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Joe Gilbreath '45 February 6, 2017 9:30 AM updated: February 6, 2017 9:36 AM

Cooper-Sorrells Funeral Home Chapel obituary
803 East Main Street
Honey Grove, Texas 75446
Phone: (903) 378-2291

Joe Gilbreath
(November 11, 1923 - February 3, 2017)

Windom- Funeral services for Joe Gilbreath, age 93 of Windom will be held at 10:00 AM Tuesday February 7, 2017 at the First Baptist Church in Windom. Bro. Morris Robbins and Bro. Judson Strawbridge officiating. Interment will follow at the Smyrna Cemetery. Mr. Gilbreath passed away on February 3, 2017 at his home north of Windom, Texas.

Joe was born November 11, 1923 in Lannius, Texas, the third born son of Ruth (Wolfe) and Alfred Gilbreath. He attended grade school in Lannius and high school in Windom, graduating from Windom High School in 1941. After graduation he attended Texas A&M University before entering the U.S. Naval Aviation Cadet Program in 1943. He was commissioned in January 1945 as a Naval officer and pilot and became a flight instructor, teaching flying until his active duty commitment was completed in 1946. He remained in the Naval Reserves for the next 20 years where he continued to enjoy being a Navy pilot. He married Mary Thomas (Tommie) Thornton on February 3, 1945 at the First Baptist Church in Honey Grove. They were married for fifty-three years and were blessed with three children.

After serving in the Navy, Joe completed his Bachelors degree at A&M and began a long teaching career. He began teaching in Windom in 1950 and became Superintendent in 1953. He earned Master degrees in education and math and later taught at Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches and at the University of Texas at Arlington, retiring in 1988. During his 28 years of service at UTA, he was a math professor and an assistant director in the Student Administration office. After the death of his first wife Tommie, he married a classmate from his old Windom school days, Martha Jean Avery Kliarsky. She preceded him in death in 2007.

Joe remained active in the Windom community during his retirement years, serving on the Windom City Council, working with the SNAP center, and assisting with other civic duties. He also enjoyed socializing with his many friends.

Joe is survived by daughter Mary Gail Vincent and husband Gary of Allen’s Chapel, son Brent Gilbreath and wife Donna of Arlington, daughter Lee Ann Watson and husband Tim of Coppell, seven grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren. Survivors also include two brothers, Ray Gilbreath and Ben Gilbreath as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Visitation for family and friends will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 PM Monday February 6, at Cooper-Sorrells Funeral Home in Honey Grove, TX.

Donations may be made to Smyrna Cemetery Assoc. 1473 CR 2980 Windom, TX. 75492


Funeral Service
Tuesday, Feb 07, 2017
10:00 AM

Windom Baptist Church
203 1st. St.
Windom, Texas 75492


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