Joe Curtis Yoakum

Visitation for Cortez resident Joe Curtis Yoakum will be held on Tuesday, April 24 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Ertel Memorial Chapel. Graveside services will be held at Grand Lake Cemetery in Grand Lake, Colo.

Joe was born Dec. 18, 1926 in Stillwater, Okla. to William Thomas and Nannie Ethel (Baker) Yoakum. He passed away on Saturday, April 21, 2012 at Southwest Memorial Hospital. Joe was 85.

During World War II Joe felt compelled to leave college and serve his country in the Army Air Force from 1945-1947. After his discharge he finished his college education. On June 27, 1947 Joe married Norma Lee Rambo in Stillwater, Okla.

Joe began his work career first in Stillwater, working in retail sales with C.R. Anthony. From Oklahoma, the family made a move to the Sacramento, Calif. area where Joe entered into a 35-year career in the newspaper industry, working for McClatchy, a Sacramento based newspaper. Starting in ad sales, Joe worked his way into personnel as a human resource officer.

Joe was a devoted member of Las Palmas-Ponderosa Lodge #366 F. & A.M. and La Sierra-Venus Chapter #555 Order of Eastern Star, of which he was a Past Worthy Patron. Joe spent much of his free time restoring antique cars and was a member of Riviera Owners Association. He also enjoyed woodworking, flying model airplanes, golf and bowling.

Surviving Joe are his beloved wife of 64 years, Norma Yoakum of Cortez; two daughters, Linda Crane and husband Kelly of Grand Lake and Sandra Lea Stainbrook and husband Royal of Littleton, Colo.; four grandchildren, Travis Lee Crane of Salt Lake City, Utah, Stacy Michele Maalik of Fresno, Calif., Kristin Marie Britton of Manhattan, Kan. and Sarah Leanne Britton of Austin, Texas; and three great-grandchildren.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, William and Nannie Yoakum; and his siblings, Kenneth Yoakum, Muzette Smith, Bentley Yoakum and Juanita Hinrichs.

Memorial contributions can be made in memory of Joe Yoakum with the Alzheimer’s Association, 701 Camino Del Rio Ste. #321, Durango, CO 81301, or to the charity of your choice. Arrangements are being made through Ertel Funeral Home. For further information or to send condolences, log on to and click on the obituary section.