- About Us
Donald (Joe) Joseph StoddardFebruary 19, 1936 ~ November 10, 2017 (age 81)
In the silence of a very early Friday morning, the 10th of November, our insatiably curious, impossibly forgetful, eternally hopeful, unspeakably impatient, profoundly pensive, tenaciously determined (a.k.a stubborn), and painfully brave husband, brother, father, grand-father and friend, Donald Joseph Stoddard (Joe), laid his burdens down and quietly, with no pomp or circumstance, took his bright soul and went Home.
Joe was born February 19, 1936 in Fresno, California, at the tail end of the Great Depression and in the relative calm before the storm of the Second World War. His “bigger than life” father Chellous Stoddard was a rough neck laborer with strong callous hands, a keen mind and an infectious curiosity. His fiercely devoted mother, Zelda (Whittle) Stoddard, made a good home for her small family of three whether it was under a tarp in the middle of the California woods, near the sawmill Chell ran, or a home shared with an often-grating mother-in-law. Every memory Joe ever told of his childhood, was a happy one.
The family in January of 1941 welcomed Joe’s kid sister Barbara (Stoddard) Madsen, his lifelong champion. 11 months later, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, they found themselves in Richmond, CA where Chell was foreman at the Kaiser’s Richmond Shipyard 2 installing propellers on large naval ships for the duration of the war.
After the war, the Stoddard Family moved around a bit in California, and ultimately ended up in Ashland, Oregon when Joe was a junior in High School. It was here that Joe met the brunette beauty Marcia Macklin. Joe frequented the Macklin home there in Ashland because he had an unquenchable fondness for… pie… seriously it was all about the pie… We aren’t kidding, so nothing to see here folks, move along; Joe was all about Mrs. Macklin’s blackberry pie.
After High School, Joe was accepted into BYU’s engineering program where he was a committed student. At one point the university sent out a survey to see how much time students were dedicating to their studies. He was devoting nearly 60 hours far exceeding the maximum hours the university had provided as an option. In a terse addendum to the survey, Joe expressed his disillusionment that any student would study less than 40 hours a week and should his children ever attend the Y he would be sorely disappointed that they not study at least that much… His children express their heartfelt regrets.
As a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Joe took a break from his 60-hour study weeks at the Y, to serve a mission in the Eastern States Mission. There he met and was companions with Even Madsen. The two got along very well and this companionship became the bridge that brought Barbara Stoddard into Even’s life leading to their eventual marriage and made Even his brother in every sense of the word.
Joe finished his mission returning to complete his degree at the Y where he began to court Marcia. That’s right folks that Marcia Macklin of the afore mentioned, Ashland Pie Palace, so it appears it was about more than the pies. They were married in the Los Angeles Temple September 15, 1959.
While a poor college couple living on beans and no blueberry pies, they welcomed their first child, a daughter Shawna. They were either unsure of what had caused her arrival or considered her a “practice pancake”, determining they could do much better because exactly one year to the day later, they welcomed their first son, Mack (Keri Jergensen).
Finishing their studies at the Y they moved to Scottsdale, Arizona because they thought it would be nice to live in an area that was only a few degrees cooler than the surface of the sun, and because Joe began work as an Electrical Engineer at Motorola. Joe’s profession then took the family of four to Dallas, Texas. There Joe worked for Texas Instruments and then much later to Compaq in Houston and Maxxan in San Jose.
It was in Dallas, six years after Mack, that they welcomed two more sons into their home, Chell (Pamela Palmer) and Daniel (Andrea Memory). It was here in Texas where they raised their children. Were active in their church. Joined a Square Dance Club. Worked and played and fought and loved and quite simply lived.
Joe and Marcia were, for all intents and purposes, the most unexpected of couples: He being all brutal brain and she all tender heart. And yet, they were drawn together by a love and a mutual desire to serve others. Over the years they opened their homes and hearts to many people sharing their love, understanding and providing a safe place for strangers, who then became family.
They loved and served together their children. They loved and served together their friends and family. They loved and served together most recently all the folks who came to the Employment Center in Tooele. Joe cared deeply about the success of others and as an Engineer was a “fixer” by nature and as an Engineer lacked the nuance of subtly. Over the years he got better, because he wanted to and because his tender-hearted wife taught him much.
Joe was an enigmatic paradox… deeply cerebral but every Saturday morning he stood behind his children laughing with abandon at the antics of Bugs Bunny and Wile E. Coyote. (He had great empathy for Wile E.) He often went to work with different colored socks and sometimes even different colored shoes and yet he was fastidious to the details of design. He could curse into submission (with a sailor’s gusto) an old Volvo engine but could be patently patient and thoughtful with someone who was struggling with a terrible burden.
He loved numbers, was thrilled by the concept of infinity and was awed by a spider’s web. He loved Les Misérables and after seeing the musical listened to the recording endlessly, like all the time, and… he loved Hee Haw and could sing all the lyrics to “Gloom Despair and Agony on Me”. He loved dogs and even a few cats. He loved Calvin & Hobbs, Shakespeare and Whitman, and most especially Mark Twain for his irreverence. He loved revolutionary ideas in the fields of science, math and medicine, yet was more thrilled to know what his grand-children thought.
And he loved, loved, loved to learn, to see more, understand more and was at peace with the dichotomy that with the more he learned the less he really knew. He remained undaunted by all the challenges he faced, be it a nearly 10-year battle with cancer, patents he desperately wished to finish, financial setbacks, the wounds of humanity both given and received and nearly always unintended, because every challenge was an opportunity for a solution to rise-up. The rise thrilled him and he remained throughout his life…. happy.
Most likely because Joe Stoddard loved his Father in Heaven and tried very hard to please Him. Now he rises-up to meet Him and be joined with those who’ve preceded him in the Heavenly Homecoming. He is met by father, mother, grand-parents, in-laws, outlaws, family, friends, a pack of dogs and who knows, maybe one or two cats and a fresh baked blackberry pie.
And, because he loved math, he is survived by: 1 wife, 4 children, 15 grand-children, 1 sister, 2 brothers-in-law, 2 nieces, 2 nephews and 1 dog; 27 souls with immeasurable love and infinite gratitude to have had him in their lives.
Funeral Services will be held 11 am, November 20th, 2017 at the Lakewood Ward, 2032 Church Wood Drive, Tooele, Utah. The Viewing will take place prior to the services from 9:30 – 10:30.