Joe Diaz, 87 left this world on March 10, 2013 to join his loving wife Lucy, surrounded by his family at his home on Diaz Lane.
He was born on Sept. 28, 1925 to Manuel Diaz and Magdalena Vargas in Augusta, Kansas. At the age of 7, he and his family moved to the Pocatello area where he was raised. In 1942 he met his life partner and wife of 68 years, Lucy Honena. They made their home in the Gibson District on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.
In 1943, Joe joined the United States Army and served in World II. His service was with Company I of the 318th Infantry Regiment. After training, his European campaign began with the Invasion of Normandy which led to Northern France and Germany, and finally ended on the outskirts of Berlin. He participated in D-Day on Omaha Beach and in the Battle of the Bulge. During this period of time, he received the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in action and the Oak Leaf Cluster which signified wounds received for the second time. In November of 1945 he re-enlisted and on the 18th of October 1948, for his military service, Joe was honorably discharged, receiving his Certificate of Disability for Discharge.
Upon his return home, Joe built a home for Lucy on Diaz Lane where they raised their family. Joe was a hard worker and always provided for his family. His employment included farm work as well as a job at the Gay Mine in Fort Hall from which he retired. He was active in the Fort Hall community participating in sun dance ceremonies, rodeo as a bareback and a bull rider, Cattleman’s Association and a life member of the Disabled American Veterans. In his later years he enjoyed his favorite place, The Sage Hill Casino, where he could be found enjoying his favorite gaming machines. He was well known and welcomed by his fellow gamblers.
Joe is survived by his son; John R. (Hazel) Diaz, four daughters; Beverly (JJ) Wadsworth, Debbie (Willy) Lamere, Barbara Edmo, and Norma (Mark) Wadsworth, all of Gibson; a brother, John (Frances) Diaz of Whittier, Calif.; 12 grandchildren, 25 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Lucy, two sons; Greg and Vernie; daughter Linda; brothers Jesse and Alex; a sister, Dolores Diaz Telles, and one grandson.
A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, March 13, 2013 at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church. The family will meet that evening for a rosary service at 6:30 p.m. and will be immediately followed by a prayer service and visitation at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot.
Joe will then be taken to the Diaz family residence on Diaz Lane in Gibson on Thursday. March 14, 2013 and remain there until Friday March 15, 2013. A traditional Native American burial and military honors will take place at Gibson Cemetery at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 15, 2013.
Condolences may be sent to the family at firstname.lastname@example.org .