Joe Waddill, Jr.

August 18, 1928October 29, 2019
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Services for Joe Waddill Jr., 91, of Chandler, TX are scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Friday, November 1, 2019 at Eubank Funeral Home in Canton, TX with Bro. Rick Gray officiating.

Joe passed away October 29, 2019 in Tyler, TX.

Joe Waddill, Jr., was born August 18, 1928 in Grand Saline, Texas and spent most of his school years as a Grand Saline Indian. He enjoyed school (for the most part) and excelled as a high school football player. One day after his last football season, his coach sent him to the local Air Force recruiting office to stop a fellow teammate from joining up. Instead, once there, Joe decided he would join with him.

While in the Air Force, Joe served as a drill sergeant before shipping off to Okinawa, Japan with the Air Force Intelligence wing. He was stationed in Virginia upon rotating back to the States.

Joe loved music and while on leave back in Van Zandt County was looking for a record player to play a record he brought back from Japan. He instead found the love of his life, Mary Ellen Scott. On his next leave Joe and Mary Ellen went on dates for a solid week. The next leave, they were married. They knew each other for two months.

After spending one year in Virginia, Joe left the Air Force and he and Mary Ellen moved to Dallas, Texas, where they found a garage apartment and jobs. Joe began college at Southern Methodist University, using his GI Benefits. He graduated in 1957 with a degree in secondary education and landed a job teaching senior English at South Oak Cliff High School in Dallas. He fell in love with teaching.

During his decade at SOC, Joe and Mary Ellen added Susan and John to the family and Joe earned a master’s degree in education administration from the University of North Texas. After earning his Masters degree he was assigned an assistant principal at Bryan Adams High School in Dallas for two years before moving to Clara Oliver Elementary School as Principal. After 16 years at Oliver, he finished his career at Richard Lagow Elementary. Joe excelled at running a good school and was recognized by both the school district and community for his leadership.

When Joe retired he had time to focus on his new love, being a Granddad. He substitute taught for several years while he and Mary Ellen purchased land and built their current home back in his beloved Van Zandt County. Joe volunteered at the Van Zandt County Genealogical Society Library in Canton, serving in various capacities, including President and First Monday Parking Lot attendant for the Society. He also enjoyed working with the Old School group in Grand Saline, who renovated an old building from their high school days on the current GSHS campus as a GSHS museum and community center.

Joe was a longtime member of Sunny Glen Baptist Church in Dallas, serving as Sunday School teacher and a Deacon, once he retired. He continued to serve as a Deacon in the two churches he and Mary Ellen attended in Van Zandt County and continued to teach Sunday School. They were involved in the Celebrate Recovery ministry, at Faith Baptist Church in Chandler, which was very meaningful to them.

He is survived by his Wife, Mary Ellen Waddill; Daughter, Susan & Rick McDowell; Son, John & Jean Waddill; Granddaughter, Katy & Charles Smith; Grandson, Jake & Jessie Page; Granddaughter, Jordan McDowell; Granddaughter, Becca & Logan Presnall; Granddaughter, Sarah Waddill; Granddaughter, Leah Waddill; and Great-Grandchildren: Parker, Hudson, Jolie and Addi.

Joe is preceded in death by his Grandparents, John & Annie Loyd; and Sister, Linda Thomas.

Interment will be at Haven of Memories in Canton, TX.

Family will receive friends Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to C.R. Ministry at Faith Baptist Church or to a charity of your choice.


  • Visitation Friday, November 1, 2019
  • Funeral Service Friday, November 1, 2019


Joe Waddill, Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sally Cohen

November 4, 2019

While teaching at SOC, Mr Waddell had us learn a section of old English. We had to repeat it to him to get a grade. I can still remember the part I learned.

Carol Carpenter

November 2, 2019

South Oak Cliff High School - 1965-1966 - Senior English - Mr. Waddill was an excellent teacher. He truly guided his students as he taught us. I am honored to have known him.

Carl Talbert

November 1, 2019

Dear Mary, .john and Susie,
We will remember Joe as one of the greatest. He made a lot of impact around the world.
We enjoyed the remembrance thoughts.
We will not attend the morning service. Morning are not good for THOMASINE.
Our thoughts and prayers are for you.
Carl and Thomasine

Betty Glover

October 31, 2019

I had the opportunity to have Joe Waddill ,Jr. as my principal for 16 years. He was a very supportive leader and was not afraid to support innovative teaching ideas. As one of the schools that implemented the Talented and Gifted Program in the Dallas Independent School District, Clara Oliver Elementary had one of the leading programs in the district. He supported me in taking the students on educational trips to New Orleans to the see the King Tut Exhibit in the 70's as well as Atlanta, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
I will always remember his relationship with the students as well as the teachers and staff.
Betty Glover.
Gifted and Talented Teacher (TAG)

Betty Everett (Weese)

October 31, 2019

I had Mr. Waddill for Sr English, grad-1962, We had to memorize and recite Chaucer poem in Middle English in front of class, I knew it but being extremely shy, I think I was ready to pass out. He ask me to step out into the hall. Ask me if I knew it, I said yes sir. He told me to face the lockers and say it, I faced the lockers said the poem and got an A. He was truly great teacher and caring person.

Jan Crow

October 31, 2019

Mr Waddill was a well-loved teacher at South Oak Cliff where my husband and I attended in the 60's. It was amazing running into him at the Genealogy Library in Canton so many years later when I started working there. We parked cars together on First Monday Saturdays; I've visited him at home when he wasn't getting out as much a few years ago, taking to or picking up genealogy items from him. My husband and I still would call him Mr Waddill and he would say, now you're not in school any longer so call me Joe. He will be missed.

Shannon Morehouse

October 31, 2019

Mr. Waddill was my senior English teacher at South Oak Cliff High School and I was in his class at the time we received the news that President Kennedy had been shot. Mr. Waddill must have been a good teacher because I can actually remember some of the Canterbury the English of Chaucer! My sincerest sympathy to the family in their loss.

Renee McPherson

October 31, 2019

Joe has been a life long friend to our family and especially to my dad and mom, Jack and Cordell. They played football for the Grand Saline Indians in high school and we will just leave to your imaginations the other mischief they achieved together. With that being said, they were friends through think and thin. . .their friendship was maintained; their last hug, expressions of love was on May 1, 2019. We want to honor a great man that touched so many lives and so many hearts. Joe was a gem, a man of values, a man of his word that believed in sharing his wisdom. His love and level of being an educator will live on in the vast number of students that were so lucky to have known him. A true friend, husband, dad, grandpa, teacher...thank you, Joe. Rest in peace, our friend. You left the world a better place.
Forever love,
Renee McPherson, Jack and Cordell Perry

Karen Smith

October 31, 2019

Mr Waddill was one of my teachers at South Oak Cliff in the 1960's. I'm glad he required us to memorize many poems because that helped to develop my memory skills. Rest in peace good teacher.

Cheryl Murphy

October 31, 2019

Joe was one of my greatest friends and a father to me. I learned so much from him on Tuesday mornings at the genealogy library. He shared his love of the Lord with me, thus bringing me to Love the Lord. He will be greatly missed. We shared a love of music and I treasure all of his music CD's . Rejoice in Heaven old friend.