Joe passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by his loving daughter Erin, her partner Andrea, and grandchild Heather, on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in Pleasanton.
He was born on March 12, 1930, in Emmetsburg, Iowa, to Joseph Mathew and Ardyce Dirkx. Joe was the first of four children, Chloe, Marcia, and Teddy. He attended elementary and high school in Emmetsburg. Joe was a four-sport varsity athlete in high school. Excelling in football and track, he also played basketball and baseball.
After becoming an All-American running back at Emmetsburg Community College, Joe turned down a football scholarship to the University of Hawaii to enlist in the armed forces with his hometown friends and support the U.S. effort to defend South Korea. Within his first two years, Joe quickly rose to the class of staff sergeant while serving in the Air Force and stationed in Hawaii. Following his honorable discharge at Camp Parks, California, in 1954, Joe could not permanently return to Iowa, and instead chose to continue his life in the greater Bay Area of Northern California.
He first worked as a bank teller at the Bank of America in downtown Oakland in 1954, where he met a young physician's assistant, Sharon Dolan.
Joe married Sharon Dolan on Dec 4, 1954. They first shared Sharon’s apartment in Oakland for a few years, then bought a house in Hayward in 1959, followed by homes in Pleasanton beginning in 1968. The family also spent two years in Fairbanks, Alaska, from 1975 to 1976, while Joe worked on the pipeline. They were together until her death in 2011.
Joe worked in the Non-Destructive Testing field, primarily Industrial Radiographies. He x-rayed various components associated with space launches at Cape Canaveral during the early 1960s. He moved up to become Radiation Safety Officer for an international NDT Corporation during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Next in his career, he performed as an independent international specialist working in Industrial Radiographic interpretation from Alaska to Singapore, and Hawaii to Louisiana during the mid ‘70s to late ‘80s. Finally, in semi-retirement he successfully assisted a friend as vice president in a catalytic converter design and manufacturing business venture during the 1990s. The friend became a multi-millionaire with Joe's help.
Joe fully retired at age 70 in 2000.
Joe was always honest and helpful with people and his family. Outgoing, he maintained an optimistic attitude, which he correctly claimed, contributed to one’s overall health. He loved to play golf (had four holes in one), watch football, and play the horses at the Pleasanton track during the fair. He was nick-named “Lucky Joe D” by friends for his aptitude at poker. Joe was a gifted gardener with beautiful roses and thriving fruit trees.
Joe was preceded in death by his mother and father, Ardyce and Joseph; brother, Ted; sister, Marcia; and wife, Sharon. He is survived by his children, Mark Dirkx, Erin O'Moore, Clayn Dirkx; and grandchildren, Heather and Galen O’Moore and Ella and Aislyn Dirkx; and his sister, Chloe Jacobson.
He will be interred at Veteran’s Cemetery in Dixon California.