Joe Michael Crow Obituary – Austin American-Statesman

September 22, 1946 – November 4, 2022

Joe Michael Crow was an ordinary man who had an extraordinary impact on the lives of those he loved. During his 76 years, Joe was living proof that greatness is not measured by fame and fortune, but by acquired responsibility. For Joe, those responsibilities began and ended with his family. He was married to the same woman for over half a century, with whom raising their son and caring for their grandson were life’s highest callings.

Born in 1946 to Carl Jesse Crow and Mattie Mae Brown Crow in Waco, Texas, Joe spent his childhood in Waco, Brenham and Richardson. He was an outstanding athlete in football and track and field at Waco High School and graduated in 1970 from Southwest Texas State College in San Marcos. During his college years, he met Patricia (Patsy) Barta from East Bernard. The fateful reunion would become a 51-year marriage, through sickness and health until death parted them.

Joe enlisted in the United States Navy, serving four years at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. While in service, he married Pat on November 20, 1971 at Holy Cross Catholic Church in East Bernard. He was honorably discharged in 1974 and worked for Ross Perot at EDS in Dallas before becoming a manager of the Briggs-Weaver industrial supplies company in Houston. Shortly after moving, he and Pat welcomed their only child, Chad.

In 1984, Joe made the difficult decision to move his family to southwest Austin. He took a job at Motorola, worked graveyard shifts and built a new career from the ground up to give his son opportunities he might otherwise have missed had they stayed in the ship channel area of Houston. If you knew Joe, it’s no surprise.

Joe loved his family. He was his son’s #1 baseball fan and practice coach throughout Chad’s school years. He built a homemade batting cage out of old fishing nets salvaged from the shore, repeatedly threw his arm, and punished his back beyond repair to help his son improve his game.

Joe was also equal parts handyman, mechanically inclined and stingy, which led to a number of projects around the house. When his son was in high school, they rebuilt a 1957 Chevy as a father/son project. Several household appliances survived near-death experiences as he tried to fix them before finally calling a repairman. And despite having no formal training in civil engineering, Joe’s most famous project is perhaps the gigantic earthen berm at the back of their more than one acre yard, built to protect the house from flash floods. due to the seasonal stream at the rear of the property. He and Pat built it themselves, one dirt truck at a time, in their late 60s.

Joe’s to-do list wasn’t particularly long, but skydiving made the difference. His father was a decorated Army paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne who took part in the Normandy invasion in 1944. Over 70 years later, Joe decided to follow in his footsteps. The only volunteer to accompany him on this dubious mission was his stepdaughter, Kori. The duo jumped out of an undamaged plane outside Luling. No doubt they toast to memory together today.

One bucket list item that Joe never saw coming was the birth of his grandson, Francis. From birth, François fell in love with “Papa” and the feeling was mutual. Joe and Pat soon moved to Port Aransas, where they could become part of his daily life.

Despite skydiving, Joe cheated death at least four other times, surviving a double bypass at age 35 and battling heart disease for four decades. It wasn’t until Game 4 of the World Series, while watching the Houston Astros with Pat, that his heart finally got the better of him. Watched over by those he loved, he breathed his last on November 4.

Joe was predeceased by his parents; sister and brother-in-law Nola Ann and Bill Dum; stepmother Erna Barta; brother-in-law Edward Barta; daughter-in-law Kori Crow; nephew Jeffery Dum, and aunts, uncles and cousins ​​too numerous to name. He is survived by his wife, son and grandson; brother and sister-in-law Carl and Judy Crow; brother Marvin; niece Amy Scott and her husband Daryl; nephew Carl Crow, Jr; niece Kelly Brode and her husband Byron, as well as many family members and friends.

A celebration of Joe’s life will be held on Saturday, December 3 in the Great Hall of the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas. A memorial service will begin at 11:00 a.m. A reception will follow and lunch will be served.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Trinity by the Sea Episcopal Day School where Joe’s grandson attends. Please make checks payable to “Trinity by the Sea Episcopal Day School” and mail to PO Box 346, Port Aransas, TX 78373. Alternatively, you can donate online by visiting

That may be a long obituary for an ordinary man, but that is what is extraordinary about ordinary people who recognize that their responsibilities are not a burden but an opportunity. Simply put: Joe got it. He found great meaning and deep satisfaction in providing for his family. He worked hard every day to bring simple joys to those he loved. He gave more opportunities to those who came after him than he himself ever had. He left the world a little better than he found it – and there’s nothing ordinary about that.

Posted on November 17, 2022

Posted in Austin American Statesman

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