Fishing 04


Joe Whitworth

March 6, 1937 ~ June 13, 2018 (age 81)

Joe Whitworth, 81 of Adrian Michigan, passed away peacefully on June 13, 2018 while surrounded by family at Hospice of Lenawee County.  He was born March 6, 1937 to Joseph and Eva Whitworth and grew up in Alabama.  Joe married the love of his life Carolyn (Wooten) Whitworth on October 25, 1953 and she survives.  Together they raised five children in Adrian Michigan, where they relocated for work in 1966.  Joe was employed with Ford Motor Company, where he retired in 1996, after 30 dedicated years of service.  After retirement, Joe and his beautiful bride Carolyn, move back south. They lived in Camden, Tennessee for 19 years where they enjoyed each other while gardening and fishing on the Tennessee River.  In 2015, Joe and Carolyn, moved back to Adrian to be near family as his health started to decline.

In Joe’s younger years he loved to fish and hunt with his boys, play softball and race racecars. As his boys got older he enjoyed hunting and fishing with his wife and was humbled when she learned to out hunt and fish him.  Together they fished at more than 180 lakes across Michigan.  Joe also had a passion for gardening, animals, nature and building.  He often explained his occupation as, “a jack of all trades and a master of none”, and he was right.  There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do, he was creative and could build anything with his hands.  He dabbled in everything; electrical, plumbing, concrete, gardening, landscape, fishing lures, earrings, bird houses, wind chimes, remolding, porch swings, you name it and he could do it.  Joe was a teacher at heart, he passed his love of fishing, gardening and campfires down to his children, friends and grandchildren.  His family would tell you he was a quick witted, straight shooter. You never questioned where you stood with him.  In his later years he often said, “I wasn’t great at expressing my love, I guess I just thought everyone ought to just know.”  What he didn’t realize is that his love was expressed through his stories, the sharing of life lessons that were both entertaining and educational.  His grandchildren and great grandchildren, would tell you that they loved his stories, the incredible love he had for their grandmother and his sense of humor.  Joe spent his life learning, he loved reading books and encouraged everyone around him to get an education.  He preached against doubt and promised, his loved ones, that they could do anything they set their mind to do.  He often said, “Can’t never did nothing”, which was a favorite quote from an elementary school teacher that pushed him to always do his best.    

Joe is survived by his beloved wife Carolyn of 64 years, their five children, JoAnn (Lester) Wallace, Donny Whitworth, Kathy (Keith) Brainerd, Randy Whitworth and Michael Whitworth, their 18 grandchildren Leslie, Heather, Christina, Daniel, Keith, Don, Amber, Andy, Joseph, Sabrina, Jessica, Kenny, Ashley, Adam, Jennifer, Therese, Jamie, Josh, their 26 great grandchildren and their 3 great great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents and 8 brothers and sisters.  Joe chose cremation, for which a private, family celebration of life will be held at a later date. In Lieu of flowers, the Whitworth family suggests a donation to the Lenawee Humane Society.   

Donations may be made to:

Lenawee Humane Society
705 West Beecher Street, Adrian MI 49221
Tel: 1-517-263-3463

© 2019 J. Gilbert Purse Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS