Jack Smyth Josey
Deceased Name: Jack Josey, oil engineer, businessman, war hero
Jack Smyth Josey,
son of a Spindletop-era wildcatter who became a petroleum engineer, war hero,
and oil and real estate entrepreneur, died of heart complications Thursday at
his winter home in
"He was a wonderful man who always took the high road and always did the right thing," said his wife, Donna.
During his career,
he owned Josey Oil Co. in
Josey's family had
deep roots in
Lenoir M. Josey, sold an ice company in
Lenoir M. Josey II, Jack Josey's son, said people often mistakenly linked his father to the infamous stories of his grandfather's lifestyle as a flamboyant nightfly and gambler.
"My father was a businessman, war hero and a friend of education who many people admired," he said. "Whereas my grandfather was the wildcatter, my father went on to become a petroleum engineer, so he brought more technology to the oil field."
Jack Josey grew up
Josey married his college sweetheart, Elva Johnson, and they had three children.
He worked for his
father after graduation and volunteered to serve in the Navy after the bombing
He served as a gunnery officer on a destroyer escort during many battles in the South Pacific. He earned a Bronze Star for saving people during the sinking of an aircraft carrier, and he shot down kamikaze pilots attempting to destroy another carrier.
Josey loved to travel and collect art and antiques. He also sponsored dozens of scholarships anonymously.
He is survived by his wife, Donna; daughter Carolyn Josey Young; sons Robert A. Josey and Lenoir M. Josey II; stepdaughters Laurel Page, Donna Kurka, Emily Neuhoff and Virginia Redican; and stepson Joe O. Neuhoff III.