Dr. Joseph Larry Streckfuss, PhD, passed from this world on August 26, 2019, from pneumonia following a stroke.
Born February 23, 1931 in Shirley, MO. He was the only child of Romaine Thomas Sherman Streckfuss and Dorothy Catherine Pence Streckfuss Cagle. Until aged 14 he lived in South St. Louis where he attended grade school and was active in Boy Scouts attaining Life status. He moved to Elsberry, MO to live with his maternal grandparents, Allen Pence and Ida Burger Pence and his Uncle Penny. He graduated in 1949 from Elsberry H.S where he was a track and basketball player and played trombone in the marching band. In 1947 he was selected as delegate to Boys’ State Missouri. During these years his fascination with cars and mechanics began, never to falter. Sciences followed as he completed H.S.
Joe married Betty Lee Watts Streckfuss from Christopher, IL in 1952, who survives him. She is the daughter of Floyd Lee and Alma Odom Watts, and Wanda Moore Watts (step-mother). He leaves behind; 3 children, Allyson Goodwin (John), John Streckfuss (Genell), and Andrew Streckfuss (Ronya), 8 grandchildren, 2 great-grandchildren, 1 sister-in-law, 1 niece and 1 brother-in-law.
Joe moved to St. Louis and enrolled in the prestigious Gradwohl School of Laboratory Technique, now gone. He graduated in time to be inducted by the US 8th Army in 1953 and served in the Korean War. Returning home to his wife, Betty, he enrolled in Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL, graduating with a Doctorate in Microbiology (Virology). During those years, he operated his own MicroBio Laboratory in Holden Hospital, while continuing his education. After completing his PhD. Joe moved his family to Houston, Texas and joined the faculty at UT Health Sciences Center (DSI), retiring in 1991.
He was a dedicated genealogist and co-authored with his wife, Betty, a book about the Streckfuss Family and their 300 year history in Germany. He loved to read, often reading 3 books simultaneously. Water skiing and fishing were two of his favorite methods of relaxing along with study of Civil War History, Abraham Lincoln and travel to many foreign countries. He taught Sunday School in First Baptist Church of Carterville, IL, then at Sharpstown Baptist Church where he was also a Boy Scout leader. Later, the family joined the West Isle Presbyterian Church on, Galveston Island.
He once lectured in Venezuela and was a member of many of his professional societies. He is the holder, on record, of a patent on staphylococcus infection vaccines. His interest in genetics and infectious diseases remained even through his final illness. A talented woodworking ability allowed him to create many beautiful cradles and tables. He enjoyed building and repairing car engines, computers and boat motors. He was a “go to guy” to neighbors and teenage friends of his children.
Memorial service will be at West Isle Presbyterian Church on September 14, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. The Rev Dr. Bob Bullock will officiate, music is under direction of Angelo Tolentino. Inurnment will be in the National Cemetery, Houston, Texas. In lieu of flowers please donate to West Isle Presbyterian, PO Box 3929, Galveston, TX 77552 or UTHealth, Office of Healthy Aging, PO Box 1321, Houston,TX 77251-1321 ( “UTHRO Endowment” on Memo Line)