Joel Kent McClatchy (85) of Frisco, TX went to his eternal rest Tuesday, March 30, 2021.
Joel was born in 1935 to C.T. “Tal” and Daisy McClatchy, in Coleman County, TX, the youngest of three siblings. He graduated from Bangs High School, earned a Bachelor of Science in Education from the University of Texas and a Master of Education from Howard Payne College.
In 1958, Joel married Dianne Dikes in Early, TX. The newlyweds settled in Texas City where Joel taught math and coached tennis and basketball. During this time they welcomed their daughter, Cyndi, and five years later their son, Steve.
In 1966, Joel was recruited by NASA to develop course materials to teach engineers aspects of those first computers. He also worked on flight simulators for Apollo missions 11-13 and the Skylab module. While working for NASA in Houston, Joel moved his young family to the suburb of Webster, TX, and served on the City Council and as a volunteer fireman. In the early 1970s, Joel again moved his family, this time to the DFW area where he continued working as a computer programmer. In 1973, Joel joined E-Systems (now Raytheon) to work on US government aircraft and national defense projects. After twenty-one years of service, Joel retired from E-Systems in 1993.
Joel and Dianne built their dream home in Rockwall the summer of 1974, and it remained their family home for 43 years. While there, they cheered on their children’s sports teams, became realtors, and built McClatchy Custom Homes. After their children left home, Joel and Dianne enjoyed attending auctions, collecting cut glass, western art, and eagles. Joel’s love of eagles resurfaced when they returned to their ranching roots and purchased 240 acres in Hill County, TX in 1995. They operated Double Eagle Ranch as a working Hereford cattle business and renewed the McClatchy name with the Texas Hereford Association.
In 2014, Joel was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Joel and Dianne continued working the ranch a few more years until Joel’s health declined. They sold it and the family home in Rockwall in 2017. Joel’s last years were spent in assisted living in Frisco, TX with Dianne in an apartment nearby.
Joel will be remembered by family, friends, and colleagues for his kindness, work ethic, and community spirit.
Joel Kent McClatchy was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie Talmadge McClatchy, Sr. and Daisy McClatchy, brother C.T. “Pete” McClatchy, Jr., and sister Leona Henderson.
Joel is survived by his wife, Janis Dianne McClatchy of Frisco, TX, daughter Cynthia DaLene (John) Rogers of Frisco, TX, son Steven Kent (Kathryn) McClatchy of Granbury, TX, granddaughter Kimberly (Matt) Butler, grandsons Phillip (Ashley) McClatchy and Charles (Amanda) McClatchy, step-granddaughter Stephanie (Brandon) Lammers, and two step-great-granddaughters, Audrey and Kadence Lammers, and many nephews, nieces, and cousins.
Funeral services will be at Rest Haven Funeral Home in Rockwall, TX on Monday, April 5, 2021 at 2:00 pm.