Joe Hester Potter, 71, of Columbus passed away at his home on May 28, 2020. Joe was born October 11, 1948, the second son of Clarence Henry Potter, Sr. and Marjorie Eloise Hester Potter. Joe was active in the Boy Scouts in his youth. He attended the public schools and graduated Columbus High School (CHS) in 1968. While at CHS he was a four year member of both the high school band and the Future Farmers of America.
Following graduation, he attended Blinn Junior College in Brenham. He then enrolled in Texas State Technical Institute (TSTI) in Waco and studied Construction Equipment Mechanics. After graduating from TSTI in 1971, he moved to Houston where he was employed by Mustang Caterpillar. He remained in Houston for nearly a decade before deciding to return to Columbus.
He went to work helping his father operate the family’s cattle ranch. He engaged the help of his cousin Mark Potter of Columbus, and the two of them built the house Joe lived in for the remainder of his life. In addition to ranching, Joe enjoyed carpentry. He started a small business he named Joe’s Custom Dog Houses. Along with his standard style and sizes, he took custom orders for more elaborate designs. Some customers requested the addition of windows, porches and other special features. In recent years, declining health did not allow him to continue ranch work. Even though it took him longer, he was able to build dog houses until shortly before his passing.
Joe was a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church in Columbus and Knights of Columbus Council 2971. He was a life member of the Magnolia Homes Tour, now the Columbus Historical Preservation Trust. He helped his uncle, Bob Potter, with the buggy and surrey rides during the annual homes tour festival in May for many years. He was also a life member of the Colorado County Fair Association. He supported the fair’s annual scholarship benefit auction as a donor and buyer from the time it was established. In the 1980’s, he started displaying his dog houses as a commercial vendor at the fair. In 2016 the fair association presented him an award for 35 consecutive years as a vendor and supporter of the fair.
Joe found enjoyment in the simple things in life. He loved the sport of rodeo. From the early 1970’s to the present, he would attend several performances of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo each year. Being a teenager in the 1960’s, he became an avid fan of the popular local band BJ Thomas and the Triumphs. Until recently, he continued to attend their performances at local county fairs and other venues whenever he could.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents Clarence Henry Potter, Sr. and Marjorie Eloise Hester Potter and five first cousins. He is survived by his brother Clarence Henry Potter, Jr. and wife Pamela of Columbus; nephews Charles Henry Potter of San Antonio and Brian Morris Potter of Houston; niece Amanda Potter Williams and husband Robert of Tomball; great nephews Evan Williams, Luke Williams and Ryan Williams of Tomball and Andrew Potter of Houston; godson Jared Potter of Columbus; and nine first cousins.
A private family graveside service and interment was held Thursday, June 4, 2020 at 11:00 AM at Odd Fellows Rest Cemetery in Columbus. Deacon Chuck Glynn, who serves the parishioners of St. Roch Catholic Church in Mentz and Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Frelsburg, officiated.
Pallbearers were his nephews Charles Potter and Brian Potter, his niece Amanda Williams, his cousins Craig Potter and Keith Potter both of Columbus, and lifelong friend Bob Tait also of Columbus.
Memorials may be given to Columbus Community Hospital, 110 Shult Dr., Columbus, TX 78934 or St. Anthony Catholic Church, P.O. Box 669, Columbus, TX 78934.
Online condolences may be given at www.hennekefuneralhome.com.