Joe S. Dotson, age 94, of the Reinmiller Community south of Joplin, passed away March 25, 2012, at home after a brief illness.
Joe was born March 18, 1918, in Newbern, Tenn. He was the son of the late Sam and Maggie Dotson. He grew up near Blytheville, Ark., but sometimes the family lived over the line in Missouri, both in what Joe called cotton country. He also lived and worked for many years in St. Louis.
Joe married Thelma Evans Dec. 27, 1944, in Blytheville. They were married 59 years. They lived in St. Louis for a few years, but moved to Reinmiller in the early 1950s. Thelma preceded him in death on April 23, 2003.
Joe enjoyed being a member of the Joplin Masonic Lodge No. No. 335 for 33 years, A.F.&A.M., Scottish Rite and Abou Ben Adhem Shrine of Springfield, Mo. He was also a member of the Joplin Shrine Club and the Oriental Band. He and his wife, Thelma, enjoyed many trips with the Shrine Club over the years to such destinations as Disney World, Mexico, and St. Antonio, often to participate in parades. Joe particularly loved working to raise funds for the Shriner’s Hospitals. Joe also took pride in being honored locally and in a national publication, The Laborer, with a gold card for his 50 years of membership in Local 319 of the Laborers’ International Union of North America. He worked all over the area on construction projects. The last job he held was at Atlas Powder, where he made many friends whom he cherished for the rest of his life.
Joe had a gift for friendship. He truly “never met a stranger”. Aside from his family and his God, he treasured his friends most of all. In recent years, he spent time daily with his friends at the Joplin Senior Center. He also enjoyed seeing his many friends at dances at Saginaw and Perseverance and in Neosho and Carthage, where he continued to dance as he had from the age of 7 to the end of his life. He also had many friends in Reinmiller, the community where he and Thelma lived for most of their lives and to which they actively contributed for many years through the Reinmiller Community Association and the hootenannies the group sponsored. In addition, Red and Bernice Henson were lifelong friends of Joe and Thelma and Joe particularly appreciated the love and affection their children have shown him throughout his life, long after their parents were gone.