Joe was born in Jackson, Mississippi, September 20, 1943. Our dad, then a lieutenant in the 1st Marine Division, had already been shipped overseas to fight on the Pacific front. Joe didn't meet our dad until he had returned home after the war. He lived with our mom on her parent's ranch outside of Jackson for several years, being completely spoiled as the first grandchild, by his aunts, uncle and grandparents.
Upon his discharge, our dad worked for Continental Oil Company, and our family moved about as a result of this. Joe was in grade school in Ponca City, Oklahoma and then in Casper, Wyoming (where I was born). We then moved to Westlake, Louisiana, where Joe graduated from Westlake High School in 1960 (?). (One of his favorite pasttimes was beating the stuffing out of my Panda bear -- he loved to hear me shriek. Big brothers -- ya gotta love 'em.)
He attended L.S.U. for about a year, and then dropped it to join the Marine Corps (1st Marine Division, 3rd Battalion, Platoon 322, Regimental Honor Platoon) in 1962.. He was stationed in San Diego, California for his training in 1962 with the 3rd Battalion, Regimental Honor Platoon 322. It was during his stint in California that he encountered the love of his life: skydiving!
Joe went back to L.S.U. as soon as he left the Marines. There he met Lalla Fay Alexander, whom he married in Dec. 1966. Neither his college stint nor his marriage were crowned with success. He dropped out, divorced and left for California.
He subsequently met and married Rosemarie. They had a son, Troy Kincannon Morgan, in 1972, and a daughter, Anna Marie Morgan, in 1974. (Troy is today father of a son, Gaij Kincannon Morgan, and Anna has a son, Ricky Parker, Jr.) They lived for a while in Oregon, and then moved to Mississippi (~1974) where Joe worked for one of our uncles. Joe couldn't tolerate returning to the "Deep South" after having lived on the West Coast. They left and headed out west. Some time later, they must have split up.
At some point, Joe met Annie out there and they both moved to Florida together in 1984. They subsequently did the Marriage-Divorce Shuffle, but fortunately, remained close friends afterwards.
I lost track of Joe for over 12 years while he was living in California and I had moved to France. I decided to write him just one more time; if I didn't get a response, I would just not put any more energy into trying to find him. While I was on a business trip to Vienna, my daughter Madelaine told me that I had received a letter from him. I had her read the letter out loud to me over the phone. It was the most exhilarating moment to be back in touch again!
Over the following years, we kept in touch, and I would even say, close touch, by Joe's standards. He came to visit me twice (and I'll write more about that later.) We had a scheduled telephone rendez-vous: whenever my husband would turn on the Formula One race here in Belgium/France (around 14h00 on a Sunday), I would call my bro' in Florida, because he would be up, drinking coffee in front of the T.V. (maybe even hoping that I might call)
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