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Joe Warburton(1930 - 2013)

Warburton, Joe 09/26/1930 ~ 06/28/2013 LA MESA -- Noted golf professional, Joe Warburton passed away peacefully. His wife Bettie Jean and a lifetime of wonderful friends survive Joe. Joe started his professional golf career as an assistant golf professional in Provo, UT in 1948, the same year he joined the Air Force. Within his first month of basic training, Joe won the Basic Trainees' Open. At that time the Air Force offered him a position in Special Services if he would represent them on their golf team. He refused the offer because his father told him he had to learn a trade or "he would just be a golf bum." So, he was sent to Saudi Arabia to learn teletyping. After two years service in Saudi Arabia, Joe became very ill and was transferred to March Air Force Base, where he was named a golf teaching professional. After some time at March AFB and Victoria Country Club, Joe became an assistant golf professional at Rio Hondo Country Club. While at Rio Hondo, Joe met the love of his life, Bettie Jean. Joe later became head golf professional and manager of the Los Alamitos Golf Course in Orange County. Joe and Bettie Jean were married at the Club in 1961. Joe and Bettie moved to San Diego in 1966 when Joe became the head professional and general manager at Chula Vista Municipal Golf Course. Joe held that position for 19 years retiring in 1985. Joe, along with Bill Hartley, was instrumental in creating the San Diego Chapter of the PGA serving on the Board of Directors of Chapter for over 20 years and was President of the Chapter for two terms. The Chapter honored Joe as the section's Golf Professional of the Year, bestowed Honorary Life Member status and also elected Joe to the Section Hall of Fame. Joe was a Rotarian for over 30 years, serving in all positions including the Presidency. Joe also served for over 30 years with the Salvation Army including Chairman of the Board. Joe spent his retirement doing what he loved most teaching golf and working in his gardens. Joe and Bettie spent over 15 years teaching on cruise ships, first Princess Cruises, then Royal Viking and lastly with Crystal Cruise Lines. Joe's gardening skills were legendary. He raised fruit, avocados and macadamia nuts. Joe loved people and he was loved by all who knew him. He always had a smile or a pat on the back for everyone. If you wish to make a donation in remembrance of Joe, please contact Megan Mahoney at San Diego Junior Golf (858 558-8277) or the Salvation Army El Cajon Branch (619 440-4683).


Published in U-T San Diego on July 3, 2013
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