Joseph Frank Schnople was born in Bay City, MI November 2, 1920, the fifth of seven children born to Benjamin and Mary (Holomek) Schnople. He died November 22, 2023 in Jackson, MI.  

Joe graduated from Bay City Central High School. He worked for Defoe Shipbuilding Company in Bay City, and became a journeyman electrician. He married Garnetta Weaver in 1941. He enlisted in the US Army in 1944 and served during WWII with the 34th Red Bull Division in Africa and Italy from 1944-1946.

After returning from WWII duty, he worked at Dow Chemical, Midland, MI, as a maintenance electrician. He also worked on the long-range antenna systems for Telstar communication satellites of Bay City Aerospace. Later he worked as an insurance agent for the Equitable Life Insurance Company. 

Joe and his first wife Garnetta were the parents of daughter Mary Jo, and grandparents of her two children Jayson and Hillary.  Joe married A. Elizabeth “Betty” (Hume) Barrett in 1971. Betty’s two daughters, Joy and Dawn Barrett, doubled the size of their new family. Joe and Betty are the parents of two children, Joseph “Joey” Mark and Tammy Jean. 

In 1984, Joe, Betty, Joey and Tammy moved to Durham, NC. This transition became one of their greatest joys: excellent schools and vocational opportunities for their two youngest children; membership in two great churches that provided opportunities for spiritual growth, precious friendships, and service to others locally and nationally; and shorter winters! 

In retirement, Joe was a school bus driver with the Durham (NC) County Schools; he and Betty worked together as “handy-people” for local real estate and property management companies; they were generous servant leaders in mission outreach activities, and devoted grandparents to their youngest grandchildren Hayden and Amelia. The Congregation at Duke University Chapel, Durham, NC, has been Joe’s faith family for over 20 years. 

Joe was a people-person: positive, kind, gracious, a person of highest integrity in all things. His character and behavior were deeply formed by God’s grace and endless love. He lived by the motto “if you see a need, respond” and welcomed each day to “live the adventure.” 

Joe was preceded in death by his beloved wife Betty in April 2018; his parents and siblings (Marie, John, Mildred, Frances, Evelyn, Blanche) and his daughter Mary Jo. 

Joe’s family is deeply grateful for the extraordinary and loving care he received from the staff of Legacy Assisted Living/Legends Memory Care Center in Jackson, MI for nearly three years, along with the staff and volunteers of Gentiva Hospice. 

Joe is survived by his son Joey (Sylvia) Schnople of Cornelius, NC; daughters Tammy (Rich) Schaub of Mebane, NC, Joy (Rob Long) Barrett of Chelsea, MI, and Dawn (Dave) Elzinga of DeWitt, MI; six grandchildren: Jayson Smith, Hillary Sartor, Hope Smith, David Elzinga, Hayden Schaub, and Amelia Schaub; seven great-grandchildren; and many other beloved extended family members and friends. 

Memorial contributions may be made in Joe’s name to The Congregation at Duke University Chapel, P.O. Box 90974, Durham, NC 27708-0974.

A memorial service will be held Friday, January 5, 2024 at 1:00 pm at the Duke University Chapel, Durham, NC. Inurnment will take place separately at Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesville, NC. 

You may use the form below to share a memory or leave a public message for Joe's family. Please allow 24hrs. for us to review and post your comment. 


#1 Theresa Yuschok 2023-12-23 07:06
Whenever Joe prayed, I felt an immediate connection with God.
He radiated Christ's love.

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