Joe S. Morales
December 26, 1946 – March 28, 2021
Colonel Joe S. Morales, 74, died early Sunday morning on March 28, 2021 at Brookstone Village in Omaha, Nebraska, where he had been receiving care for the past two years after suffering a debilitating stroke in February 2019. Joe is survived by his wife, Sally Morales; daughters Keri (Steve) Vogt; Kelly (Zach) Bozzi; and grandchildren Dylan, Ella, Reagan, and Brooklyn Vogt; Zoey Bozzi and a baby girl Bozzi due in July 2021. Joe proudly served his country in the United States Air Force for 32 years, 6 months, and 1 day, both as an enlisted member and as an officer, culminating in his final rank of Colonel, from January 30, 1970 until his retirement on July 31, 2002. During his enlisted service, Joe served in the Azores and was subsequently selected to earn a commission in the Air Force through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps. Joe’s first assignment as an officer was as a missile combat crew member in the 341st Strategic Missile Wing at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Great Falls, Montana, where he was initially assigned to the 10th Strategic Missile Squadron (then-Strategic Air Command’s first Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile squadron, whose motto was “The First Ace in the Hole” referencing the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962). As a result of his exceptional performance, Joe was selected to be a wing standardization evaluation evaluator, where he administered evaluations to wing missile combat crew members to ensure they could effectively conduct their emergency war orders wartime mission, if required. It was during this tour of duty that Joe met and subsequently married his wife, Sally Elizabeth Rhodes. Joe’s second assignment was in the 4315th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California, where Joe applied his knowledge and skills as an instructor to train new missile combat crew members for their assignments to the operational missile wings. During this assignment, Joe and Sally’s first daughter, Keri Lynn Morales, was born. Joe, Sally and Keri then transferred to then-Headquarters Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. During this tour, Joe and Sally’s second daughter, Kelly Elizabeth Morales was born. Also during this time, Joe transitioned to the communications career field, and for the remainder of his career, Joe held very important assignments as a communications officer, including command of the 7th Communications Squadron in the B-1 bomber wing at Dyess Air Force Base in Abilene, Texas; a tour at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio; and culminating in his promotion to colonel and his final assignment as commander of the 55th Communications Group at Offutt Air Force Base. Joe served honorably and with such dedication that he earned the many awards and recognitions listed below during his career: - Defense Meritorious Service Medal, - Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters, - Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, - Joint Meritorious Unit Award, - Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with five oak leaf clusters, - Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with two oak leaf clusters, - Combat Readiness Medal, - Air Force Good Conduct Medal, - National Defense Medal with Bronze Star, - Air Force Longevity Service Award with Silver oak leaf cluster, - Air Force Overseas Service Short Tour Award with one oak leaf cluster, - Air Force Training Ribbon with one oak leaf cluster After his military retirement in July 2002, Joe worked as an aerospace contractor for several years with Lockheed-Martin Corporation and Titan Systems in Omaha Joe’s personal passions outside of the Air Force and contractor work, included not only spending quality time with his family, but tennis, racquetball, and baseball. Joe was a fierce competitor with a racquet, either on the tennis or racquetball court – Joe took no prisoners! He was also a proud owner of College World Series season tickets for over 30 years and enjoyed taking his kids and grandkids with him. In 2013, he took a two week-long summer trip with his daughter Keri, her family, and Sally to visit major league baseball parks along the way in Cleveland, Toronto, and Detroit. He had the privilege of taking Ella (his first-born granddaughter) to her first major league baseball game at Brewers stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin when she was just 3 months old! Joe was incredibly gifted and talented, and he shared his many abilities by mentoring his family and friends throughout his life. Ultimately, his daughters have him to thank for their strong work ethic, appreciation for higher education, and passion for providing for family. In lieu of flowers or donations the family requests donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Joe was a huge advocate for advances towards a cure for all those suffering, in particular his daughter Kelly, and his late sister-in-law Mary (Rhodes) Mustain.
- National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Thursday, April 8, 2021
Joe S. Morales
April 15, 2021
So sorry to hear about Joe’s passing.
If I have the right Sally Morales. I’ve been trying to find you, but couldn’t.
My name is Linda Dievendorf and I use to work with you at Berry’s on main and we were great friends! This was in Columbia, S. C. Is that you? If so , please give me a call. Would love to talk with you. Do not use my email-I forgot password. You can call or text me @ 803-513-7593. If I don’t have the right Sally, I’m still sorry about your loss.
Linda Dievendorf Jones
April 6, 2021
Sally & family. We're so sorry to hear of Joe's passing. What a joy to be your neighbors & friends.
Joe had the kindest smile and a mischievous laugh. He will be greatly missed. Girls, just remember how very much he adored you. Nothing was too good for his family. I will miss his trips to Texas & him stopping to spend the night with us. Always bringing kolaches home to you.
God Bless you & give you
Norman & Debbie Kirk
March 30, 2021
I am saddened to learn of Joe's passing. For many years and several locations I served with Joe during our Air Force careers. He was a gentleman, great smiling face, energetic, enthusiastic which all comes together as a very great man. He worked hard for his country and I learned one time that his racket ball skills where far superior to mine.
He will be missed, but as we all go forward and remember Joe, each time we think back on him will bring a smile to our face and warmth in our heart as that is the way he was as a friend and Officer in the USAF to all.
Joe, rest in peace and God Bless!
March 30, 2021
Sally my heart goes out to you and your family, I am so very sorry
March 30, 2021
Sally, I remember when you first met Joe and attended your wedding at Spartanburg Methodist. I know you two had a happy life with your two lovely girls. Dale and I are so sorry for your loss. I was able to see you when your mother was in Union, and the trips to the beach.
What fun times!
God bless you and your family.
Dianne and Dennis Habrock
March 29, 2021
Keri and family, so sorry for the loss of your father, father in law and Grandpa. No one is ever ready to lose a loved one. Our love and sympathy goes out to all of you.