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Joseph Whitfield Privette

Joseph Whitfield Privette, age 79, Branson, Missouri

Joseph Whitfield Privette was born November 12, 1943, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina. He departed this life to be with the Lord on July 23, 2023, in Branson, Missouri, at the age of 79. 

In 1976, Joe married the love of his life, Catherine Jean Rowan in Idabel, Oklahoma. They were married for 46 years and their love story was one for the ages, filled with laughter, joy, and an unbreakable bond. Together they raised three children: Whit, Ashley, and Jennifer. Joe was very proud of his family and all their accomplishments. He lived a life full of love and dedication to his family and friends. 

In his younger days, Joe served in the United States Navy as a Mineman 2nd class Petty Officer. He was stationed in the Philippines during the Vietnam War on the USS Enterprise. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, Joe was employed at Weyerhauser Paper Mill. He was on the “start-up” team for the Alabama and Oklahoma mills. He spent the majority of his time serving as the Supervisor for the #2 Paper Machine at the Valliant paper mill, where he was well-respected and loved by co-workers. Joe retired from Weyerhauser in 2002. Joe also owned Privette Piano Company, where he traveled across McCurtain County tuning pianos. He had a passion for music and was instrumental in the creation of Southern Express, a country western band that traveled all over the United States and Canada. He created Roadie Joe Music, where he was the manager for his wife, Cathy and son, Whit who were lead members of the band. Joe loved joining them while they were on tour. Joe was a social butterfly and he loved to help people, so after retirement he began working as a driver for Star Express. 

Joe was proud to be a Veteran for the United States Navy. He was very active in the American Legion and VFW in Idabel. He served as the Quartermaster for the VFW and enjoyed many nights as the Bingo Caller for both venues. Joe was well-respected as a Veteran and served as secretary on the board of the McCurtain Veterans Museum where he was a founding member. Joe and Cathy enjoyed volunteering at various Veteran events and activities.   

Joe was a member of the First Baptist Church in Idabel and was active in church activities. He enjoyed traveling to see his kids and grandkids, going to movies, reading military books, and spending time with friends. Joe’s family was his number one priority. He loved being a Papaw to Trace, Chance, Erin, Mackenzie, and Evan. Joe was affectionately known as “Tickle Bo” to his niece, Candace and nephew, Cass. 

Joe was preceded in death by his parents: Richard Vass Privette and Bernice Privette of Florence, South Carolina, and Marjorie and Tip Trueblood of Rocky Mount, North Carolina.    

Joe is survived by his loving wife, Cathy Privette and their precious dog, Ella of Branson, Missouri; his children: Whit Privette and wife Tina of Branson, Missouri, Ashley Oliver and husband, Vance of Charleston, Illinois, and Jennifer Dunaway and husband Ron of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He is also survived by grandchildren: Trace Privette and significant other, Kymiyon Gray of Shreveport, Louisiana, Chance Privette of Fallon, Nevada, Erin Oliver of Charleston, Illinois, Mackenzie Duncan and significant other, Matthew Gilmore of Glenpool, Oklahoma, and Evan Oliver and wife Anna of Mattoon, Illinois; sisters: Robbie Kazenmaier and husband, Klaus of New Orleans, Louisiana, and Betty B. Trueblood of Brandon, Florida. A host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends also survive him. Joe was a kind, thoughtful soul and will be missed and remembered by the many lives he touched. 

In Lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the McCurtain County Veterans Museum in Joe’s honor. 

A celebration of Joe’s life will be 2:00 p.m. Saturday, August 26, 2023, at the First Baptist Church, 2 SE Jefferson St, Idabel, Oklahoma. Arrangements and cremation are under the direction of Cremations of the Ozarks. To leave an online condolence or share a memory, please visit   



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