Joseph Harry Caithamer, Jr. was born in Long Beach, California on January 28, 1945, to parents Joseph, Sr. and Shirley Caithamer. Growing up, his family referred to him as Skipper/Skip, while most people knew him as Joe. Joe spent his childhood years in Long Beach where he graduated from Lakewood High School in 1964. Upon graduating, he entered the United States Army and was honorably discharged from active duty in 1967. Joe met the love of his life, Betty Marie Pflug, in 1969. They were joined in Holy Matrimony on December 26, 1970, and they were blessed with 48 years of married life together. God also blessed them with the gift of four children: Joseph III, Jennifer, Jeffrey, and Julie. Joe was the loving grandfather of Alana, Ty, Magdalen, Joseph IV, Joshua, Elizabeth, Hannah, and Lydia.
Joe supported his family through his work at the machine shop known as SPS Western until he began his 25-year career with the Operating Engineers, enjoying the operation of grading tractors and other heavy earth-moving equipment. Joe’s work permitted Betty to stay at home with their children, which was her joy. Taking advantage of his love of driving and his great use of maps, Joe rounded out his working years in the small parcel delivery business. Joe served Immanuel Lutheran Church in Orange as a lay-reader for over 30 years, along with several years serving on the board of trustees.
Joe loved spending time with his family, especially on their cross-country trips and later annual vacations to Laughlin, Nevada. And he did his best not to miss the activities of his children and grandchildren. Joe enjoyed watching sports of all kinds, including his favorites: the L. A. Kings and the L. A. Dodgers, along with college and professional football, and boxing. You could also find Joe watching movies of all genres, especially comedies, westerns, and action films, as well as various TV shows he loved together with Betty. Joe will be remembered as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, and uncle, for his quick sense of humor, and as a man who loved helping out his family and others in need, utilizing the “fix-it” skills he learned as a full-service gas station attendant in his youth.
Joe is preceded in death by his parents and his sisters, Jo Ellen Cannon and Jackie Danielson. He is survived by his wife, their four children, their eight grandchildren, and his sister, Joyce Stoltz.
On January 11, 2019, Joe, at age 73, entered the Church Triumphant, to be with the Lord until the Resurrection on the Last Day. Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord. We give thanks to God our Father through Jesus Christ, our Lord, for our brother in Christ, Joseph Harry Caithamer, Jr.
Memorial donations can be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church and Preschool in Orange, California or St. John Lutheran School in Champaign, Illinois.