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Joe Hayes Lewallen, 77, of Sulphur Springs, TX, passed away on March 15, 2023 after a battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
Joe was born on August 6, 1945 to Bobby Joe Lewallen and wife Mary Ellen Lewallen ńee Smith, in Dallas, TX. The second child, Joe had an older sister Sue and younger sister Judy. After graduating from high school at Robert E. Lee Joe went to college at Southern Methodist University, the alma mater of his father.
Joe left college at SMU to play minor league baseball for the Astros. Then making the move to a professional team, Joe began playing football for the San Antonio Toros. It was from the Toros Joe was drafted to play football in the NFL for the Redskins, and later traded to the Oakland Raiders-even playing a stint with a Canadian football league. However, Joe’s true passion was always with the San Antonio Toros and the lasting memories and lifelong friendships made.
Joe met the love of his life, Priscilla, in Dallas, and they wed August 3, 1975. Together Joe and Priscilla embarked on many adventures. One of their largest a cross country trek to Minnesota looking for work after selling nearly everything they owned. The couple settled in a fishing resort on a lake, giving Priscilla’s two sons, Joe’s stepsons, John Patton Pritchard and Timothy Charles Pritchard, a boyhood’s dream playground. Memories abound for John and Tim and their ‘Grizzly Adams’ father. Including sled rides, camp fires, fishing, and watching Momma get chased by bears at the dump while seven months pregnant with their little brother, Joe Scott Lewallen (Scotty, Monkey Boy). Two years later the best thing about the family happened: Ginger Leigh Breazeale ńee Lewallen was born; their baby sister whom they love and adore. When Joe saw Ginger for the first time and touched her cheek he cried, “She’s so soft.”
The job in Orr, MN opened the doors for Joe that eventually landed him in the oil field working for Brown & Root. Then, Halliburton and Citgo. Joe made a move to safety with HB Zachary and he retired from Mario Sinacola & Sons in 2013. Four years before retirement Joe and Priscilla purchased their dream retirement residence of 52 acres in Sulphur Springs. Joe had cattle he enjoyed calling to feed, including a couple of horses and several donkeys-thanks to Rocky, the only male. The land Joe and Priscilla purchased had a large assortment of trails throughout the back half of the wooded property including a grape arbor, many fruit trees, an established garden-all watered by an established system connected to a well-and three tanks. This dream retirement property turned reality became a family gathering place dubbed simply The Farm. Joe and Priscilla bought four wheelers so their children and grandchildren could enjoy The Farm. Priscilla had a chicken house on The Farm to rival many others and free range chickens that went home to the house every night. Joe could often be found on his big red tractor, zero turn mower, in his Cub Cadet at one of the three tanks on The Farm fishing with the grandchildren, or sitting around a campfire with his children-most often at night offering a grandchild $1 to run into the dark, scary woods a ways and back.
Joe is preceded in death by his parents, Bobby Joe and Mary Ellen Lewallen and sister Sue. Joe’s wife of nearly 42 years, Priscilla Lewallen ńee Jones preceded him in death February 27, 2017. Joe is survived by one sister Judy McMorris of Palestine, TX; one aunt, Betty Burdick of Mesquite, TX; his sons John Pritchard and wife Julie of Simpsonville, SC and children Alex and wife Caitlin, of Raleigh, NC, Austin of Simpsonville, SC, and Samantha of Simpsonville, SC; Tim Pritchard and wife Marcie of Granbury, TX and children Beau of Ft. Worth, TX, Paige of VA, and Caleb of NC; Scotty Lewallen and wife Robin of Ft. Lauderdale, FL and children, sons Hunter, Tyler, and Cody all of Berwick, LA, Peyton of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, daughters Tobi of Maypearl, TX, and Taylor of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; daughter Ginger and husband John Breazeale of Corsicana, TX and children, sons Luke Lewallen and children (three great-grandchildren) Lucian, Leo, and Leia, Braden Breazeale and Whitney Demoss of Corsicana, TX and daughter (Joe’s newest great-grandchild) Alaia Grace Breazeale, and Grant Breazeale all of Corsicana, TX. Also, sisters- and brothers- in-law, numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and many other relatives too many to mention but in no way less loved.
Please join us for a drop in visitation Friday March 31, 2023 6-8 pm at West Oaks Funeral Home 500 Hillcrest Dr S, Sulphur Springs, TX 75482. Services will be led by Bro. Jimmy Rogers in the West Oaks Funeral Home Chapel April 1, 2023 2pm. Interment to follow at Arbala Cemetery. Pallbearers are John Pritchard, Tim Pritchard, Scotty Lewallen, Beau Pritchard, Luke Lewallen, and Braden Breazeale. Honorary pallbearers are Danny Daniel, Alex Pritchard, Peyton McKay, and Grant Breazeale.
The family would like to extend a special thanks to the dedicated staff at Twilight Nursing and Rehabilitation and Mercy Hospice. Also a big thank you to West Oaks Funeral Home: Gale, Lonnie, Morgan; for handling the arrangements for our beloved father and grandfather, Joe Lewallen-Paw Paw. Too, for understanding sensitive topics, procrastination, and handling all with warm words of encouragement and a smile. God bless each one of you.
Arrangements are under the direction of West Oaks Funeral Home. www.westoaksfuneralhome.com.