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J.O. McMeans -- “Sonny” to family and friends and “Joe” to individuals who worked with him -- died Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011, in his home in Stockdale, Texas. He was the fifth child born to Murl and Annie McMeans in rural Wilson County, near Stockdale, on Jan. 30, 1939.
Sonny, as he was known all his life, made a life for his family in spite of his severe physical handicap. He was stricken with polio and paralyzed in Stockdale in the epidemic of 1949.
His courage and strengths were always evident and he overcame handicaps that would have taken down most of us. Yet, he overcame these challenges and loved family gatherings where he was the life of the party. He loved to hunt and fish with his sons and play poker with friends and family.
He was a construction manager of H. E. Butt Construction Division, where he oversaw the building of new and remodeled grocery stores until ill health forced him to retire in 1987.
He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Clinton; his parents; three nephews; and his sister, Merlene.
His passing will leave a tremendous void for those of us left behind, his family said, but we know he no longer suffers. His courage is an inspiration for all of us and will help us look forward to the time when we will join him. Our hearts were heavy as we said goodbye to this man who wore many hats. May he rest in peace and enjoy his reunion with Clint, Mom and Dad, Rick, Chet, Ken, and Merlene. We love you, Sonny.
Sonny is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jo Ann; his daughter, Beverly and husband Greg; his sons, Jeffrey and wife Angela and Bruce and wife Lisa; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by four sisters, Vivian, Barbara, Bettye, and his twin, JoAnn.
It was J.O.’s choice to be cremated and have a simple informal memorial service. The memorial service was held Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, at 10 a.m. in the Stockdale Cemetery in Stockdale, with Pastor Stephen Echols from Stockdale’s Christ United Methodist Church officiating.
Family and friends gathered at his home to celebrate his life and watch a very moving photo slide show produced by his youngest granddaughter, Chelsea McMeans, and her fiancé, Mitchel Grams.
Condolences can be sent to 405 South Second St., Stockdale, TX 78160.
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