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Happy Birthday, Mr. McQueen!

By SERINA MARSHALL
Staff Writer [email protected]

Since he was a child, Joe “Joey” McQueen has loved spending time with his family whenever he was given the chance, and as his father turns 96, they are still making memories together.

Born July 22, 1926, Joseph “Pap” McQueen has always been, not just an example, but the example of a loving father and husband, according to Joey.

“My parents were married in 1947 and were married 63 years when my mom, Myrtle, passed away,” Joey said. “Before she got sick, he still would bring her flowers. That’s how their marriage was.”

Pap served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II and Joey said he can remember him telling stories about his time in the service.

“Back in the war he said, when they first got over- seas, they were somewhere in Europe and he said they were wanting to get (to the battlefield), but the first battlefront he saw, a plane came over and bombed close to where they were at,” Joey said. “Dad said, ‘Well I’ve had enough, I’m ready to go.’ He was done with war at that point.”

Later in his life, Pap had his own excavating company, along with a farm in Jonesborough that Joey and his sister, Toni, grew up on.

“Every day was a good memory. We farmed and Daddy was always gone to work in the mornings. He was a good daddy; he never beat on us, and I never heard the man cuss in his life,” Joey said. “And I never heard my mom cuss either. They were good Christian people, and that makes for a good life. My sister and I got along. Mom always fixed breakfast before we went to school, and not just a Pop Tart, a real breakfast and a real supper. That was the kind of life we had, a good farm life.

“Mom always took us to ballgames while Daddy was at work, but I don’t guess Daddy ever missed a ballgame; he always showed up. Not many people can sit back and say they had a good life. Both of my parents were good parents.”

Joey added that after he grew up and moved to Colonial Heights, he would have his parents come over to go fishing and play Frisbee golf as a family. And they always celebrated the important occasions.

“We pretty much have a party for anybody in the family,” Joey said. “Sometimes we all can’t be there, but we make a point to be

at Daddy’s birthday. And when Mom was alive for her birthday or for their anniversaries, all of us tried to be there if we could. There were five generations at his party this past Saturday.”

The legacy that Pap McQueen has built includes two children, five grandchildren, eleven great-grandchildren and five great-great-grandchildren, with one on the way.

“Daddy loves all of his grandkids, it’s pretty awesome,” Joey said. “And Dad still farmed up until this last year, and that was because of congestive heart failure. But he still is an active man and lives by himself. He’s an amazing man.”