Editor’s Note: In honor in what would’ve been Joseph House’s 90th birthday, we print his obituary here…
Joseph W. House
January 6, 1930 – March 3, 2019
Joseph William House died peacefully on March 3, 2019, in his sleep, from a heart-related illness, in Palmdale, California. He was 89 years old. Joe was buried beside his wife, Sue, in the Bakersfield National Cemetery.
In Milpitas, from 1958 to 2010, Joe’s legacy came to define “Service”; he was a model citizen who forever touched the lives of many in multiple ways.
Joe first served his country as a sergeant in the U.S. Air Force. Then he served the students at Samuel Ayer High School and Milpitas Christian School, teaching secondary, public, and private education in English, Speech, Counseling, Administration, and Adult Education. He served his community through the City of Milpitas as a Commissioner, Councilman, and Mayor. He served his Church as parishioner and deacon at the Park Victoria Baptist Church. And he served his family together with his wife Sue.
Joseph W. House was born January 6, 1930 at Fort Sam Houston Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, to a U.S. Army Corps couple, Joseph M. House from Alabama and Helen Kennard from San Antonio, Texas, with one older sister, Reathel. The military family moved often between Alabama, Colorado, and Hawaii. Joe was at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, and became one of the first World War II war refugees, along with his mother and sister, when they were sent back to the United States in January, 1942.
Joe graduated from Tuscaloosa High School in Alabama in 1947, then attended Howard College in Birmingham and San Jose State University, and had fellowships at Stanford University in 1962 and Florida State University in 1966.
He married Sue Roland in 1952 and had two children — Tim in 1955 and Priscilla in 1957.
Joe’s 50-year teaching career began in 1958 at Samuel Ayer High School in the Eastside School District. Come 1969, he was serving as Counselor and Assistant Principal of Education Development in the new Milpitas Unified School District, and at the District Office, attending to multiple services. He retired from the school district in 1984 and became Milpitas Christian School Principal for 10 years, retiring from there in 1993, and then teaching for a single summer at Hanshan Teachers College in Chaohzou, China.
Joe is honored on the walls of: 1. The Barbara Lee Senior Center (mural “Thriving Milpitas Legacy”), 2. the Milpitas High School Gym’s Ayer & Milpitas High School’s Teachers Hall of Fame, and 3. The Great Mall Cinemark Century Theater (10th annual Oct 30 screening of The Milpitas Monster Movie).
Joe is survived by his daughter Priscilla (Mike Pegg), daughter Andrea, grandson Oliver, daughter Alicia, grandsons Wesley and Jesse, and son Tim House (Carmen), daughter Kaitlyn and son William.