Col (Ret) Joseph Menard Lorimier III of Fredericksburg, Texas passed away in the Hill Country Memorial Hospital in Fredericksburg on Wednesday, January 21st, 2015 at the age of 81 years. Joe Lorimier, better known locally as “Smokey Joe”, and his wife Barbara moved to Fredericksburg in 1986. He always loved Texas and was happy to be back and was proud to be a Texan. Upon arrival, Joe immediately started making friends everywhere he went. He enjoyed chatting with everyone as they visited the local service station where he would sit on a bench and anxiously await the next customer to have a chat. Anyone who knew Joe knew he was a huge people person and very much enjoyed meeting people from all over the country/world. Because of his own world travels, he had something in common with everyone. Before moving to Fredericksburg, Joe honorably served his country in the U.S. Army for over 30 years. His country and its flag meant everything to Joe and he was very proud to defend it. “Joe, a native of Jacksonville, Florida, was commissioned in 1955 upon graduation from the Citadel in Charleston, SC. The young officer first served in various platoon positions with an Air Defense Battalion at Karlsruhe, Germany as an Air Defense advisor to the German Army. In 1962, Col. Lorimier attended the Air Defense Artillery Officer Advanced Course and later commanded a HAWK unit in a Guided Missile Group at Fort Bliss, Texas. After completing a tour in Korea in 1964, where he was Aide-de-Camp to the Chief of Staff, Eighth United States Army, Col. Lorimier returned to Fort Bliss, Texas to become Secretary of General Staff, followed by appointment as Deputy Chief of Staff from 1965-1968. Following a tour in Vietnam with the 9th Infantry Division from 1968 to 1969, he attended the Army Command and General Staff College and was subsequently assigned to the office of the Assistant Chief of Staff for Force Development, Department of the Army in Washington, D.C. In 1971, Col. Lorimier served in the office of the Secretary of the Army as the Military Assistant to the Under Secretary of the Army. Prior to taking command of a Chaparral Vulcan Air Defense Artillery Battalion in June 1974, Col. Lorimier was assigned in the Plans and Policy Directorate, Headquarters, United States European Command in Stuttgart, Germany. In 1976, Col. Lorimier was assigned to the Office of the Directorate of Combat Developments, Fort Bliss, Texas from which he was appointed as Director of Support, US Army Defense School. In May 1981, Col. Lorimier completed a two year assignment as Assistant Deputy for Operations, 24th North American Air Defense Command, Malmstrom AFB, Montana. Prior to these duties, he served as Director of Support Activities on the North American Air Defense Command Alternate Command Post Battlestaff. After serving as the Senior Army Advisor to the New Mexico National Guard of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Col. Lorimier became the Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force, Alaska. He was then assigned to TACOM (Tank-Automotive & Armaments Command) in Detroit, MI where in 1986 he retired from the military. Col. Lorimier’s awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Bronze Star Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, and Army Commendation Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. He is also authorized to wear the Army General Staff Identification Badge and Parachute Badge.” During his retirement in Fredericksburg, Joe perfected his amazing talent to draw, enjoyed woodworking including making toys for his grandchildren, researching coins, spending time in his yard but most especially rebuilding children’s bicycles for the Medina Children’s Home. Upon pick up and/or delivery of the bicycles, his heart was filled with joy seeing the faces of the kids who so appreciated his efforts & passion. In his later years, Joe was still making friends and enjoying talking with people as he rode his Scooter Chair around the neighborhood with his favorite “child” Chelsea on his lap. Even the technicians at the local pharmacy, who became Joe’s friends at the drive-through, called with their condolences. “Smokey Joe” never met a person he didn’t touch in some way. Joe will be sorely missed by his family but know that his big smile and giant laugh will be remembered by all who know him or just crossed his path. Joe is preceded in death by his father, Joseph M. Lorimier Jr. & his mother Anna Pedersen Lorimier. Joe is survived by… His wife, Barbara Lorimier of Fredericksburg, TX; His daughter, Linda A. (Lorimier) Bassett & her husband William F. Bassett of Austin, TX; His son, Dirk Edward Lorimier Sr of Round Rock, TX and Dirk’s children Dirk Edward Lorimier Jr (DJ) & Jared Lee Lorimier; His daughter Kimberly Lorimier Furlong & her husband John Furlong of Henderson, NV & their children, Dustin, Garrett & Morgan Furlong; His son Joseph M. Lorimier IV “Sepp” & his wife Karen A. Lorimier of Alvarado, TX & their children James & Jeremy Morris & their grandchildren Austin & Cameron Morris; His step son, Steven P. Garman & his wife Bonnie Garman of Ketchum, ID & their daughter Amber Willis, her husband Brian Willis & their son Henry; His step daughter, Lisa A. Snapp & her husband Randy L. Snapp of Fredericksburg, TX Per Joe’s wishes he is to be cremated at Schaetter Funeral Home in Fredericksburg, TX. At a later date, Joe will be interred at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio with full military honors. Arrangements by the Schaetter Funeral Home of Fredericksburg. The family will greet friends on Thursday, January 29th, 2015 from 5 to 7:00 P. M. in the Schaetter Funeral Home in Fredericksburg. The family has expressed their wishes, that in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made in his memory to: -USO (United Service Organizations) P.O. Box 96860, Washington, DC 20077-7677, or -Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675. Expressions of sympathy may be left at www.schaetter.com.
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