Joseph David "Joe D." Weis Jr.

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Joseph David "Joe D." Weis, Jr., 85, was called home to be with the Lord on July 24, 2014. He passed away peacefully at the Weis/Yantis homestead in Zachary, LA. He was preceded in passing by his parents, Joseph (Jodie) David Weis, Sr., Lillie Loudon Weis Yantis, Harold Fredrick Yantis, Sr., his brother-in-law, Charles Abbott, Sr. and his granddaughter, Mercy Weis. He was a native of Zachary, Louisiana, and had also lived in Taylorsville, Kentucky, and Campinas, Brazil, prior to returning to Zachary 22 years ago. He grew up in West Lake, LA and lived on a rice and cattle farm with two brothers and one sister. In Joe's words "Those were wonderful years with mom, dad, sister, brothers, cows and horses". He was a country-boy through and through. He graduated from West Lake High School in 1945. Joe attended LSU from 1947 until 1949. On December 6th, 1960 he committed his life fully to the Lord. In his words, "Do whatever you want with me, Jesus". He joined the US Army June 6th 1951 as a 1st Lieutenant and saw combat action during the Korean War. After returning from the war, he married Betty Young Zimmerman and they resided together until 1975. He was a share crop farmer for Colonel Huling and started a family while living in the Plains area. He was very active in the Plains Presbyterian Church while living in Zachary. As an elder in the church, he would substitute preach for vacationing ministers in the surrounding communities. Joe left full time farming in 1957 and worked at Copolymer Rubber in Baton Rouge until 1967. He also served as assistant scoutmaster in Troop 72 and also Troop 272 where he enjoyed camping and being a leader in Boy Scouts. During a short transitional time, he was a salesman for Yantis Arc Weld and Tractor Supply in Zachary. In 1970, Joe became a veterinarian supply salesman for Cutter Laboratories which moved him and his family to Taylorsville, KY. He enjoyed organic gardening. He provided home grown vegetables and beef for his family. He liked the rolling hills and people of Taylorsville, KY. After living there for 2 years, Cutter Labs wanted to move Joe and his family to Alabama. Instead of uprooting his family again, he resigned from Cutter Labs. He became a company representative for Dairymen, Inc., with offices in Louisville, KY. In this position, Joe visited over 200 different dairy farmers helping them improve the quality of milk. He was active in the local community in many ways. He played a lead role in the 1974 Spencer County Bicentennial Celebration as an event coordinator and as an actor in the nightly play. He served two terms as President of the Taylorsville High School PTA. He was the scoutmaster of the Boy Scouts Troop in Taylorsville, KY. He was active in a jail ministry in Kentucky and developed his own biblical teaching series on cassette tape. During the winter of 1981, he resigned from Dairymen, Inc. to pursue the Lord's calling to go teach in Brazil. He arrived in Brazil with two suitcases and began 6 months of intensive language and cultural school. Joe became fluent in Portuguese and soon began leading Bible study groups and preaching sermons. He met and married Thereza Bayma. In 1983, he began building a church in Campinas, Brazil. Joe laid the stonework walls to support the ceiling truss. He completed the building Evangelical Church of Jesus the Christ. He also taught other men how to lead church services. Upon his return to Zachary, in 1992, he devoted the rest of his life to raising his second family and serving the Lord. He was pastor of Southern Methodist Church in Baton Rouge for 11 years. His jail ministry Prison Fellowship, Praise The Lord, conducted various services at Allen Correctional Center, Clinton, Washington Correctional, Angola, Pine Prairie, and both Avoyelles and Adams County jails in Mississippi. Special recognitions include: Service Award from Dairymen, Inc.; Certificate of Merit from Dept. of Corrections in KY and President's Award from Old Kentucky Home Council Boy Scouts of America. He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Thereza Bayma Weis; four sons, J. D (Julie) Weis of Lexington, KY, David Weis of Germantown, TN, Major Alexandre (Haven) Weis of Ft. Campbell, KY, and D.J. (Elaine) Weis of Clinton, MS; one daughter, Karen Weis (Rick) Nation of Taylorsville, KY; one sister and two brothers, Alna Abbott, Harold (Nan) Yantis, and Loudon (Rose Mary) Yantis, all of Zachary; fifteen grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. Memorial service will be at 2 pm, Sunday, July 27th, at Olive Branch Baptist Fellowship Church, 1290 Highway 67, Slaughter, LA 70777. The family will receive visitors starting at 1pm and after the service until 5pm. Pastor Rusty Bowser will deliver the eulogy. In Dad's words, "Material things don't mean much, being a friend of Jesus is so much more important" (see John 15:12-15). In lieu of flowers, the family request donations to The Jesus Film Project; http://www.jesusfilm.org/donate or call 800-918-9929. Arrangements by Charlet Funeral Home, 4320 High Street, Zachary, LA 70791, 225-654-4480.
Published in TheAdvocate.com from July 25 to July 27, 2014
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