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LAKELAND - Joseph James Escourido, 89, of Lakeland, Florida, passed away on Saturday, March 22, 2014, due to natural causes.
Funeral services will be held at 3:00 pm on Thursday, March 27, 2014, at the First United Methodist Church on Lake Morton in Lakeland, Florida, with Pastors Helms and Lallance officiating. Internment will be at the United Methodist Church Columbarium in Lakeland, Florida.
Joseph was born on November 22, 1924, to Estelle (Darlington) and Manuelo Escourido, the youngest child of four children, including three older sisters, Mabel, Carmen, and Olga. He grew up in Virginia and North Carolina, and attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, following his service in the Air Force during World War II. He worked as an artist throughout his life, producing works that included paintings based in oil, water color and other mediums, illustrations for children's books and other text publications, and sketch and ink-based drawings for newspapers. Joseph was particularly well known for his syndicated cartoon series The Colonials which ran nationally for several years. He maintained a studio for his art work located off of Central Park in New York City during the 1950s and 1960s. Joseph moved to the Lakeland area in 1977, and began working for The Ledger newspaper as the art director. He served in that position until 1991 and won 22 awards for the paper. During his retirement Joseph liked to write poetry and lyrics to songs, and often wrote op-ed pieces to newspapers in response to current events.
Joseph is survived by his wife of 66 years, Audrey Douglas Escourido, of Lakeland, Florida; his sister, Olga Escourido Tidwell of Cedar Falls, Iowa; and her three daughters Pamela Tidwell Schwartz (Paul) of Boulder Creek, California, Deborah Tidwell (Jeff Klinge) of Farmersburg, Iowa, and Janet Tidwell Dunn (Roger) of Stratham, New Hampshire; and the children and grandchildren of his sisters Mabel and Carmen.
Joseph was preceded in death by his parents, Estelle and Manuelo Escourido, and his sisters, Mabel Escourido and Carmen Escourido Sigley.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials for Joseph Escourido be sent to
, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.
Published in Ledger from Mar. 26 to Mar. 27, 2014