Cover photo for Joel Statham's Obituary
1969 Joel 2015

Joel Statham

December 31, 1969 — December 11, 2015

Just one month after celebrating his 74th birthday on November 10, 2015, Joe Statham passed away on December 11, 2015 after a brief illness.  He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Diane Statham, and his son Stephen Statham of Houston.He was born in San Antonio to Liz Galloway and Edwin Statham, but as a baby, Joe moved to Houston where he was raised by his beloved mother and stepfather Lawrence Shapera.After graduating Lamar High School in 1960, Joe continued his education at the New Mexico Military Institute on a ROTC scholarship.  Shortly thereafter during the Vietnam era, Joe was drafted into Army Intelligence where he was stationed overseas in Europe, primarily Italy, and for a year in Greenland.  He spent the remainder of his 6-year service in Washington, DC where he worked for the Army Map Service after training as a Cartographic Engineer at Georgetown University.One of Joe’s highest accomplishments in the service was receiving a Unit Citation from President Kennedy for discovering Soviet missiles in Cuba, which ultimately led to the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1968, Joe was honorably discharged from the United States Army.  He was employed briefly with Lockheed Corporation at NASA during the first manned lunar mission, helping to map our moon.  He went on to work as a long time employee for Southwestern Bell.  His detail-oriented nature enabled him serve the company well in operating and maintaining a computerized switching system.  He retired from the company over 15 years ago.Although he would claim that Diane was his memory, Joe loved learning and would remember the things he was passionate about knowing.  One of his strongest interests was in learning all he could about the military aspects of World War II.  His keen interest caused him to develop an extensive historical library.While it was often difficult to get Joe out of the house, once he was out he loved to talk and connect with people.   His helpful, generous spirit will be missed.Joe was a man with an extreme level of integrity and a keen sense of fairness.   He was down-to-earth and gave his best to every effort.A Memorial Service for Joe will take place at  1:00 p.m, Tuesday, December 15, 2015, in Temple Sinai, 13875 Brimhurst Drive, Houston, 77077, with Rabbi Annie Belford officiating. Another Memorial Service will be held on Sunday, December 20, 2015 in the home of Glenda Waldman.The family is grateful to the staff at Parkway Place and Continuing Care at Eagle’s Trace for the care Joe received.Donations may be made in Joe’s memory to the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org) or the Temple Sinai Shalom Fund.
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