Toting around a laptop with a personal hotspot for work and sporting a Facebook page, you would never guess that Stephenville resident Joe McMahon is 91-years-old, but the man is still going strong after serving in WWII and the Korean War, raising a family and working a long career as a farmer.
Joe travels all around Erath County and even to Brownwood for his job as an environmental consultant with Enviro-Ag Engineering.
“I do some computer work but visit dairies mostly and keep them in shape with TCEQ (Texas Commission on Environmental Quality) and the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency),” he said. “I have 36 clients that I tend to myself and I try to visit at least twice a month. We do a lot of their daily reporting.”
Joe was born in Medina, but moved to Barstow when he was in seventh grade.
“In the depression, we lost everything we had and went broke. I had an uncle who lived in Barstow and he offered my dad a job, $30 a month, a house and 10-acres of cotton,” Joe said.
He graduated from Barstow with only three in his class.
“I went one year to college, got married (age 17), and of course I knew I was going into the Army. I guess I was 19 before I got drafted and we had already had a son,” he said.
Joe served in World War II from October 1944-October 1946 as an infantryman after training for only 11 weeks.
“I got a promotion real quick because I was the only one left,” he said. “I was in some places where I knew the good Lord was with me. One of my good friend’s who was inducted with me didn’t make it. We were sitting back-to-back and one of our own mortar rounds fell short. He didn’t make it.”
When Joe knew he was coming home he sent a letter to his wife telling her not to write him anymore, and on the return address wrote in their home address.
After he returned Joe continued to farm in Barstow, then moved to Pecos when the town began to develop.
“I got called back into the service around 1950 (Korean War) but I didn’t have to go overseas,” he said.
Joe and his wife moved to Stephenville in 1981 to be closer to their daughter.
He has kept up his good work ethic and doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon.
“I really enjoy visiting with the people,” he said. “I’m too old now to travel too much and Brownwood is as far as I go.”
Linda Partain, Joe’s daughter, said she’s thankful she still has her father around.
“I’ll tell people, ‘daddy’s doing so-and-so,’ and they’ll say, ‘he still drives?’” Linda said with a laugh.
Joe will celebrate his 92nd birthday next week.