Emory Joseph Smith, 80
PALOMINAS — Following a battle with some cancers and respiratory problems, “Joe” passed on at his home in Palominas on July 2, 2020. Joe was born in Palomas, New Mexico January 4, 1940, moving with his folks to Palominas in 1945 onto the Greene Cattle Co. RO ranch where he was raised. He attended Palominas school, graduating eighth grade in 1954; along with 4 other students; which reduced the Palominas school student population down to 14 plus the teacher.
Joe continued working on the Greene ranches in Palominas, the San Raphael Grant, and Mexico while attending Bisbee High School, from which he graduated in 1958. In 1963 Joe (along with his family) was transferred to the Greene Prescott Ranch, Baca Float No. 5, where he continued to work in the cattle business, along with some heavy equipment operation and repair.
He always had an affinity for mechanics and was the go-to guy for heavy equipment repair or construction of special items. Joe spent a number of years working in the cattle business from Oregon to Florida; returning to Palominas to work for a number of firms as a mechanic and/or operator, and sometimes as a truck driver or security guard.
Retiring in Palominas gave Joe a chance to jump into his love of firearms and Civil War History. He accumulated much Civil War memorabilia, both original and replicas, and started building Civil War era cannon. Excepting some of the barrel castings, Joe built eleven cannons from absolute scratch, including the hubs, spokes, carriage, all steel straps, pins, rims etc. These are fully operational guns, he took to different reenactments and shows in Arizona and New Mexico, and always in the Palominas dis-organized Christmas and July 4th parades! He was always ready to help anyone in need in the community, so had many, many friends !!! Keep your powder dry Joe... We’ll Miss You !!!
He was preceded in death by his folks, Emory Joe (Buck) and Esther Smith; his older brother Robert; and his nephew Bobby. Joe is survived by his wife of 53 years, Jacquelyn Gayle; his younger brother John; nieces, Jessica of Germany, and Linda of Arizona; nephews Jonathon of New Mexico, and Justin of Texas.