Joe was a successful cotton farmer, with a career spanning 40 years before his retirement in 1994. He made his first cotton crop before graduating from Caruth Public Schools in 1954. Joe continued farming with his father until his death in 1965. Over the years he was part owner with his family of Kennett Farm Equipment, and was part owner of Farmer's Union Gin. He also served in the National Guard and on the PCA Board.
On March 9, 2003, he married Carolyn Hoskins, and they enjoyed eight happy years together.
Survivors include his wife, Carolyn; two sons, Mark Pelts and wife, Carol, of Kennett, and Paul G. Pelts, M.D., of New Orleans, La.; a daughter, Stephanie Martin and husband, K.C., of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and one granddaughter, Ann Catherine Martin. He is also survived by two step-children, Marc Hoskins and wife, Donna, of Kennett, and Marcy Tybur and husband, Chuck, of The Woodlands, Texas; four step-grandchildren, Evan Hoskins, of Munich, Germany, Elaine Hoskins, of Auburn, Ala., and Jonathan and Spencer Tybur, both of The Woodlands, Texas; two sisters, Patsy Hively and husband, Eules, of Kennett, and Phyllis Faulman and husband, Bill, of Chicago, Ill., and many nieces , nephews and other relatives.
Joe was preceded in death by his wife, Patsy Ann; his father and mother, and his brothers, Lee Jr. "Peck" and Charles.
Joe's family would like to extend their deep appreciation to Gerald Linette, M.D., and the staff of Barnes-Jewish Hospital of St. Louis for their excellent medical care and constant compassion.
A public visitation will be held Friday, May 13, at McDaniel Funeral Home in Kennett. A private family burial will follow Saturday, May 14, at Memorial Gardens in Kennett.
The family requests that memorials be made in Joe's name to Our Mark on Melanoma, Inc. Melanoma Research Fund, c/o Barnes Jewish Hospital Foundation, 1001 Highlands Plaza Drive West, Suite 140, St. Louis, MO. 63110. Other memorials are welcome to a charity of the donor's choice.