November 16, 1953 – October 13, 2019
Joe Robertson, 65, died October 13, 2019 following a brief but hard-fought battle with melanoma. With his passing, the world lost a caring, fun-loving, witty, and adventurous spirit, but Joe leaves behind a loving family and a wide circle of friends who will carry on his legacy, laugh as they share countless “Joe stories,” and embark on Harley rides and pontoon boat cruises in his honor.
Visitation will be at Parkway Funeral Home, 1161 Highland Colony Parkway in Ridgeland, on Thursday, October 17th from 5:00 until 7:00 and on Friday, October 18th at 11:30. A service celebrating Joe’s well-lived life will take place on Friday at 1:00. Joe’s son-in-law, Todd Prater, will officiate this service honoring his father-in-law and friend.
Joe was born on November 16, 1953, in Tishomingo County, Mississippi. He graduated from Burnsville High School, where he was voted Mr. Burnsville High School. Joe attended Northeast Mississippi Community College and graduated in 1975 from Mississippi State University.
Joe’s hard work, knack for business, and way with people led him to a successful career in banking and finance. He held leadership positions with Ford Motor Credit, Unifirst Bank for Savings, Security Savings, and Magnolia Federal Bank. He retired from BancorpSouth in December of 2018 as senior vice president over the real estate group for the Jackson region.
Joe’s many professional recognitions included the Lifetime Achievement Award presented by the Home Builders Association (HBA) of Jackson, HBA Associate of the Year, life director of the National Association of Home Builders Board of Directors, and induction into the Mississippi Housing Hall of Fame (2019). He was a volunteer with many civic and professional organizations, including service as president of the Madison Ridgeland Rotary Club.
While he enjoyed notable professional success, Joe placed his highest priority on the happy, meaningful, and fulfilling life he built with his wife of 20 years, Pat Sanders Robertson, and their children and grandchildren.
When Joe ran into Pat at an MSU alumni event, he recognized her from their college days and made a point to say hello. Months later, they bumped into each other on a busy street in downtown Jackson; as the traffic and people passed them by, their love story began. Pat was initially wary that Joe was a “love ‘em and leave ‘em kind of guy,” but it soon became clear that there was nowhere Joe wanted to be other than by Pat’s side.
Joe married Pat, the love of his life, on March 19,1999. Joe and Pat’s new family included Joe’s two daughters, Susan and Amy, and Pat’s daughter, Lauren; the family eventually grew to include two sons-in-law and four grandchildren.
While their careers kept them busy, Joe and Pat were intentional about setting aside time for one another. They traveled the world together, visiting Italy, Spain, France, Monaco, Greece, Israel, and Turkey. One of their goals was to visit all 61 national parks and all 50 states. They crossed 21 national parks and 47 states off their list, making amazing memories and marveling in the natural wonders that reflect God’s majesty.
One of Joe and Pat’s last shared adventures was a trip to the canyons of Arizona, a journey they made just after Joe’s cancer diagnosis. A photo from that trip shows Joe, Pat, and their friends posing in a slot canyon. In that image, a beam of light shines directly upon Joe, a sign of God’s reassuring touch upon Joe during his final weeks on earth. While Pat regrets that she and Joe did not complete their shared earthly bucket list, she has no doubt that Joe is now waiting to lead her on a tour of places more awe-inspiring than can be imagined. Always active, funny, and full of life, Joe will be remembered for the fiery red hair that matched his energetic spirit, as well as for his love of hunting, fishing, boating, and motorcycling. He was passionate about MSU athletics (in good seasons and bad), and drew a quirky pleasure from making frequent automobile trades that allowed him to practice the art of the deal. He and Pat enjoyed entertaining friends in their lovely and welcoming home at Lake Caroline, where fun-filled dinner parties often ended with Joe captaining a cruise around the lake.
Joe was a natural leader and a professional and personal mentor to more people than he probably realized. He was a rare individual who not only made the world a better place, but also blessed every person he met or with whom he came into contact. He had a loving spirit and a gift for making others feel special. Joe’s passing leaves an emptiness that cannot be filled, but his family and friends are comforted knowing that he is at peace in his Heavenly home surrounded by God’s love.
Joe is survived by his wife and best friend, Pat Sanders Robertson; daughters, Susan Prater (Todd) of St. Cloud, Florida, Amy Robertson of Brandon, and Lauren Payne (Jeff) of Madison; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brother, Don Robertson (Cathy) of Starkville; sister-in-law, Pam Prevost (Fred) of Brentwood, Tennessee; brothers-in-law, Ronnie Sanders of Jackson and Coyt Sanders, III of Bradenton, Florida; a niece and six nephews.
Waiting to greet Joe in Heaven were his parents, J.E. and Maye (Welch) Robertson; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Evelyn (Hollis) Sanders and Coyt Sanders, Jr.; brother-in-law, Donnie Sanders; and nephew, Leland Prevost.
Memorials may be made to the Melanoma Moon Shot Program at MD Anderson Cancer Center (mdanderson.org).
- Pat Sanders Robertson, Wife
- Susan and husband Todd Prater, Daughter
- Amy Robertson, Daughter
- Lauren and husband Jeff Payne, Daughter
- Mr. Robertson also leaves four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; brother, Don Robertson (Cathy) of Starkville; sister-in-law, Pam Prevost (Fred) of Brentwood, Tennessee; brothers-in-law, Ronnie Sanders of Jackson and Coyt Sanders, III of Bradenton, Florida; a niece and six nephews to cherish his memory.
