Joe Sullivan

February 10, 1948 - August 11, 2020

Joe Sullivan

Joe Sullivan, 72, of beautiful downtown Winnie, Texas passed away on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.  Joe was born in Hayden, Colorado on February 10, 1948 to John Francis Sullivan and Carolyn Evelyn Sullivan, and was one of four children.

Joe grew up in Meeker, Colorado where he spent his summers on the Sullivan Ranch. He and his sister Jacque would ride his Labretta to the ranch, and she helped him with his 4H calves.  In high school, you could find Joe on a wrestling mat or learning to rope.  Roping brought Joe to Texas, when he packed up his truck and horse and headed to college at Sam Houston State.  He showed up at the barn with his horse and no place to live.  Joe’s spontaneity often resulted in great success including meeting his future wife, Melanie, and obtaining his Bachelors in Criminal Justice.   Joe met Melanie when he sold her first pair of cowboy boots to her from Ronnie William’s Western Store.  After graduation, Joe moved to Arizona to pursue a roping adventure with his brother Mike and childhood friend Jimmy Watson.  Mike lived with Joe and Melanie after they were married in 1973.  In 1980, Joe and Melanie moved to Utah where both his daughters, Sarah and JoLyn, were born and where Joe worked as an auctioneer at Producers Livestock.  He shared a love of flying with his brother Kelly and bought an airplane to fly his young family back and forth between Utah and Colorado. 

In 1985, the Sullivan family moved to Hamshire, Texas where Joe met up with one of his college friends, Robert Lott, and began work at Lott Materials.   He never lost his auctioneer skills and frequently volunteered his auctioneer services at the Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department Annual BBQ and fundraiser.  Later, he met fellow roper Calvin Keating and went to work at Calvin Ford, where he honed his skills as a successful salesman.  

Joe and family moved to Winnie, Texas in 1996 and built their forever home.   It was here that Joe’s eclectic work history and skills culminated in the building and opening of Joe’s Beverage Barn.   At the Barn, his love for people was evident.  He never met a stranger.  Most would say Joe would give the shirt off his back, and he has often been described as generous and kind.  He was a master story teller with a quick wit and infectious humor.  His love of horses and roping was lifelong, and if Joe was not at the Beverage Barn or with his family, he was likely in the roping pen.  

Joe took tremendous pride in his daughters’ accomplishments and would stop everything to spend time with them.   As they grew up, he did everything with them from making mud pies to teaching them to drive in a hay field.  His love for children did not stop with his daughters.  He welcomed many kids into his heart and friends automatically became family.   He loved his nieces and nephews tremendously.  He also loved his son-in-law, Luke, and spent many hours talking and shooting guns with him.  When his granddaughter, Blair, arrived his world was complete.  He was overjoyed to learn that Blair will soon have a sister, Elise, to play with. 

Joe is survived by his wife of 46 years Melanie Rae Sullivan; children Sarah Beth Sullivan; JoLyn Sullivan Dolan and her husband Luke; granddaughter, Blair and new arrival Elise expected in October; Siblings and in-laws:  Jacque (Duke) Duzik, Mike (Barbara)Sullivan, Kelly (Pam)Sullivan, Ray (Pam) Martin and Fay Martin; nieces and nephews, Glenn, Tim, Andi, Bradley, Joe, Casey, McKenzie, Toby, Tiffany and Hunter and many, many friends.  We will all miss him dearly but he will be there to welcome us in Heaven. 

Joe was preceded in death by his parents (John and Carolyn Sullivan) and in-laws (Georgie and Melvin Martin).  

The family would like to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all those who stopped by to offer condolences and support during this time.  Special thank you to Misty Williams, Rachael Nolan, Kirsti Dunn, Ryan Dietrich and Nisha Royer who are part of the Joe’s Beverage Barn Family.  

