Joseph “Joe” Frank Reck, 74, of Columbus, Texas, died Sept. 10, 2023, after his hard-fought battle with cancer. He was born Feb. 4, 1949, in El Campo, Texas, to the late Ludmilla “Lillian” Polasek Reck and Edwin Edward Reck Sr.
He grew up and worked on the family farm near Hillje, Texas, and graduated from Louise High School in 1967. Upon graduation, he enlisted in the Texas Army National Guard and was assigned to Company B, 6th Battal ion, 112th Armored Division in Victoria, Texas, where he served for six years and reached the rank of sergeant.
Joe met the love of his life, Patricia Drastata, at a public dance at the Hillje Hall while in high school. They were married on July 5, 1969. He started work for Central Power and Light shortly afterwards in El Campo as an electric lineman. Then the couple moved to Columbus where he continued working for CPL and AEP Texas, or American Electric Power, for over 38 years as an electric serviceman.
Joe was very active in the Columbus Volunteer Fire Department and served more than 31 years. He was a founding member of the CVFD Honor Guard and was voted “Fireman of the Year” in 1997. He remained active as a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 2971, was a 4th Degree Knight and Grand Knight for two years. He was a member of the Columbus Lions Club for many years and served on the board of the Lions Eye Bank in Austin for several years.
He always enjoyed cooking for meetings and fundraising events with his fellow firefighters, Lion’s club members and his Brother Knights barbecue/ cooking crew. Joe was a parishioner at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Columbus, where he served as an usher and sang in the adult choir for many years.
Joe enjoyed hunting and fishing with his many friends and family, and always loved telling stories about the one that got away. After retirement, Joe enjoyed gardening at home, tending to his cattle and working at his ranch in Danevang, Texas. Joe never met a stranger and would talk to anyone who would give him two minutes (or 30 minutes) of his or her time. Joe’s passion was cooking for others, and everyone who ate his food always said he should have opened his own restaurant.
Survivors include his loving wife of 54 years, Patricia Ann Reck; daughter, Christine Gauger and husband Nathan of Austin; sons, Jeffrey Reck and wife Amy of San Antonio, and Kenneth Reck and wife Alisha of Columbus; grandchi ldren, Kayla Reck, Colby Reck, Piper Reck, Nicholas Gauger and Scout Reck; sisters, Theresa York and husband Edward, and Annie Mae Sanchez; brothers, Edwin Reck Jr. and his wife Carol, David Reck and his wife Betty, Robert Reck and his wife Elaine, Stephen Reck, Johnny Reck and Frank Reck Sr.; mother-in-law, Anita Drastata; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded death by his father-inlaw Frank W. Drastata; his brothers-in-law, Patrick Drastata and Gary Drastata; and sister-inlaw, Venus Reck.
Visitation is 5-7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Henneke Funeral Home, 1515 Montezuma St. in Columbus. A parish prayer service and Knights of Columbus rosary will follow at 7 p.m.
A funeral service is 11 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15, 2023, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, 1602 Bowie St. in Columbus with the Rev. James Dvorak officiating. Visitation at the church is 10-11 a.m..
Burial will be in St. Johns Catholic Cemetery, New Taiton, Texas.
Pallbearers are Andrew Grosvenor, Bobby Kotlar, David Reck Jr., Kevin Reck, Ryan Reck, Stephen Reck Jr., William Sanchez and Edward York Jr.
Honorary pallbearer will be Roger Eilers.
Memorials may be given to K of C Council No. 2971 Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 92, Columbus, TX 78934 or Columbus Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 125, Columbus, TX 78934.
Online condolences may be given at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.