Constituents Deceased list

Joseph E. Kokes ’48 was born in San Jose to Joseph E. Kokes and Mollie A. Kokes. He had one sibling, a sister, Ann I. Kokes, who predeceased him. Joe attended St. Patrick’s Grammar School, Bellarmine College Preparatory, and after his Marine Corps Service during WWII, SCU. Joe enlisted in the Marines when he was 17 and served for three-and-a-half years in active duty—two during WW II and one-and-a-half years during the Korean War. He remained in active reserve for five more years. He left the service as a major. Joe was one of the three founding owners of the San Jose Flea Market, established in 1960. He sold his interest in 1985. He was an active member of St. John Vianney Parish and ran their fiesta for several years. He was also a former member of the San Jose Country Club, where he enjoyed playing golf with friends. Joe was an active man who loved to garden and had a small orchard of 20-plus trees in his large back yard. He enjoyed his yearly trips with friends to Canada and the Sierra to go trout fishing. He was an avid collector of presidential memorabilia and a longtime member of the American Political Items Collectors. Joe met Martha Reid at St Patrick’s Church in 1949 and they married a year later. They lived in San Francisco for a short time before he was called back to serve in the Marines in the Korean War. Afterwards they settled in the east foothills of San Jose, where they remained for the rest of their lives. They were married for 65 years until Martha’s death in 2016. Family was very important to Joe and Martha, and they raised five daughters: Rosemary, Joanne (Brett), Betsy (Girard), Martha (Jay), and Patricia. Joe loved family and the holidays and went out of his way to make them magical for family and friends. He was, and ever shall be, Joe Santa and The Easter Turtle. He spent months filling Christmas stockings for all family members. His Easter egg hunts were legendary, and no matter how hard we tried to remember all of his spots, we were always hunting for that one last basket. Joe liked to entertain family, and his annual Super Bowl Party was not to be missed. He was also the king of barbecue. Joe enjoyed traveling with Martha, and they visited many places in the world. His favorite city was Vienna, Austria. In 1962 Martha and Joe discovered Meeks Bay at Lake Tahoe. They loved this oasis of peace and beauty and, until 2015, spent several weeks there every summer. They were often joined by daughters, their spouses, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. During their last years at Meeks Bay, the entire family gathered together for a week, which were priceless memories. Joe was always a Marine and never gave up. He continued to work in his garden well into his 93rd year. Martha was ill for several years prior to her death, and Joe insisted on taking care of her himself. He loved Martha for the 65 years of their marriage and until the day he died. With the support of his daughters, especially Rosemary and Betsy, he was able to live in his home with his dog until his death on March 1, 2019, leaving behind his beloved pal and doggie, Bridget.

23 May 2019