A Time of Sharing will begin at 2:00 p.m., at Joe’s Beverage Barn, 1140 TX-124, Winnie, Texas, with a gathering of family and friends to follow until 5:00 p.m., Sunday, August 23, 2020. Cremation arrangements were handled through Broussard’s Crematorium, under the direction of Broussard’s, 2000 McFaddin Avenue, Beaumont.

Memorial contributions may be made to The American Heart Association, 12345 North Lamar Boulevard-Suite 200, Austin, Texas 78753 or to East Chambers ISD Education Foundation Partner Program, 270 School Road, Winnie, Texas 77665

Please observe social distancing guidelines. By attending any public event you are acknowledging the risk of exposure to the Corona Virus. Please follow the guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control:

Time of Sharing
Joe's Beverage Barn
1140 TX-124 Winnie, Texas 77665
Sunday, August 23, 2020
2:00 p.m.
Gathering of Family and Friends to Follow
Joe's Beverage Barn
1140 TX-124 Winnie, Texas 77665
Sunday, August 23, 2020
To follow Time of Sharing Until 5:00 p.m.

Comments (20)

  • Connie and Charles Assiff

    27 August 2020 at 20:28 | #

    Dearest Melanie, Sarah and JoLyn,
    Joe always had a story, a smile and a joy for life. Consider it a Blessing to have known him and the Sullivan and Martin family. Lifting each of you up in prayer during this time and asking God to surround you with a love and peace that surpasses all understanding. With Sincerest Condolences, Connie and Charles Assiff


  • Paulo Noronha

    27 August 2020 at 00:55 | #

    Sarah, It is with great sadness and sorrow that I try to process the sad news of Your dad’s passing. II was blessed and honored to have met him and enjoy his humor and vivacious attitude about everything. Maybe, this was an acquired skill for having two daughters and a wife, but in any case, the man was cool and inspiring. As a father of a daughter, I still look up to him as I navigate such a treacherous and challenging parenting enterprise. He was a very successful man at it and I will forever be appreciative of him for the inspiration.
    To Sullivan family, I extend my deepest condolences. I have you in my daily prayers.
    With Deep Sorrow
    Paulo Noronha


  • Blake Richards

    22 August 2020 at 13:24 | #

    Gramzy, my heart is broken to hear of Joe’s passing. I know you are strong and God is by your side but I will continue to pray for you. If there’s anything you ever need, I’m just a phone call away. Sarah, my heart heart breaks knowing how much you will miss the man that made your world go around. The bond y’all had was one that most kids dream of with their father. You have an amazing faith in God and this will help you get through this difficult time. I also want to thank you for sharing that same faith with me. Jolyn, Joe might have left the physical world but you now have one the most amazing Angels looking down and protecting your kiddo’s. I love and miss you all!
    When I think of Joe, the first thing that comes to mind is his love for family. Joe always prioritized his girls or boys, as he would sometimes refer to them lol. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for them but he was that way with just about every person he came into contact with. He was a successful entrepreneur, a great role model and the type of guy I looked up to. He loved putting together amazing meals and inviting as many people as he could, so no one was left hungry! Roping was Joe’s passion and I have great memories of watching him shine at the rodeo’s we attended. Joe’s smiles and sense of humor were so infectious to everyone he ever met! He was, without a doubt, one of the kindest men I have ever known.
    Joe, you will always have a special place in my life and thank you for letting me be a part of your amazing family! God Bless.


