Bulldog fan. He began his working career with Crawford and Company in the insurance casualty claims business in 1947 and progressed on to become the Vice President of Claims nationwide for the Universal Underwriters Insurance Company in their Kansas City headquarters and Zurich Insurance, as well as VP and General Manager of the Southern Division, and served on several of their boards until his retirement in 1984. In 1974, he married the love of his life, Marsha, whom he fondly called "Scarlet Dahlin". He was a wonderful step-father and helped raise Marsha's three children. The couple spent 39 fairy-tale years in a life of travel, friends, and wonderful companionship. The retirement years were spent at the Bay Hill Club in Orlando, Florida and at Sugar Mill Country Club in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. He had an affection for the various airplanes he owned and piloted over his lifetime. He was especially fond of the two Boeing-Stearman PT-17s which he had restored, put on static display and flown in local air shows, including performing some aerobatics. He was a mediator for Volusia County for 10 years, and was on the vestry at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in New Smyrna Beach. Joe had an ever cheerful disposition and outlook on life and the people he encountered. His standard response to the "How are you doing?" question was, "Never had a bad day
" and he was proud to enshrine this sentiment on his car license plate for all to see, 'NHABD'. Mr. Lundy is survived by his wife Marsha; son Joe Jr. and his wife Janie of Arlington, Texas; son Joe Kessinger of Prairie Village, Kansas; daughter Katie Snapp and her husband Bobby Holstead of Albuquerque, New Mexico; and daughter Kara and Jim Brittingham of Winnetka, Illinois. He also leaves 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, as well as a host of cousins. Joe had one older brother, James Elton, who preceded him in death in 1983. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated 10:00 a.m. Monday, July 22 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, with Father Deke Miller officiating. Interment will follow in St. Paul's Resurrection Garden. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to either Halifax Health Hospice of Volusia/Flagler, 3800 Woodbriar Trail, Port Orange, FL 32129 or to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1650 Live Oak Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168. Condolences may be sent to www.settlewilderfuneralhome.com.
Settle-Wilder Funeral Home and Cremation Service - New Smyrna Beach
406 S. Orange Street New Smyrna Beach, FL 32168
Published in Daytona Beach News-Journal on July 20, 2013