WEATHERFORD - Joel Velasquez, 67, died surrounded by his loving family on Monday, June 29, 2020 in Weatherford, TX. He was born in Visalia, CA on April 26, 1953 to Guadalupe Bullard and Gilbert Velasquez. He grew up in Yoakum, TX, spending most of his childhood with his beloved grandfather, Raymond Anzaldua, learning how to hunt, fish, and farm. The family moved to Odessa, TX in 1967. As a teenager, Joel played football for Ector High School. It was during this time that he met his high school sweetheart, Irene, who he later married on September 10, 1973, before having three children, Jennifer, Kimberly, and Jacob. Over the years, he realized his true calling was to serve others and he did so by giving back to his community. He volunteered for Meals on Wheels, provided lawn care services to the elderly, and mentored troubled youth. He also had a heart for missionary work - in 1992, he travelled to Puerto Rico with the church men's ministry to help build a chapel for an underprivileged village. As a jack-of-all-trades, there weren't many things that Joel didn't know how to do and not many subjects that he couldn't speak to extensively. His resourcefulness was unmatched and his insatiable curiosity drove his love of learning new things. He also loved teaching anyone else willing to learn. Joel had a passion for Christ and for people. He was not shy about giving his testimony and sharing how the Lord had changed his life. His generous, kind heart endeared him to everyone who crossed his path. He saw the good in people - as soon as he met you, it was as if he had known you his whole life. He never took life or family for granted and was always able to find beauty in the smallest details. All who knew him were lucky to call him a friend.
He is survived by his wife, Irene Velasquez, Weatherford, TX, daughters Jennifer Howe and husband Chad, Irving, TX, Kimberly Velasquez, Weatherford, TX, son Jacob Velasquez and wife Maggie, Keller, TX, grandchildren Madelyn, AJ, and Emily Fuentes, Antoni Blanco, (granddogs) Oscar, Hannah, Piper, and Jemma, brothers Gilbert Velasquez, Pasadena, TX, Ruben Velasquez, Odessa, TX, sister Olivia Carmona Odessa, TX, brothers Israel Velasquez, Tilden, TX, David Bullard, Odessa, TX, Hector Bullard, Odessa, TX, and Gilbert Velasquez, Austin, TX.
He is preceded in death by his grandfather Raymond Anzaldua, father Gilbert Velasquez, Mission, TX, mother Guadalupe Bullard, stepfather James Bullard, Odessa, TX, brothers Ronnie Velasquez, Odessa, TX, Herman Velasquez, Odessa, TX, and Elias Velasquez, Liberal, KS.
Visitation: 11am to 12:30pm, Friday, July 3, 2020 in the Galbreaith Pickard Funeral Chapel with a funeral service beginning at 1pm.
Published in Odessa American on Jul. 3, 2020.