  • Miranda D Kibodeaux (Mandy)

    19 August 2020 at 03:57 | #

    I just found out today about Mr. Joe's passing. My heart is broken. What a wonderful, happy, pleasant, loving, caring, thoughtful and Amazing man you were. I could go on and on about how truly Wonderful he was.This world lost a great and amazing man. I had the honor of being a friend, and also worked with him at The Beverage Barn. Every morning he showed up, worn completely out some days, from roping to much the night before, but had a smile on his face when he opened the truck door. Everyday he talked about the love he had for his wife. How much he appreciated all of her support. she gave him when he opened the Beverage Barn. Mrs. Melanie you were his rock, you were so loved and appreciated, he told everyone. Sarah Beth and JoLyn you 2 were his pride and joys. He always had a story to tell everyday of something wonderful you girls had done, or told him the night before. He was one Proud Dad of you both. (All he talked about Back Then) Now I'm sure that granddaughter took up many stories since she entered the world. I know his Love will live forever through all of you. Im so sorry for your loss! My Love, Thoughts and Prayers are with each one of you. May God be with each one of you through this time. Love you all


  • Fran Lane

    18 August 2020 at 16:07 | #

    Melanie, Sarah and JoLyn, my prayers go out to you - we aren't ever ready for this - the hardest part of healing is to recover the "you" that went away with them ! May God grant you comfort and peace soon. Love y'all !


  • Linda Gregory Broussard

    18 August 2020 at 15:33 | #

    My heart is so sad, Joe will be missed! There must be an arena in heaven cause he sure was a great cowboy! Who could not love such a good man? Until we meet again Joe Sullivan theres an empty place here on earth!


  • Vanessa Revia

    18 August 2020 at 12:35 | #

    I'm so sorry for your loss Melanie. Joe will be missed. I will miss his kind face and jokes . When he would come into the Pharmacy he was always joking .I will never forget when he'd come in and say how much of my money will you get today
    God Bless all the family and friends.


  • Tim Bauer

    18 August 2020 at 09:47 | #

    Joe was truly a giving, respected, and good, good man. Going to miss the drive through chats we always had. May God be with you and may God be with your family .


  • Ray Martin

    17 August 2020 at 00:18 | #

    Joe I guess I will. Never get you paid back for the jalapeños you put in my sandwich after a duck hunt in Edna Texas. Love you always you will truly be missed.


  • Georgia Nickel

    16 August 2020 at 23:51 | #

    Melanie so sorry for your loss just remember he got from this old world but he will always be in your heart. May god wrap his arms around you and your family in this time of sorrow and give you comfort sending you prayers.


  • Hamshire Volunteer Fire Department

    16 August 2020 at 22:20 | #

    We will never forget the many hours Joe spent volunteering as auctioneer for our fundraisers. We appreciate how he always cared about our Department and the Hamshire Community.


  • Joshua Rollins

    16 August 2020 at 22:19 | #

    I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Sullivan family. Praying for peace and healing.


  • Mike Baque

    16 August 2020 at 21:30 | #

    Very sorry to here of Joe's passing. When i met Joe in Hamshire back in the 80's he had a smile on his face. He was always happy to see you and just a very good person. He will be missed.


  • Lori Dudley

    16 August 2020 at 21:23 | #

    Prayers for your family. My kids still talk about Joe, his funny, loving spirit left an lasting impression on them. He will be greatly missed. I can still hear him say , Pup Dudley to Taylor.


  • Glenda Leger

    16 August 2020 at 20:03 | #

    Melanie, you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.


  • Felecia Harmon Krus

    16 August 2020 at 19:22 | #

    So sorry for your loss. My sincere condolences and prayers go out to all of the Sullivan family. Mr. Joe was a great man.


  • Betty Peebles

    16 August 2020 at 17:00 | #

    You are all in my thoughts and prayers.


  • Ray Frymire

    16 August 2020 at 15:16 | #

    Joe is an amazing man, and he has an amazing family which is filled full of love!


  • Stephanie Upton

    16 August 2020 at 15:14 | #

    My dear sweet Sarah, I know your Daddy was your heart, and after reading this is sure know where you get your adventurous spirit from. We’ll be keeping you all lifted up! We’re never ever ready to lose those we love. Your Sister in Christ, Stephanie Upton


  • Juanita B Kahla

    15 August 2020 at 23:22 | #

    So sorry for your loss Melanie. Joe will greatly be missed. Luv you Juanita


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