Joe D. Heath, age 78, passed away on Tuesday, March 2, 2021, from heart failure in Bullhead City, Arizona. He was born October 15, 1942 in Bakersfield, Calif. and spent his formative years in Oakdale.
After graduating from Oakdale High, Joe attended Allan Hancock College where he made one of his earliest forays into a life filled with service towards others, as he served as student body president. Joe also played basketball and baseball at the school before continuing his education at Arizona State University, where he majored in journalism. While at ASU, Joe met Jan Cox, whom eventually became his wife. Theirs was a 53-year marriage full of laughs and dances.
Joe was an avid sportsman. He coached his sons in baseball and flag football and was part of the 72-0 Katherine Landing/Chaps dynasty. He played all sports as an adult but settled on cards and golf in recent years. He combined his joys of sports and journalism and moved to Yuma, Ariz. in 1965 where he assumed the post of Sports Editor for the Yuma Daily Sun. In 1973, he was offered and accepted the position of Editor and Publisher of the Mohave Valley News, a position he held for seven years. In 1980, Joe embarked on a new career as an independent health and life insurance agent, a profession he held until his retirement in 2017.
Throughout his life, Joe was passionate about serving the community. He spent time as a board member with the Bullhead Area Chamber of Commerce, he was a 40-plus year member of the Bullhead City Rotary Club, one of four founding members of Los Matadores de Bullhead City and an original board member for the BHHS Legacy Foundation. He also served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Western Arizona Regional Medical Center from 1984, when the hospital opened as Bullhead City Regional Medical Center, until his eventual retirement and appointment to Chairman Emeritus.
Joe is predeceased by his parents, Leslie and Lois Heath; and his brother, Leslie.
He is survived by his wife, Jan; his two sons, Dave and Corey Heath; sister, Linda (Gary) Borelli; granddaughters, Kylee and Alyssa Heath and Sheera Lumira Rejoice; and grandsons, Joe and Justin Heath and Lonnie Langston.
Services will be held at 2 pm on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at Mohave Valley United Methodist Church. Pastor Gene Stouffer will officiate. The service will be live streamed on the Mohave Valley UMC Facebook page. Remains will be donated to Research for Life.
Contributions in memory of Joe may be made to the Mohave Valley United Methodist Church Pantry, 1593 Lipan Boulevard, Fort Mohave, AZ 86426.
Published in Mohave Daily News Online from Mar. 10 to Mar. 17, 2021.