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Joe A. Erwin

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Joe A. Erwin Obituary
Retired teacher
Joe A. Erwin, 77, a longtime resident of Alamogordo, passed away Friday, Sept. 18, 2009, at his home after a courageous fight with cancer.
Joe was born May 30, 1932, in Portales, the youngest of four children born to W.E. and Lillie (Jackson) Erwin.
He attended school in Portales, graduating in 1950. He lettered in basketball, football and baseball. He was a member of the 1948 New Mexico state basketball championship team. He received a basketball scholarship to Eastern New Mexico University and graduated in 1955. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1955 and served in Korea for 18 months.
In 1957, Joe began teaching physical education in Alamogordo. He taught at Alamogordo Junior High, Central Junior High and Alamogordo Mid High until his retirement in 1984. He was the freshman basketball coach for 17 years, accumulating a 196-72 record. He was inducted into the Alamogordo Century Club's Tiger Hall of Fame in 1993. His former basketball players and managers always had a special place in his heart, and their visits were always a joy.
Joe married Florine "Flo" Houy in 1954 at Edison Street Methodist Church in Fredericksburg, Texas. They celebrated their 55th wedding anniversary on Aug. 16, 2009.
Joe was a member of Grace United Methodist Church for more than 50 years, and was a member of the Elks for 41 years. He was selected Elk of the Year for 1976-77. He was also a member of the Otero County Association of Educational Retirees.
In his last years, Joe enjoyed doing lawn care for others. He took pride in how the lawns looked and gained many close and valued friends during this time.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Ryan Ruiz; a brother, Bill Erwin and his wife, Mary Lou; and a sister, Joyce Foster.
Survivors include his wife, Flo, of the family home; two daughters, Debra Jo Van Winkle and Connie Lynn Erwin, both of Alamogordo; two grandsons, Jacob Ruiz and Tyler Ruiz, both of Alamogordo; a sister, Evelyn Ross and her husband, Bernard, of Midland, Texas; a brother-in-law, Jim Foster, of Kerrville, Texas; and many nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009, at 2 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church, 16th Street and Cuba Avenue, with the Rev. Mary Taken officiating.
Interment will follow in Monte Vista Cemetery.
Pallbearers will be Clyde Avery, Steve Erwin, Jim Foster, Jack Geron, Charley Hester and Bruce Thiele. Honorary pallbearers will be his former basketball players and managers.
Friends may call Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2009, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Hamilton-O'Dell Funeral Home.
Should friends desire, memorial gifts may be directed to Grace United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, 1206 Greenwood Lane, Alamogordo, NM 88310; or to the Otero Community Cancer Center, 2559 N. Medical Drive, Suite G, Alamogordo, NM 88310.

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Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Sept. 19 to Oct. 6, 2009
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