Joseph G. ""Joe"" O'Haver

O'Haver, Joseph "Joe" G.
89, of Phoenix passed away on December 26, 2013. He is survived by his two sons, Joseph J. and James G. O'Haver; grandchildren Trebor and Ashley Barbour from Jim's marriage to Marion; Donna Vanhie and Beverly Hancock, whom he loved as daughters; and his soul mate, love and dance partner for the past 14 years, Veronica Gonzales. Joe was born in Bosco, Illinois on March 31, 1924; the only child of Bessie and Joseph Albert O'Haver. He moved to Phoenix with his parents in 1929 and established residence on North Mitchell Street, attending Monroe Elementary and Phoenix Union High School prior to graduating from North High in 1942. Among part time jobs during his school years, he worked as a caddy at the Phoenix Country Club and bus boy at the Arizona Biltmore. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1944, serving as Bombardier on B-24 Liberators based in the Philippines. Upon his return from World War II and discharge as 2d Lieutenant, he completed his degree in Accounting at Arizona Teacher's College (now ASU). He and Barbara ("Bobbie") Blaine married in 1948. In addition to the typical challenges faced by returning servicemen and women and young fathers and mothers, Joe had to overcome tuberculosis and a year's stay in the VA hospital in Prescott. The two boys were born and raised in Phoenix; Joe earning a Master's Degree in Social Work; Jim is an Attorney. He and Bobbie celebrated their 50 year anniversary just prior to her death in 1998. Joe was fortunate enough to meet, fall in love and spend the balance of his remaining years with Veronica, with whom he enjoyed travel, dancing, holding hands and occasional smooches in the kitchen. He enjoyed playing tennis through his 60's, 70's and into his 80's. He rarely missed opportunities to attend dances and spend time with friends at both the Scottsdale and Mesa Senior Centers. Nearly all of his work life was spent as an accountant, book keeper or controller. He had an incredible capacity for math, numbers and mental manipulations. (His sons lament his not passing these talents on to them!) He measured his own and the worth of others by their capacity and willingness to support and care for their families. Like many of his generation, he worked 5 1/2 days per week for 30+ years to provide for family and continued to work part-time well into his 70's. He was a loving son to his own parents throughout the entirety of their lives. Joe was humble about his capacities and achievements; generous with family, friends, and strangers less fortunate than he, and consistently willing to put the needs of others in front of his own. He was not a joke teller, but did have a quick wit and wry sense of humor. Even late in life, as his Alzheimer's progressed, he would offer up occasional wise-cracks and cute remarks and giggle at his own sense of humor. A succinct assessment of Joe and his life came from his then employer and friend of more than a decade, who once described Joe as " . . . the most decent and honest man I've ever known." Those of us who knew him-whether as friend, parent, spouse, companion-will love him for the life that he led and the example he set for others. Joe's family invites you to join them on Thursday, January 9, 2014, at the Scottsdale Senior Center in Scottsdale Arizona, to celebrate his life. A reception will commence at 12:30pm. The regularly scheduled Senior Center dance will follow at 1pm.


Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 5, 2014