JOSEPH N. HURST, 88, passed away on July 16, 2013, in Houston, TX. He was born on Sept. 29, 1924, to Guy and Annie Laurie Hurst in Royce City, TX, where he grew up on the family farm with his five siblings.
Upon graduating from Royce City High School, Joe joined the U.S. Air Force during WWII, attaining the rank of staff sergeant. Serving as a gunner with the 494th squadron, he fought in the Pacific theater and, from his plane, witnessed the atomic bomb blast over Hiroshima.
After the war, he attended the University of Houston on a football scholarship, playing halfback for the university's first football team. While at the U of H, he met the love of his life, his wife of 63 years, Mary Jane, whom he married in 1950. They raised two daughters, Teresa Lynn and Laura Ann.
After graduating from the U of H in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in business administration, Joe joined Shell Chemical Company in Deer Park, TX, as an accountant. During his 37-year career, he moved from the financial side of Shell to information technology, in jobs that took him from Houston to New York to Denver and, in 1964, back to Houston, where he spent the rest of his life. He retired from Shell in 1986 as a senior staff systems analyst.
Joe loved his family, football, fishing and hunting, in that order. He remained a life-long Cougar football fan, attending virtually all their home games as long as he was able. He also was a lifetime member of the U of H Varsity H Association. Although age eventually curtailed his outdoor activities, he continued to enjoy reading and spending time with his family at their beach condominium in Galveston.
Joe was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Guy Hurst Jr. and Fred Hurst; and his sisters Ann Neighbors and Jane Taylor. He is survived by his wife and two daughters; Teresa's husband James Mandel; sister Beth Randle; and several nephews and nieces.