- Don Robertson
- Todd Prater
- Jeff Payne
- Zach Robertson
- John Adams
- Coyt Sanders, III
- Drew McIntyre
- Doug Smith
- Steve Bostic
- Gene Henson
- Visitation Thursday, October 17, 2019
- Visitation Friday, October 18, 2019
- Celebration of Life Service Friday, October 18, 2019
November 4, 2019
Frank and I met Joe in college at Mississippi State; Frank was a trailer mate of Joe’s in the MSU Trailer Park. When I first met Joe, it was like running into an old friend; I don’t guess Joe ever met a stranger in his whole life. Like others have said, I never remember a time when Joe was not upbeat, positive, and in a good mood. He was a person that genuinely enjoyed life and other people!
Joe and his brother, Don, were groomsmen in our wedding in 1976. When I read Joe’s obituary, I reached out to my bridesmaids and relatives to tell them about Joe and to ask them if they remembered meeting the red-headed groomsman named Joe at our wedding. In every case (8 people), they not only remembered meeting Joe but remembered his friendliness, his sense of humor, and having a conversation with him! I don’t think many people would be memorable after 43 years; Joe had that rare gift of putting other people at ease and extending hospitality to people he just met. What a special gift!!
I only met Pat once when she and Joe came to my grandmother’s funeral in Jackson in 1998; we did not expect them, they just came. I really appreciated them making the effort to attend, and my mother did also. (My grandmother had met Joe and was a Joe fan). We have kept up with Joe and Pat through Christmas cards through the years, and I’m so glad they got to travel the past few years.
The world lost a truly special person in losing Joe Robertson, but Heaven has gained one! Our thoughts and prayers are with Pat and all the rest of Joe’s family.
I really enjoyed seeing all the pictures on the website, especially the last one of Joe in his boat with his sidekick, his red-headed grandson! I think that is the perfect picture to remember Joe.
May God bless you,
Frank and Lynn Martini
Debbie and Tom McCollum
October 16, 2019
Tom and I have so enjoyed the friendship of Pat and Joe! The world lost a true gem. A memory is a keepsake of the heart forever! Joe will always remain in our hearts. We are here for you, Pat!!!
October 15, 2019
I'm so sorry to hear of Joe's death. I am thinking of you in this sad time and extend my condolences.
October 15, 2019
We met Joe & Pat 10 years ago when we moved to Lake Caroline. Meeting them was like meeting old friends. Joe was so quick-witted & funny. Always smiling & cheerful.
He kept our walking area in our neighborhood mowed. Since it benefited me & my dogs most, I was always trying to pay him for gas or give him gift cards. He wouldn’t hear of it! I can’t really repeat what he told me I could do with those gift cards! He rescued us when our boat ran out of gas..getting a good chuckle out of that. We will miss him so very much. Our love & prayers for Pat & his family.
October 14, 2019
Joe was one of my favorite people in the world. He was a pillar of the Home Builders Association of Jackson and was always welcoming and inviting to everyone that crossed his path.
Joe always had a smile and a hug for me and I knew he was genuine. He and Pat made a dynamic duo! Seeing Joe and Pat always made me smile.
We lost a good man here on earth But God gained a truly great warrior.
Rest in Peace, Joe.
You will be greatly missed by all who knew you!
Love and Hugs to you, Pat!
October 14, 2019
The National Association of Home Builders lost a great leader in Housing Finance for its 140,000 members. We are all thinking and praying for his loved ones and we thank you for allowing us to get to know Joe.
2018 Chairman NAHB
October 14, 2019
I met Joe in 1983 when Zach and I started dating. I remember fun times at Unifirst S & L get togethers and many savings and loan conventions at the Broadwater Beach! Having lost Zach almost exactly 2 years ago, my heart goes out to Pat and the rest of Joes family. Ironically since in last few months I was going through pictures and found one of Joe, Martha, Leigh, Mary Ann, Zach and I at the pool at the Broadwater! Boy were we young! I know Zach and Joe have already connected and reliving good old times! Again I’m so sorry for your loss!!
Jay and Jan Whitlock
October 14, 2019
Jan and I moved next door to Joe and Pat just over 2 years ago. They were so welcoming and made us feel at home instantly. Joe was always there to help with any questions, provide me any contacts for work on our house. I can honestly say I have never had better next-door neighbors than Joe and Pat. I’ll never be able to delete his text messages for all the contacts he forwarded me. It was almost 2 months from when we closed on the house until we moved in. During that time Joe cut our grass several times. We never asked, he never offered, he just did it. That’s how considerate he was. Joe’s battle with melanoma was brief and he left us with good advice. Protect yourself from the sun. Of all the advice he gave me, that was the best and most heartfelt. We will miss his smile, his friendly greetings and his always positive attitude, but like all who knew him, he will be with us in our hearts forever.
October 14, 2019
Joe was just the best neighbor I’ve ever had. Always friendly and willing to help. I will miss him so much. A fun memory of Joe involves my then 4 year old grandson Peyton. Joe was on his property as he and Pat were building their beautiful home. Peyton had made a little book with scraps of note paper and had scribbled or drawn on the pages. The book was only about 1 inch square. Unbeknownst to us, he walked over to Joe and offered to sell him the book for a quarter. Joe bought it and made one young entrepreneur very happy. Much love to Pat and family.