Joe David Warrington, 81
Published 11:53 am Wednesday, April 26, 2023
Joe David Warrington, 81, passed away peacefully at his home in Batesville on Tuesday, April 25, 2023.
Funeral services were held Monday, May 1, at the Crowder Baptist Church with the interment at Crowder Cemetery. The family received friends Sunday evening, April 30 at Wells Funeral Home.
Joe David Warrington was the best journal-keeper.
Yes, he accomplished many other things, but the vast quantity of his journal collection, cataloging everything from the weather to the growth of his trees and the size of his vegetable crop, to his Honey-Do list cannot be overstated.
Joe’s life began in Lambert on December 6, 1941- the day before the day that would live in infamy. Those from the Mississippi Delta are familiar with how prolific the Warrington family is. Joe was the 9th of 11 children born to Richard Kingsley and Mary Helen (Romedy) Warrington. As with most large families, by the time he came along, it was every man for himself, which contributed to his ingenuity and ability to figure things out for himself.
Joe was an adventurer, traveling around the world looking for new vistas and in search of the perfect ice cream cone. He loved his ice cream and could not drive past a Dairy Queen without stopping on his many road trips. He recommends the chocolate twist cone if you have a chance.
Everyone agrees that Joe was always looking for a good bargain and a great investment. His clock collection was just for fun, though. He never met a clock he didn’t want to add to his wall.
While attending Lambert High, he played football and fell in love with a sweet little cheerleader, Peggy Jo Wiggs. They would marry and spent the next 64 years together building a legacy of love and service. He lied about his age to drive the school bus and altered the route to give Peggy Jo curb side service. Always gallant, Joe carried her books and later her luggage for as long as they traveled together.
At the age of 16, he fell in love with the girl who would stay with him for the rest of his life. Peggy and Joe had a bond that could not be broken, even as he attended Ole Miss in Oxford. Marriage and babies quickly followed. During those years, when Joey, Renee, and Gary were born, Joe’s hunting skills provided meat as they raised their young family on faith and a shoestring.
Life was a whirlwind as they settled first in Huntsville, Alabama and then LaPlace, Louisiana where Joe established his successful career as an engineer for Shell Oil. Heather and Elizabeth were born, making their family complete. Sundays found everyone in church, where Joe served as a deacon and both he and Peggy sang in the choir. This gave them both an eagle eye view to keep their clan in check with a single pointed look. LaPlace was their home for 17 years until fate and curiosity sent them to Saudi Arabia. He helped to support an underground Christian church and taught Friday school to the junior high class. It was often standing room only as expat families crowded in to share the fellowship of shared belief in a foreign land.
Wherever they called home was a hub of activity, full of noise and kids, and no shortage of animals. It was probably his nostalgia of growing up around animals that led him to support and encourage any number of pets from hamsters and rabbits to dogs, chickens, ducks, and cats.
Joe and Peggy returned to the Mississippi Delta when Joe retired in 1997. They built there forever home, with enough room for everyone, including their growing complement of grandchildren. Joe was determined to teach the next generation the important skills needed to make it in the world, and hosted Summers at the Farm, where days were spent earning pennies for saying yes ma’am and no sir, passing the go-cart driving test, and making memories. The world was their classroom, and the lessons never ended. Gardens, hunting, home maintenance, fishing, and Granny’s cooking were all in limitless supply.
Joe and Peggy celebrated through the years with friends and neighbors, hosting family reunions teeming with grandchildren, traveling on their own adventures across the country and beyond.
Joe had a heart for service, and even in retirement stayed busy at Crowder Baptist and teaching for the AARP. He was able to get back on a tractor, caring for his yard in the company of his beloved Great Pyrenees dogs- Buck, Fluffy, and Sammy. He tried his hand at raising chickens, Guinea fowl, a donkey, and a goat. With limited success. We are pretty sure that Donkey Bama is living his best life out there somewhere after breaking free from his yard one too many times.
Even as Joe’s health began to decline, his fighting spirit endured. He never failed to make his wishes known to all within earshot. When Joe’s health was fading and the pandemic kept him locked down at home, Peggy holed up with him, devoted to his care and comfort, and persevering through a very difficult time.
The last few years of Joe’s life were a struggle as the ugly grip of Alzheimer’s took hold. He completely forgot to write in his daily journal. One by one, the memories of a beautiful life flickered and dimmed. But he continued to cherish the warm embrace of his family and friends, and find comfort whenever surrounded by conversation and laughter. He never stopped absorbing the love coming from those around him. He continued to giggle and smile until the end. He never stopped being Joe.
In the early morning hours of April 25, 2023, Joe David Warrington shed his earthly pain and made a graceful exit, surrounded by the love of the family he cherished. The impact of his legacy will be felt forever, and the stories of his adventures will be told for generations to come. We hope that you will share your favorites with his family.
Joe is survived by his wife Peggy Jo Wiggs; his children, Joe (Helen) Warrington, Jr., Edith Renee (Aaron) Duhon, Kenneth Gary (Kim) Warrington, Heather (Andrew) Wertin, and Elizabeth (Walter) Umstead; his grandchildren Austin Duhon, Hillary (Josh) Warrington-Hernandez, Duncan (Randa) Warrington, Benjamin Duhon, Brennan (Heidi) Warrington, Taylor (David) Garcia, Curtis Roberts III, Zachary Warrington, Madeleine (Eric) Sorensen, Baylee (Douglas) Hetzler, Preston Umstead, Victoria (Dakota) Doster-wood, Isabella Umstead, and Catherine Umstead; great grandchildren Raelynn Volney, Joseph Warrington, Emmie Warrington, David Garcia and Stormie Garcia; siblings Helen Waller, Leon Warrington, James Warrington, Sheila Ryals, and Paul Warrington, and more nieces, nephews, and extended family than you can shake a stick at.
Joe is preceded in death by his parents Richard Kingsley and Mary Helen (Romedy) Warrington and siblings Eloise Willis, Richard Kingsly, Jr., Mildred (Mickie) Bryant, Velma Ilene Bounds, and Bill Warrington.
In lieu of flowers, Donations honoring Joe Warrington’s legacy are welcomed to support the Alzheimer’s Disease SILQ Research Fund at The Foundation for Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Memorial contributions may be sent to 1001 Highlands Plaza Drive West, Suite 140 St. Louis, MO 63110 or submitted online at www.foundationbarnesjewish.org.