The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

March 31, 2013

Joseph B. Hensley


The Joplin Globe

WEBB CITY, Mo. — Joseph Benjamin Hensley, age 93, of Webb City, Mo., passed away at St. Lukes Nursing Home in Carthage on Friday, March 29, 2013.

Joe was born on Jan. 5, 1920, in Webb City, the second of 12 children born to Oren Patrick Hensley and Wynona (Simington) Hensley.

Joe was a lifelong Webb City resident and 1940 Graduate of Webb City High School, where he was a varsity letterman in track and football. He married his high school sweetheart, Mabel Juanita Robison, on July 4, 1941. The couple had two children, Dixie and Jerry.

Joe enlisted in the Missouri National Guard in May, 1937. He was in Battery G of the 203rd Webb City unit and was promoted to Corporal Dec. 15, 1939. He completed his term on June 30, 1940. He enlisted in the Navy during World War II. Operating out of Guam, his Patrol Craft Escort Rescue (PCER) ship patrolled between the Marianna Islands following B-29 bomber routes and rescuing any downed American aircraft personnel while patrolling for enemy submarines.

After an apprenticeship at Westside Machine Shop, Joe worked at the Webb Corporation from 1940, until February of 1942, when Joe and Mabel moved to Wichita, Kan., for an employment opportunity with Boeing as a tool and die maker. Upon his return from the war, Joe went back to work in Wichita with Beechcraft, working on the gear work for the Bonanza variable pitch prop plane, one of the first planes with this technology. In November of 1947, Joe and Mabel moved back to Webb City and moved to 325 S. Oronogo where they remained the rest of their lives. Joe took a position at Reed Engineering in Carthage, where he worked for five years. Joe then worked for Sperry-Vickers for another 15 years and finished the last 21 years of his career in tool and die at American Fixtures (now Lozier). He retired in 1986.

Joe enjoyed fishing from his cabin on Table Rock Lake and in later years, Oscie-Ora Acres Lake. He also enjoyed gardening, welding, woodworking, and could be seen riding a bicycle, around Webb City until well into his 80's. He was a lifelong student of Native American and American Military History and enjoyed both collecting and creating replica Indian relics. Most of all, he was a loving, doting, and proud grandfather.

He is survived by his daughter, Dixie Shoup and her husband, Don, of Carl Junction; his sisters, Bertie Wahlstrom, of Carl Junction, Ruth Hansen and Shirley Brown, of Hemet, Calif. and Lela LaRue, of Carl Junction; his sister-in-law, Teenie Hensley, of Webb City; and his grandchildren, Greg Shoup, of Carl Junction, Carol Longo, of Atlanta, Ga., Angela Shoup, of Girard, Kan., Joe Hensley, of Joplin, Justin Hensley, of Minneapolis, Minn., Joshua Hensley, of Webb City and Chloey Hensley, of Joplin; as well as a number of great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mabel; his son, Jerry; his brothers, Harold, Phillip (Stevie), Oren and Daniel; and his sisters, Jessie Lusk, Nelpha (Emogene) and Bonnie.

The family wishes to thank the caring and compassionate staff of St. Lukes Nursing Center who cared for Joe in his final months.

Graveside services will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday, April 3, at Ozark Memorial Park Cemetery with Reverend Ron Crow officiating. Pallbearers will be Don Shoup, Greg Shoup, Tyler Shoup, Joe Hensley and Josh Hensley.

Memorial contributions can be made to the Jerry Hensley Disaster Relief Memorial, C/O First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 206, Diamond, Mo. 64840.

Arrangements have been entrusted to the Hedge-Lewis Funeral Home of Webb City, Mo.