Joe was born in Charleston, SC, to Lola and Benny Passailaigue, the last of four children. His life includes many stories. He tried to enter the Navy at 14 but was denied and later served as an MP in the Air Force, stationed in Japan. Afterwards he returned to Charleston as a police officer. He met his wife, Catherine, in a drug store in downtown Charleston, and they married within 4 weeks! He briefly worked for Eastern Airlines as a ticket agent before joining the FAA as an air traffic controller. In 1971 he became Chief of Controllers in Panama City, FL, and later in Gulfport MS, where he supervised the building of the new terminal. He moved to Columbus in 1977 as Chief, supervising the new terminal and control tower, and it is here he called home. He retired as Chief of Controllers in 1993. Joe was an avid golfer and softball player and not only loved the games but all of his many faithful friends. He never met a stranger and talked kindly to everyone he saw.
Joe lived large, loved to tell a good story, and died unexpectedly, but just the way he would have chosen, working in the yard and peacefully. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 67 years, Catherine, and their children, Sandy Varner (Rick), Cathy Carter, John Passailaigue (Susan), his dog companion Buddy, 6 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren, brother in law Hugh Carter (Sandie) and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his siblings and son in-law Jimmy Carter.
A private family celebration of his life will be held in his honor. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to Trinity Episcopal Church or the Amos Cancer Center in Columbus, Ga
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