Joe Washington was born on October 26, 1934, in Hope Hull, Alabama, eldest child of Charlie Washington and Charity Cherry Grant.
Joe attended Benson Polytechnic High School where he participated and excelled in the aviation program. Upon graduation, Joe joined the Airforce on November 1, 1952. He served in the Korean War as possibly one of the first Black pilots from the northwest. During his military career he was awarded the Korean Service, United Nations Service, and National Defense Service medals.
After his time in the military, Joe succeeded in his professional careers. Utilizing his diverse skills and abilities, he served as the Executive Director of the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) Portland, Oregon, Management and Program Operation Analyst for King-Snohomish Regions Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) Vocational Training Center Placement Program, Human Resource Assistant for Washington State Patrol, Olympia Washington, CEO of the Catalyst Corporation, Olympia Washington, Owner and CEO of the Travel Co. NW, Olympia Washington and Director of Sales and Marketing for PearlJet Aviation Inc. Olympia Washington. In 2015 Joe moved to Vancouver Washington to be closer to his children and continued to thrive into his retirement working at Metro Portland5, until just recently.
In addition to his professional pursuits, Joe had a number of hobbies and passions. He was a talented mechanic, Formula 4 race car driver, avid motorcycle and road bike rider, runner, soccer player and skilled pilot. He restored classic cars, doting over his beloved 1967 Chevy Suburban. He also loved the outdoors, watching tennis, and listening to classical music.
Joe was wise and technologically savvy, with a unique perspective on the world. He was a problem solver and skilled in conflict resolution. He always shared his knowledge with others and was dedicated to helping people reach their full potential. He was known for his love of people and his ability to make friends with just about anyone he met.
Joe was preceded in death by his father Charlie Washington, his mother Charity Chery Hendrix, his stepfather Jerome (Shorty) Hendrix, and his brother Gerald Washington. He is survived by his children Blake Washington, Lauren Lund, and Stacey Hopkins; grandchildren; Nicole Hopkins, Christopher Hopkins, and Kendra Hopkins; great grandchildren Zion Cason-Hopkins, Natalia Hopkins, Kendall McGlothen, Kyrah Roberts, Kevin (K.R.) Roberts and Kaiden Robert; sisters Elona Hendrix, Doris Hendrix, and sister-in-love Iris Washington; Aunt Catherine (Tulie) Noland, Uncle Arthur Jefferson, cousins Mamon Gardner (Baybrother) and Minnie B. Locket. He also leaves behind a host of other cousins, nieces, nephews, and beloved friends.
A celebration of life is scheduled for Friday, January 27, 2023, 11:00am at New Direction Community Church (NDCC), 241 NE Hancock St., Portland, Oregon, 97211. To share your condolences and memories of Joe please mail physical cards to NDCC at the above address. In lieu of flowers the family asks donations to Urban Wings Aerospace Club be given in his honor. Checks can be made out to Urban Wings Aerospace Club and mailed to PO Box 12384, Portland Oregon 97212 or donate via their website at https://urbanwings.club/