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Joseph "Joe" Dettling '70 March 16, 2024 9:29 AM updated: March 16, 2024 9:38 AM

Joseph M. "Joe" Dettling 

April 14, 1948 - February 24, 2024 

Dr. Joseph M. Dettling, 75, of College Station, TX, passed away on February 24, 2024, after a brief, but courageous, battle with pancreatic cancer.

Joe was born on April 14, 1948, to John and Geraldine Dettling in Wharton, TX. The second oldest of six, his family included older sister Frances, younger sisters Elizabeth and Helen, and younger brothers Leroy and John Jr.

After graduating from Wharton High School and serving as FFA State Vice President, he attended Texas A&M University, where he subsequently received his Bachelor of Science in Agriculture Education ‘70, Master of Agriculture in Agricultural Development ‘77, and Doctorate of Philosophy in Agriculture Education ‘96. Joe began his career as an Ag Teacher at Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca, TX, moved to Sweeny High School, then spent the remainder of his years at Instructional Materials Service (IMS) at Texas A&M University, writing agriculture education materials for the state of Texas.

In 1975 in Port Lavaca, he met and married the love of his life, Sheryl Lynn Scott, who would become his wife of 48 years. They started their family in Sweeny, TX, where they had Stephanie, Andrea, and Monica. Their family continued to grow in 2008 when Stephanie married Raymond Earwood. Joe and Sheryl welcomed their first grandchild, Kyde Michael Earwood, in 2009, followed by their second grandchild, Kinley Grace Earwood, in 2014. Their family was completed on February 19, 2024, when Joe gave away his daughters Andrea (to Dehron Hite-Benson) and Monica (to Bradley Sorenson) in a double wedding at the Baylor Scott & White Hospital Chapel.

Joe was many things to many people – husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, godfather, friend, teacher, mentor, fighter. He was a man of many talents and skills, which he intentionally used to build a beautiful life, in service to others. While the ways in which he served others are countless, his most passionate efforts were made as a lifelong FFA member and contributor, an avid Aggie, an enduring Ag educator, a dutiful Catholic, a forceful Rock Steady Fighter, and above all, a devoted husband and father.

Joe’s zest for life was infectious. He found joy in traveling, scuba diving, cooking, fishing, building, and turning any moment into a teaching moment. In 2010, upon embracing the freedom of retirement, Joe dedicated himself to a cause close to his heart – the continued revitalization and growth of the Wildlife & Recreation Management competition. The competition was held at multiple Livestock Shows & Rodeos across Texas, most notably in Houston, San Marcos, Lampasas, and Sinton. He also volunteered at every Texas FFA Convention through 2022. His commitment to agriculture and community was unwavering, even after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2016. Instead of yielding, Joe channeled his resilience into support for others, significantly contributing to and participating in the College Station branch of Rock Steady Boxing, supported by the Robert Conte Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders. His ability to connect with anyone and his kindness, care, and patience defined him as a remarkable man. Joe’s legacy is not just in the projects he led or challenges he overcame, but in the countless lives he touched and lessons he imparted, making every encounter a memorable one.

Joe is preceded in death by his parents, sister Helen Monfrey, and brother Leroy Dettling. He is survived by his wife, Sheryl, daughters and sons-in-law, Stephanie Earwood (husband Raymond), Andrea Dettling (husband Dehron), Monica Dettling (husband Brad), and grandchildren, Kyde and Kinley Earwood.

Services will be held at St. Thomas Aquinas in College Station, TX, on Thursday, February 29th. Viewing and visitation will be from 9:30 am – 11:00 am, and funeral services and mass will begin at 11:00 am. Reception to follow services. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Joe’s honor to either The Robert Conte Foundation ( or Hospice Brazos Valley ( 

If you are able to come to his service, the family has a request: show up as Joe knew you. He was traditional but knew how to dress for an occasion. So, if you’re from the Rock Steady Boxing family, pick your favorite RSB t-shirt to wear! If you knew Joe through FFA/Ag, rep your FFA program/school or (if you still fit into it) your official dress! Worked with him at IMS? Go maroon and white!

Finally, the family would like to thank the entire staff at College Station Baylor Scott & White (special recognition to the ER, ICU, IMCU, Palliative Care, Oncology, and Food Services teams), along with the amazing care team at Hospice Brazos Valley, for their collective efforts in creating the most meaningful and comforting final days for our husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend. 


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