âJoeâ Lee Elmer Florence Jr., 79 of Crane, passed away on Saturday, June 25, 2011 in San Angelo.
Joe grew up in Crane and attended school in Crane until the 9th grade. He received his GED in 1961 at the age of 30. Joe joined the Air Force in February of 1948 at the age of 16,(with the help of his mother lying on his paperwork), and served 4 years in Alaska, being honorably discharged in February of 1952 as a Staff Sergeant. His brother Jack was also in the Air Force, however his was killed at the age 18 on his 56th mission.
Joe moved back to Crane and married Eula Mae Leclaire on July 1, 1950 and went to work for Magnolia in 1952. They raised Gary and Barbara in Crane. Joe was active in their lives growing up, attended all their school functions, and he even coached little league baseball. He retired from the oilfield in 1972 and sold everything and moved the family to buy a fishing camp and marina at Lake Texoma-North of Whitesboro-Rock Creek Camp in 1972. Barbara and Gary helped run the camp along with his wifeâs parents, Claude and Odell Leclaire. He sold the fishing camp in 1981 and retired. They traveled and moved back to Crane in 2001.
Gary preceded him in death after being killed in a helicopter crash in 1976. Mae passed away in 2002. He was also preceded in death by his parents, Lee Florence, and Loraine Florence. After Mae died, he moved back to Texoma for few years, then to Paint Rock, TX in 2003, then finally back to Crane in 2009. He loved traveling and when he traveled he was able to meet new people and share his stories with them.
He was very proud of his grandchildren and great grandchildren and the way the whole group got along together.
Joeâs loving family includes his daughter Barbara and his son-in law and best friend, Louis Stone of Crane; Eight grandchildren, Michael Robert Stone and Taylor Stone, Casey Ward and wife Liz, Sunny Rodriguez and husband Chris, Joey Ward, Jim Stone, Michael Allen Stone and his wife Julie, Abbey Esquivel and husband Jose; five great-grandchildren, Blake, Teagan, Abbey, Briley, and Kyle. He is also survived by his loving companion, Gloria Milam and her family.
The family will be receiving friends at the Shaffer-Nichols Funeral Home in Crane to celebrate his life on Thursday, June 30, 2011 from 7pm until 9pm. Memorial services will be held in San Angelo at 11am on Saturday, July 2, 2011. The memorial celebration will be held at 1532 Loop Drive Circle. All friends and family are invited. Wear your fishing clothes, swimsuit, or shorts. No suit or dresses will be allowed. We will have a celebration of Joeâs life.