In Memory

Joseph Barry Wolpert

Joseph Barry Wolpert

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11/28/17 11:46 PM #1    

William Melton

Great guy.  Hard to believe he's gone.

11/29/17 09:08 AM #2    

Dick Murdock

I will miss Joe.  We knew each other casually at CHS but when he and his wife Carolyn moved to the Kansas City Missouri area, where I live, we reconnected and formed a strong friendship.   We would meet often for lunch or breakfast.  For those who don't know, Joe was a preacher, believe it or not.  He grew up in Charleston around his Dad and uncle who knew a lot about horse racing and, as fate would have it, would serve him well later in life.  That leads up to my favorite Joe Wolpert story.  My wife Bea and I would sometimes attend Joe's church to hear him preach on Sunday morning.  What the congregation did not know was, on Monday, Joe would go to the Woodlands, an of-site gambling spot for horse racing, and bet on the ponies.  Joe took me one Monday and ,when we walked in ,everybody would say "Hey Joe" not having a clue he was a preacher.  We won $900.  When Joe and Carolyn  moved to South Carolina to be near their daughter, Rachel, and her family, we still kept in touch.  Joe called me about a month ago just to chat.  Said he wasn't feeling too good and thought he wouldn't last much longer.  I encouraged him and reminded him that was OK.  That this life is just a preamble to eternal life with Christ and he and Carolyn would be reunited.  We cried with each other and said good-by, see you again later my friend, and hung up.  I will always remember Joe Wolpert.

11/29/17 10:03 AM #3    

Carey C. "Pat" Campbell

So sorry to hear of Joe's passing. He and I had some classes together. He was known as a real "Kool Kat", back in the day.. Prayers to the family.


Pat Campbell

11/29/17 01:20 PM #4    

Betty Skaggs

This is a picture taken at our 50th reunion -- all McGwigan Elementry School grads too! From the left: Joe's brother Milton, David Green, Betty Skaggs, Joe and Emily Johnson.  Joe will be sorely missed.  In the 6th grade, He was captain of the School patrol and I was the lieutenant.  We were top dogs!!  Several years ago he was in Austin.  We had breakfast together.  That is when I too learned he was a preacher.  Shocked and pleased.  In elementary school, he was my first introduction to the Jewish religion.  I always worried about him at Christmas time.  Did Santa leave him presents??  See ya later, Joe.

11/29/17 02:37 PM #5    

James Randolph Painter

Joe was both a leader and an individualist, an unusual combination. In the sixth grade he was captain of the patrols, which was the highest responsibility and recognition in the class. He was respectful to everyone around him, from his earliest days to his last ones. In high school Joe became CHS's version of a beatnik for awhile, then I lost touch with him until this page was founded and Joe and I reconnected. In the past year the daughter of a classmate contacted this CHS page to see what she could learn about her mother, from whom she had been separated when young. The student/mother had been a neighbor of Joe's and he contacted the daughter off-line to tell her what he knew about her mother's early life.

Joe was a model for all of us, and even though our contact was seldom I'm sad knowing he's not still among us.

12/01/17 03:46 PM #6    

John Randolph McNeel

I have really enjoyed,  been very touched by all the shared memories of Joe.  He was a very unique guy.  I can't claim to have known him that well, but he cut a very wide swath.  My first memories of him are from Thomas Jefferson Jr. High.  I don't know if it was true all the way through Jr. High, but I distinctly remember Joe wore a tie and sport coat to school at least all through our ninth grade year.  He was dapper.  He was cool.  A lot of kids would have been teased for dressing like that, but I don't think anyone ever teased him.  He was a trend setter, a style man.  I remember being at a party, a dance party in ninth grade.  It seems it was in one of the Charleston Country clubs out near Coonskin Park.  Everyone was dancing and then the entire group got riveted on Joe and his partner because they were dancing at a skill level way above ours.  We formed a big circle around them and cheered them on. It was so cool.  It was a John Travolta sort of moment.  I think he was our John Travolta.  It was as if he was older than most of us, very worldly wise.  He had a great sense of presence.  As I say, I really didn't know him that well, can not claim to have had a personal friendship with him.  But I remember him so vividly.  I was sitting in a car with him one night up at Bob's or at Big Boy not long before we all graduated.  He said the most interesting thing, something to to the effect that it was going to be surprisisng after we graduated to find out how many kids in our class were gay.  I remember thinking that was an astonishing thing to say and where did he get such thoughts.  But again, I looked at him and he wasn't trying to be outrageous or provocative, he just seemed to have this greater wisdom about people.  And, of course, he was right.  It was like he could see the future where the "unspeakable" to us would not be all that uncommon to acknowlege.  The last time I saw Joe was on a visit home from college.  I had gone over the CHS in the evening to listen to RG Williams conduct an evening class of music in he band building.  When he was done RG invited me along with his pals to have a beer in some joint closeby.  I sat with them for a time and then noticed Joe was in a booth by himself so I excused myself from RG and his older friends and went over to chat with Joe.  We shared a quart of beer and had a great conversation, probably the only one on one I ever had with him.  When I finally went over to rejoin RG and his friends, he made the comment that I obviously preferred spending my time with a younger person than all these "old guys."  He said it lightly, but I could tell it hurt his feelings a little that I had fled to a more interesting field so quickly.  It was one of the first times in my life that I realized that a young person could hurt an older person's feelings.  It was also the last time I ever saw RG.



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