Joseph Richard Mingus, 64, of Gallipolis, went to be with his Lord and Savior on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, after a brief hospitalization at the VA Medical Center in Huntington, W.Va., with loved ones by his side. He was born in Athens County, Ohio on July 2, 1948, to the late Rev. Edward Mingus and Kathleen Willis Mingus of The Plains, Ohio, who survives him. Joe was preceded in death by his father, his paternal and maternal grandparents, and several special aunts and uncles.
Joe was a 1966 graduate of Chauncey-Dover High School, where he excelled in all sports, garnering All-Ohio football honors. After high school, Joe relocated to Washington, D.C., where he was employed in the mailroom of the F.B.I. In 1968, Joe enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. As a member of the Delta Co., 1st BN, 3rd Marines, 3rd MARDIV, he served in the Vietnam War and was the recipient of multiple Purple Hearts and the Navy Commendation Medal “V” and the Navy Achievement Medal “V”. He was a true Marine throughout his life, always displaying the core values of the United States Marine Corps: courage, honor, and commitment.
Joe loved to share the message of the Gospel. He served as pastor of Fairland Southern Baptist Church in Proctorville, Ohio; Fellowship Baptist in Jackson, Ohio; and New Hope Baptist Chapel in Gallipolis, Ohio.
In 1998, he was inducted into the Chauncey Dover High School Athletic Hall of Fame.
Joe had many hobbies throughout his life. Primarily, these hobbies centered around the outdoors, whether it be gardening with neighbors, hunting with friends, or continuing the family tradition of making apple butter annually. He was also an amateur radio operator, KC8BEQ.
In 2005, Joe retired as an equipment operator from the Gallia County Highway Department.
Joe was a member of the River of Life United Methodist Church. In addition, he was a member of the American Legion Post 21 in Athens and lifetime member of Athens AMVETS.
He is survived by his wife of almost 13 years, Lynn (Kingery) Mingus, whose devotion to him was a true testament of her love for him, as she provided excellent care for Joe during his extended illness. He is also survived by his former spouse, Suzan Chapman of Ashton, West Virginia. In his life, Joe was most proud of his daughters, Shelley (Tim) Neekamp, Debbie (Russell) Saunders, both of Gallipolis, and Sarah (James) Goodwin of Lebanon, Ohio; and his daughters by marriage: Wendy (Ron) Walker of Oak Hill, Ohio, and B.J. (Chad) Johnson of Cheshire, Ohio. The true lights of his life were his grandchildren, Austin Joseph and Emilee Nicole Neekamp, Wesley Allen and Christi Rushelle Saunders, André James Goodwin, Morgan Sidney, Hannah Lee, and Lynzie Mae Johnson, Katie Marie Cline, Daniel Matthew and Rebecca Leann Walker. He is also survived by brothers, James (Suzi) Mingus of The Plains, Ohio; William Mingus of New Marshfield, Ohio; Steve (Connie) Mingus of Findlay, Ohio; sister, Christine (Tom) Evans of Parkersburg, W.Va.; sister-in-law, Ellen Mingus of Athens, Ohio; several nieces and nephews; and special friends, Davey (Becky) Meaige, Jim (Annette) Clark, and Paul Kostival. Honorary pallbearers will be Homer Hockman, Ray Hughes, and Joe’s grandsons.
A celebration of Joe’s earthly life and the life he now has with Christ will be held on Saturday, January 12 at 11 a.m. at the River of Life United Methodist Church with Pastor Larry Fisher officiating. Burial will follow in Hilltop Cemetery, Millfield, Ohio. Friends may call at Willis Funeral Home, Gallipolis, on Friday, January 11 from 5 to 8 p.m., and also one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday. There will be military rites at the graveside.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the River of Life United Methodist Youth Fund, 35 Hillview Drive, Gallipolis, Ohio 45631.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints”: Psalm 116:15
Please visit www.willisfuneralhome.com to send e-mail condolences.