The Honorable Joseph Thaxton of Spring Valley, NY passed away on April 3, 2020 at Nyack Hospital, where he was born on March 10, 1927 to the late Annie (Ware) & George W. Thaxton.
A lifelong resident of Spring Valley, he received his primary and secondary education from the Spring Valley School System. Despite his height, he was captain of the basketball team. He also excelled in football and track and field, eventually becoming a member of the SVHS Sports Hall of Fame. He attained his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from Tri-State College in Angola, Indiana.
As a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, he served in the U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve from 1945 to 1949 and the U.S. Air Force from 1950 to 1954. He was honorably discharged from both.
In 1959 he married his sweetheart Dolores (Branche) Thaxton, a woman to whom his parents let him know he married up. In addition to his wife, Joe is survived by their children Lance, Todd (Veronica), Jennifer, and Kendra (Enzo) Williams; grandchildren Courtney Thaxton, Nathaniel Thaxton, Matthew Thaxton and Joshua Williams; great-grandchildren Tyler, Morgan and Austin Conjura and Roman Thaxton. He is also survived by his brother George Albert and sister Carrie (Freddie) Crump and many extended family members. He was predeceased by his brothers Bernie and Henry Thaxton and grandson Christopher Thaxton.
He was employed by the Federal Electric Corporation, a division of ITT and IBM from where he retired in 1987. Joe was a self-employed accountant and tax practitioner for over 40 years.
He was very active in his community. He served as Treasurer for the Spring Valley Branch of the NAACP, where he was also a Life Member; Board Member and Treasurer of the Rockland County Cornell Cooperative Extension; East Ramapo School District Advisory Board of Adult Education; Board Member of the Rockland County Meals on Wheels program; Member of the Tappan Zee Lodge #79 (Prince Hall) Free and Accepted Masons; Secretary of Mount Moor Cemetery Association; Life Member of the Korean War Veterans Association; Member and former Judge Advocate of the American Legion Moscarella Post #199; Secretary & Treasurer of the Rockland County Veterans Coordination Council; Member of the Sampson Naval Veterans Coordinating Council; National President of the World War II Black Naval Veterans of Great Lakes, Inc.; Treasurer, Secretary, Vice President and President of the Rockland County Magistrates Association; Rockland County Buffalo Soldier; and numerous other prominent positions in various organizations. He also participated as a mentor in the Major General Irene Trowell-Harris Chapter of the Tuskegee Airman’s Red Tail Youth Flying Training Program.
His political aspirations brought him many opportunities including a series of elected years to the Spring Valley Village Board as Trustee and appointed as Deputy Mayor during the early seventies; he was also Rockland County Democratic Committeeperson from 1959 through 1988 He began his judicial career in 1960, when he was appointed Justice Court Clerk in the Village of Spring Valley. He served as Spring Valley Village Justice from 1988 until his retirement in 2005.
However, if you knew Joe, you knew his true love was fishing. He hoped that his kids and grandkids would share in his love of fishing. Sadly for him, most did not and they accepted that his love of fishing was slightly higher that his love for the kids and grandkids because of it. He was an avid member of the Hudson River Fisherman’s Association. He frequented the Piermont Pier, Harriman Seven Lakes, all the little lakes and stream around Rockland County and his favorite, the annual trip to Sterling Lodge in Canada with his fishing buddies. He could also be seen “fishing” in his Great Green Lake, also known as the side yard.
Due to the ever changing scenario of the Covid-19/Coronavirus situation, the family has decided to hold all services privately.
Last updated April 15, 2020