BEEVILLE, Texas — The community of Beeville, Texas, gathered Wednesday to celebrate the life and contributions of one of their beloved citizens who just recently passed away.
Joseph Anthony Linnstedter was affectionately known as Trojan Joe. Those who knew him best said he left behind a legion of friends and a lifetime of high school spirit.
For residents of Beeville, there is nothing like watching the A.C. Jones High School Trojans out on the field. Among those always in attendance was Trojan Joe. He was a born, raised, educated and beloved in Beeville.
"Joe was put into our lives by God as our opportunity to be able to give something," said Waylon Ford, a lifelong friend of Trojan Joe's. "The Bible says to the least of these you give, you give unto me, and I think that so many of our lives, for Joe, were to fulfill that little bit."
He had so much spirit and energetically charged enthusiasm, there was no way to avoid smiling back at Trojan Joe.
"Because he taught us about being caring, helping, sharing and having the spirit, that Trojan spirit," lifelong friend Charlotte Puckett Smith said. "We all just loved in him."
"He always carried the Trojan flag," said Erasmo Rodriguez, deputy superintendent of the Beeville Independent School District.
Joe was aware his time was coming. He was battling heart issues and diabetes. So he worked for some time on the details of what he wanted done when that day would eventually arrive.
"He didn't really have a family at the time," friend Bo Bowman said.
Bowman called his friend a very special man. Joe picked out exactly what he wanted.
"Of course Joe, you never knew what was going to come out of Joe. He wanted a burnt orange casket in honor of the Beeville Trojans and he wanted the A.C. Jones High School band to play," Bowman said. "So we got those two accomplished."
Trojan Joe accomplished a lot in his life. He worked for the school district for 30 years and was inducted into the Beeville Sports Hall of Fame; but Joe being Joe, he wanted to make everyone laugh.
"Then all of a sudden he didn't want to be Trojan Joe anymore," said Michael Silvas, chairman of the Beeville Sports Hall of Fame. "He wanted to be Hall of Fame Joe, and I know a lot of people are trying to get a street named after him, but he didn't want that. He wanted the stadium named after him."
It seems everyone knew Trojan Joe, and most who 3News spoke with on Wednesday said there is an emptiness in town without him.
"There's a gillion Joes, but when you said Trojan Joe you know who you were talking about," Beeville Mayor Bebe Adame said.
Joe lost his mother, father and wife a few years back. He is survived by his brother, but also a legion of people who loved Trojan Joe and always will.
"Special person," friend Marla Scott said. "Very special person. He's got a good place in Heaven."
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