January 07, 2014, 9:00 am by Florence Edwards
The most anyone of us can expect at the end of our lives is a history of distinguished achievements. What’s so remarkable about Joe Jeanes is that he had many.
Joe passed away Sunday, Dec. 29, at the age of 86. He was born July 9, 1927 to John H. and Violet Marie Reitz Jeanes in Houston, Texas.
As his most precious legacy, Jeanes left behind Billie Frances, his wife of 67 years. He married his high school sweetheart in 1946. They have two daughters, Pam and Kim and one son Bill along with four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Joe is also survived by his brother John.
Jeanes was for years the head of Southwestern Laboratories, one of the largest and most respected materials engineering/testing companies in the nation. Following services in the Navy in the South Pacific during World War II, at Milne Bay and Holandia in New Guinea, and Leyte and Manila in the Philippines, he returned to Houston in 1949 where he earned his BS degree in civil engineering from The University of Houston in 1949.
He began his 43-year career with Southern Laboratories in 1950 as an engineer in the construction materials engineering and geotechnical divisions. Working up through the ranks, in 1972 he was named vice president and became president at a time when the company had begun to expand its services and locations. He became Chairman and CEO in 1987.
Widely known in engineering circle, Joe was past president of the Houston Engineering and Scientific Society, the San Jacinto chapter of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and the Texas Society of Engineering Laboratories. He also served on the Board of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers.
In 1980, Joe Jeanes received special recognition with the award of Honorary Membership in the Chi Epsilon, the National Civil Engineering Honor Society. He received the University of Houston’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and is inducted into its Engineering Hall of Distinction in 1988.
In 1992, the Texas Engineering Foundation conferred on Joe Jeanes "distinguished engineer for his services to the engineering profession.”
Joe was long active in the American Council of Independent Laboratories’ affairs. His contributions include many years as ACIL’s CMT Committee Chair. In 1977, ACIL presented him the Truesdail Award. In 1982, Joe Jeanes joined the ACIL Board of Directors, where he would serve for twelve years. During his term as president from 1990 to 1992, ACIL experienced unprecedented growth and began to make the significant changes that enabled the association to adapt to the rapidly changes business environment within which testing firms operated.
In 1997 ACIL bestowed its highest honor, the Lewis E. Harris Fellowship Award because in his business and professional life he was an outstanding leader and a generous contributor over a period of four decades.
Joe Jeanes had also been active in The American Society of Civil Engineers, The American Concrete Institute (Houston Chapter), ASTM, ASFE, and the Rotary Club of Houston. He also served as President of the Brae Burn Country Club, and was a long time member of the Board of Directors of First City Bank – Houston- North line.
Joe was an avid golfer (having obtained five holes in one) and was an active hunter taking several whitetail and mule deer trophies.
He and his wife Billie were members of the Church at Horseshoe Bay.
He is survived by his wife Billie of 67 years in marriage, his daughter Pam and her husband Lee Ward, his daughter Kim and her husband Tom Jenks and son Bill and his wife Pam and their children Kellie and Cody and by his brother John. Also by his grandchildren, Jennifer and her husband Chris Jones and their daughter Riley, Stephanie and her husband Mike Gonzalez and their son Sebastian, and his nephews Sean and Danny.
His loves were his family, church, engineering, the US Navy, University of Houston sports, hunting, golf, and life.
Visitation will be held Sunday Jan. 5, 2014 at Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Marble Falls.
Service will be held Monday Jan. 6, 2014 at The Church of Horseshoe Bay.
Arrangements were made by Clements-Wilcox Funeral Home in Marble Falls.
Condolences may be made at www.clementswilcoxfuneral.com.
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