Joe Dean 'JD' Piel, 81, of Temple passed away on Friday, July 28, at his home. He bravely fought cancer for 22 months.
Joe Dean was born in Mertens, TX, Hill County on February 29, 1936 (Leap Year Baby, we always joked that he was a little over 20!) to Julius Gus Piel and Selma Anna Huber Piel. He was the third of four children.
Joe Dean graduated from Bruceville-Eddy High School on May 21, 1954. After high school, Joe worked as a roofer with his brother-in-law, Ray Tutor. He then worked at Wilsonart for a couple of years before he was drafted by the United States Army. He was stationed in Germany as a Surveyor. While in Germany, he was able to travel around Europe. His rank was SPC 4. He was a member of the US Army for 2 years. He then joined the National Guard. He was stationed in Louisiana. After leaving the National Guard, he became a self employed roofer, JD Piel Roofing. He became known as the best roofer in Central Texas. He was a roofer for over 40 years. When he retired, he still did estimates and patched roofs. He knew how to fix any roofing leak.
Joe Dean was a family man. He loved his family more than anything in the world. He loved going to family reunions. He also loved fishing, he would go fishing as often as he could. He made homemade doughbait, he caught so many fish with his bait. In the year 2000, he had the Lake Belton Reservoir channel catfish record. He had caught a 7.36 lb, 25 inch channel catfish using his famous doughbait. Other fisherman would always ask what he used in his doughbait, he always told them watermelon Kool-aid (there was no such thing as watermelon Kool-aid!) He always got a good laugh when people said they couldn't find the Kool-aid! He also enjoyed playing golf with his brother-in-law, Ray Tutor. He loved animals, he would always throw maze on the ground to feed the birds. He loved his dogs, Abbie would always sit right beside him in his recliner. One of the dogs he received for his birthday in 1985 was a Beagle, he named her Melody's Rose 'Rosie.' He loved his beagles, he would train them how to hunt rabbits. He and a few friends started up the Hill Country Beagle Club. He won many ribbons and trophies for his beagles. Joe also loved playing dominos, he and his wife won several tournaments playing 42. He and Gale also were avid pool players, they also won several tournaments. He also enjoyed bowling in a league. Every weekend, you could always catch him going to garage sales! He also enjoyed making homemade wine! Joe also had a few elderly friends that he would run errands for, he enjoyed doing that. One of the lady's told him about the healing properties of Apricots (it actually cured his heartburn!) He started buying apricot jelly, every morning for breakfast he would have his bread with apricot jelly on it. He always kept his yard perfectly mowed and he always planted the prettiest flowers. He loved flowers, he definitely had a green thumb. He had one on the prettiest yards in Temple!
He married his sweetheart, Gale Dannar, on September 4, 1964. They were blessed with 52 years of marriage.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Julius and Selma Piel; and a brother, Lonnie Peel of Elgin and many aunts and uncles.
He is survived by his wife, Gale Piel; daughters, Debra Piel Gendron of Trinity, and Melody Piel Ledger and husband JR of Belton; four grandchildren, Tyson Piel, and wife Margie of Trinity, Kaitlon Hudspeth of Trinity, James Ledger and Joey Ledger of Belton; two great grandchildren, Brayden White of Trinity, Wyatt Piel of Trinity; a sister, Darnell Tutor of Temple; a brother, Laverne 'Tick' Piel of Troy; an uncle Raymond 'Fat' Huber of Eddy.
Visitation will be on Tuesday, August 1, from 9:00 - 10:00 am at Harper Talasek Funeral Home in Temple. Celebration of Life will begin at 10:00 am at Harper Talasek. Burial will be at the Eddy Cemetery, where he will join many family members. Afterwards, a lunch will be provided by Troy United Methodist Church 2500 FM 935, Troy, TX.
He will be so missed by all who knew him.
The family is grateful to Hospice, Home Health, Pastor Leslie Byrd and Dr. Mark Holguin.