Joe Bob Pierce, beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on Wednesday, May 4 surrounded by his loving family.
Joe Bob was pre-deceased by his parents, Raymond E. and Abbie M. Pierce.
Joe Bob is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 70 years, Jo Alice (Thompson) Pierce and his four children: sons Joe Bob Pierce, Jr. of Owensboro, KY; Mark Pierce (Lisa King) of Nashville, TN, Patrick (Susan) Pierce of Charlotte, NC and daughter ElizaBeth (Kevin) Wright of Keswick, VA; 10 grandchildren: Will (Lia) Pierce; Caroline Pierce; Michelle (Brad) Hill; Matthew (Cara) Pierce; Abbie (Hunter) Stephens; Baxley Pierce; Emerson Pierce; Kendel Pierce; Pierce Wright; and Joe Wright; 9 great-grandchildren; several cousins, nephews and nieces. Born on November 22, 1930, Joe Bob grew up in Mt. Vernon and graduated from Mt. Vernon Township High School in 1948.After high school, Joe Bob enlisted in the Army and served as a sergeant during the Korean Conflict and was honorably discharged from the service in 1952.Before and after his time in the service, and at various times throughout his life, Joe Bob worked as a journeyman lineman. He was a proud member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 702 for over 70 years. After Joe Bob was called to the ministry in his late 20s, he attended Southern Illinois University and received his Bachelor of Arts in 1967. He continued his education at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and received his Masters of Divinity in 1969. Joe Bob’s education culminated in a Doctorate of Ministry from Luther Rice Seminary.
Joe Bob served as pastor for over 30 years to a number of Baptist churches in southern Illinois including First Baptist Church of Ewing, East Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Wayne City Baptist Church, and the First Baptist Church of Carterville. In 1978-80, Joe Bob served as the President of the Illinois Baptist State Association. In 1981, Joe Bob entered the world of politics and oversaw the downstate offices of Sen. Paul Simon for several years before retiring back to his hometown of Mt. Vernon. Joe Bob enjoyed a very active retirement traveling to visit his children and grandchildren, reading, fishing, and remodeling his childhood home. He was also very involved in his church and in the community, serving as a deacon at Logan Street Baptist Church and as a volunteer chaplain at the Crossroads Community Hospital. Joe Bob also served on the Board of Directors of the Mt. Vernon Airport Authority Commission and as board member of the Methodist Children’s Home.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Hughey Funeral Home. Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 7 from 1-3 pm at Logan Street Baptist Church with the funeral at 3 pm and internment at Oakwood Cemetery immediately following the service.