Joseph G. Whitson Jr. passed away of natural causes at Camp Dwyer in Afghanistan on Monday May 7, 2012.
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Joe, to the rest of the world, Jody to his mom, was born in Chattanooga on Aug. 18, 1961. Along with his ability to read by the age of 3, he was naturally curious and interested in things way beyond his years. He often broke down his toys to see what made them work, all to the dismay of his nannie and to the delight of his grandfather, Jack. As his dad read the newspaper, he would stand on the other side and continually ask, 'What is that word?' His love for books was further nurtured by his grandmother and his constant request of, 'Please, Nannie, just one more book.' He attended Miss Chisholm's Preschool. Again, correcting his parents one evening during dinner, that it is much nicer 'if we ate with our left hand in our lap.' He attended George R. Stuart Elementary and North Lee Elementary and graduated from Bradley High School in 1979. He then received his associate's degree from Cleveland State Community College and went on to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, graduating in 1984 with degrees in math and computer science. He immediately went to work with Digital Equipment in Atlanta. He and his dad loved SEC football, especially the Tennessee Volunteers, and, if you look in the dictionary under 'Star Trek,' it says, 'See Joe Whitson Jr.' You must include his love of poetry; he often quoted Rudyard Kipling's 'If.' His favorite hymn was, 'There is a God, He is Alive.' His family believes he truly found his niche in the fall of 2007 with his first contract assignment in Iraq. The admiration he developed for the brave men and women serving their country in constant harm's way was apparent to all who knew him. He would visit home and developed a love for the beach in Pensacola, Fla. Perhaps his love for the music of Jimmy Buffet had an early influence. He and two of his buddies in Cleveland actually built a cabin and fittingly named it 'Margaritaville,' population 3. During this period, he discovered his love for cruising and loved traveling to Rome, Santorini and especially Dubai.
He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Albert and Bonnie Whitson and Jack and Ruth Krise, Harriman; Tn and his younger brother, John David Whitson.
He is survived by his father, Joseph G. Whitson (Roseanne), Cleveland; his mother, Jane Krise Nicholas (Tom), Pensacola; and his most special group of friends. One such friend found him to be a friend like no other Ñ amazingly intelligent, witty, funny and astute. He was very supportive when necessary and pragmatic when the occasion called for it.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, May 18, in Kyker Funeral Home, Harriman. Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at Kyker Funeral Home chapel, Harriman. Burial will follow at Willard Park Cemetery.
An online register is available at www.kykerfuneralhomes.com.
Published in Roane County News from May 16 to May 18, 2012