BMC Joseph Hulben, USN-Retired

 

                                March 29, 1933 – January 31, 2018

Hulben Navy

Joseph,” Little Joe “ to all who knew him, was born 29 March 1933, the third of four children, to the union of Joseph Hulben and Philomena Fungi in Bradford, PA

Joe was raised by his paternal grandparents in Mt. Alton PA the first 13 years of his life and then moved to Girad, OH to live with is mother. At the age of 17 and with the consent of his uncle AL Joe entered into military service with the United States Navy on 15 May 1950 without even a high school diploma.

Joe quickly learnt he could complete his formal education resulting in a GED. Joe chose not to stop at just a GED and continued educating himself by attending any and all service schools offered. The number of schools Joe completed, which totaled over 40, was instrumental in his greatest life accomplishment of a Congressional appointment of “Permanent Chief of the Navy.” In the late sixties Joe accepted the appointment of Chief Petty Officer Boatswain Mate.

In his naval career Joe severed aboard the following ships: USS H.W. Gilmore (AS-16), USS Roanoke (CL145), USS Cambria (APA-36), USS Point Defiance (LSP-31), USS Merrick (AKA-97), USS Pascagoula (PCE-874), USS San Marcos (LSD-25), USS ARNEB (AKA-56), USS C.V. RICKETTS (DDG 5)

In addition to the naval ships Joe served on at least 7 Naval Bases: BREMETONGRUPACRESFLT BREMERTON.WA, NAF SIGONELLA, SICILY, USNRS NORFORK, VA, NAVPHIBSCOL LCREEK NORFOLK, VA, NAVCOMMSTA PUERTO RICO, NAS GRESSE, ILE. MI, NATTC NAS MFS TN, NAF DETROIT, MI

In Norfolk, VA Joe met a Naval Wave, Shirlene Stigner whom he married on 13 January 1964.

To pass the time while performing his duties in Puerto Rico Joe attended the Ron Santos umpire school and obtained his ASA umpires certification, which he still holds today.

Upon retiring from active duty on 16 January 1971 Joe settled in the hometown of his wife, South Bend, IN where he and his wife of 35 years raised their 6 children: Kimberly (Pedro) Galindez, South Bend, IN, Raymond Hulben, Anniston. AL, Kathryn (James Whitesel) Luipold, Tucson, AZ, Judie (Ken) Krapf, Tucson, AZ, Annette Conklin deceased, Debbie (Ed) Hendrix, South Bend, IN. Joe was grandpa/great-grandpa to many children/grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

In the Michiana area Little Joe used his umpiring skills to officiate many softball/baseball games. An umpiring Hi-Lite of his umpiring was when he was asked to ump Little League Baseball. Joe was a member of Bowlers Country Club where he enjoyed bowling and golfing. Joe bowled many area lanes and traveled to many State and National tournaments with his wife. Along with bowling he enjoyed golfing and played many area courses.

Upon retiring from his 21 year Naval career with the rank of Chief Boatswain Mate Joe started his second career in maintenance at the South Bend airport under the CETA program while the airport was under the Directorship of Garwood Judah. Joe used his life learnt Navy acquired skills and truly was “A Jack of ALL trades and Master of All.

Joe would be seen in all aspects of maintenance from boilers, plumbing, grass cutting, crash-fire-rescue (before a formal Safety Department was created), to snow plowing. Joe retired from the airport as head airfield electrician, which required keeping the airfield lights working so aircraft could safely land in all weather conditions. In addition to his maintenance duties Joe used his Naval acquired leadership, organizing skills to assist Director John Schalliol and his administration in promoting the South Bend Regional Airport across the nation by developing, chairing/co-chairing events such as the P.R.O./Electrical Seminars, Golf outings and other airport functions. The seminars where attended by airport personnel from across the USA, Canada and even Guam. His second career consumed 26 years of his life. In 2001 Joe was called back by Executive Dir. John Schalliol to oversee and manage the extensions to the main east/west and the north/south runways.

Joe was proceeded in death by his parents, his wife Shirlene in 1999 a daughter Annette in 2013, a grandson Julien Nelson and son-in-law Ed Hendrix.

Visitation will be Wednesday from 5-7pm at McGann Hay Funerals / Cremations / Gatherings, Granger Chapel, 13260 SR 23, enter off Cherry Rd., where will be a parish Wake Service at 5pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00am Thursday at Christ the King Catholic Church SR 933 & Darden Rd., where he was a longtime parishioner, Rev. Stephen Lacroix, CSC, officiating.

Little Joe’s eternal sleep shall be beside his wife Shirlene at St. Joseph Valley Memorial Park. The US Navy will conduct Military Honors at the cemetery.
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