Pastor Joseph Thomas Himes, 60, Altoona, entered into Glory on Tuesday.
He was born in Altoona, son of Dorothy (Teufel) Himes.
Surviving are his wife of 22 years, Candice (McCaulley) Himes; a son, Robert M. Clark Jr., who resided with him; a daughter, Melissa A. Hagan of Hollidaysburg; a brother, Gene (Wendy) Himes of Altoona; two aunts: Caroline Shuff and Kay Teufel, both of Altoona; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved dearly.
He was preceded in death by his mother on Dec. 14, 1994; and a brother, Jack "Chuck" Sigrist on Oct. 22, 2011.
Born breach, with a brain hemorrhage, doctors told his mom, "do not get attached to it; it will not live, but if it does, it will be a mental vegetable." But God's ways are not our ways. Not only did Joe survive, but was very intelligent. He was also born with Muscular Dystrophy and was not expected to live past his early 20s. There again, God's grace in his life was evident. In and out of crippled children's homes between the ages of 4-17, his sense of humor is what he used to cope. He was born on April Fool's Day and said, "God has a sense of humor, so he must have got it from Him." At 17 years old, he was finally able to come home for good. Joe believed growing up, his mother showed great wisdom and love for him as she would tell people, "Do not help him, let him struggle and figure it out for himself." He would need that strength and determination to get through his life.
Even though others might see him as crippled, Joe saw himself differently. With the help of his family and friends, he was able to do many things. His brother, Gene, included him in his softball games. Joe kept score and cheered the teams on. Whether it was softball, bowling, basketball, or just family time, Gene always eagerly included Joe in anything he was doing. His brother, Jack "Chuck," was the same way. He took him motorcycle riding, trips in his airplane to his chalet, and always spent time with Joe. His cousin, Dave Shuff, was not just a cousin, but like a brother to him. Whether it was fishing, hunting, or just hanging out together, they had a ball no matter what they did, and they remained this way even today. The last children's home Joe was in, there was a worker there named Dorothy, who took Joe home on occasion. She loved him as her own son. Her family became his. He kept in touch until her passing three years ago.
In July 1993, he met the love of his life, Candy. In August 1996, Joe and Candy were married. Joe did many things in his life. He went to college, worked at a radio station, but left both due to his health. He was an artist, played guitar and drums for praise and worship at church, played banjo, taught guitar, and worked in the Awana program at church. He always said, "God will allow things to slip through your fingers, so He can fill them with other things." And in Joe's case, God did exactly that. He understood God was calling him to become a preacher. He followed God's calling and was licensed and ordained. He taught Sunday school, preached services and did Bible studies at night on the phone with truck drivers. He witnessed to and encouraged the aides that worked for him. He went into nursing homes, palliative care in hospitals, anywhere God called him. He also did weddings and funerals. One of his greatest joys was officiating at his nephew, Shawn, and his wife, Brandi's, wedding.
He enjoyed Facebook, he felt it was a way to reach people for Christ. His life quote was, "I may be a Christian that's crippled, but thank God I'm not a crippled Christian." Joe would ask you, "Are you discouraged, crippled in some way (mental, physical, spiritual)? God loves you." So fellow Christians, run the race God has set before you, never look back, only up, so that one day, like Joe, you may hear, "I love you, you have finished your race, come rest. Well done my good and faithful servant."
Friends will be received 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, March 31, 2019, at Mauk & Yates Funeral Home Inc., Juniata, and from 10 until the noon funeral service Monday, April 1, 2019, at the funeral home, Pastor Dave Foor officiating. Interment will be made at Alto-Reste Park Cemetery, Altoona.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Mending Hearts Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 97, Hollidaysburg, PA 16648.