Ott-Laughlin Funeral Home

645 West Central Ave, Winter Haven, FL


Joseph Emery Sisson

August 11, 1929June 20, 2020
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Joseph “Joe” Emery Sisson passed away peacefully in his home in Winter Haven, Florida on Saturday, June 20, 2020 at the age of 90. Joe was born to his parents, Ruth Griffith Sisson and Walter Coffin Sisson on August 11, 1929 and grew up in Potsdam, New York. He was part of an extended family that owned The Racquette River Paper Company and the A. Sherman Lumber Company in Potsdam. Joe was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, and friend. Some of his cherished memories as a child was his love of animals, including his pet horse that he would ride through the streets of Potsdam and pulling a sleigh through the snow in the winter months with his friends and family.

Joe was a lifelong learner and had a brilliant mind. He attended Vermont Academy, a college preparatory boarding school, and then Dartmouth College. He graduated from Dartmouth with his bachelor’s degree in History in 1951. Later, he attended the University of Florida and graduated with an additional bachelors of science degree in Animal Husbandry in 1955.

He also served in the army in the Korean War from 1951 to 1953 as a cryptologist. Being very musically gifted, he learned how to play the accordion while in Korea. He continued to play for his family for many years, along with the piano, and occasionally broke out his ukulele! His love for music is something he will always be remembered for, along with his quick sense of humor and abundance of corny jokes.

Joe met his wife, Marilyn Jones, in Potsdam, NY, where she attended college. They later married in 1954 and soon after settled in central Florida to start their family. Joe and Marilyn were both raised attending the Presbyterian church, in Potsdam and Utica NY, respectively, and were members at First Presbyterian Church of Winter Haven, FL. They enjoyed their life together and over fifty years of marriage. They both loved to visit the Sissons’ summer cottage at Oak Point, located on the Saint Lawrence River in northern New York. The cottage was built in 1922 by his grandfather, Rufus Lasher Sisson, and is still owned and loved by the descendants of Joe’s father, Walter C Sisson.

Always having a passion for animals, Joe worked in the animal feed business at the Lakeland Cash Feed Co. for 28 years until 1988. After retiring from the feed business, he then became a horticultural therapist in the mental health department at Winter Haven Hospital. He enjoyed sharing his knowledge and love of gardening with outpatient clients for five years.

Joe’s wife Marilyn passed away peacefully in her sleep in 2006. Joe was also pre-deceased by his sisters, Carol Sisson Freeman and Sylvia Sisson Hart (Polly). He is survived by his brother, Walter C Sisson Jr. (Pete); his three children and their spouses, Mary Anne Sisson, Walter and Maureen Sisson, and Joseph Jr. (Jody) and Jane Sisson; his six grandchildren, Jaime, Trevor, Taylor, Ashley, Morgan and Jenna, and seven great grandchildren, Chandler, Vaughn, Camden, Braelyn, Reese, Noah and Isaac.

There will be a private memorial for family and close friends in Winter Haven. At a later date, the family will gather for a final service in upstate New York, at the Sisson’s summer cottage and then on to the Potsdam cemetery where there is a family plot.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests any memorial gift in Mr. Sisson’s name go to Good Shepherd Hospice, 105 Arneson Ave., Auburndale, FL 33823.


Joseph Emery Sisson

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Buddy Kerr

June 30, 2020

I am so, so sorry for the loss of of your dad. To me, your dad was the last link that joined together my mother and father as neighbors, and the closest of friends. As a little boy, I remember so many fun times when being around your dad. The time he showed me how chickens could jump up and down even without their, well, upper part attached. The time he asked me to help put Star out for exercise and every time that pony would kick up its hind legs it would pass a little, you know, let out a huge poof sound from around its rear end area. Your dad and I would just stand there and laugh. Then there were the jokes, funny comebacks, and the music at our families parties, which by the way, your dad was always the life of every party. I will always have good memories of your dad. I will miss him tremendously. Peace and love be with you and your families.