Howard Payne University Professor Dr. Joseph N. Weatherby Jr. died Monday, March 29, 2010, from complications following a severe bout of pancreatitis. He was 74.
Born in Brownwood in 1936, Weatherby raised two daughters and a son on the Central Coast of California in San Luis Obispo where for three decades he was a political science professor.
He and his wife Mary Jane, nee Petty, returned to Brownwood in 1995, four years before he was named the Sandefer Scholar in Residence at Howard Payne’s Douglas MacArthur Academy of Freedom.
There, he taught classes including political geography, American Government and Introduction to International Relations.
Two years ago he revived the Academy’s Model United Nations program, where students study the United Nations, attend conferences and simulate a session at the U.N.
At a meeting only hours before he was admitted to the hospital just over a week before his death, Mr. Weatherby spoke to the Academy’s board of directors about a proposed Model United Nations trip to the Czech Republic.
During the meeting he thanked the board for its support of the program, said MacArthur Academy director Dr. Justin D. Murphy.
“Joe said was he felt so fortunate to be at the Academy. He said he was able to live his dream and he planned to be there until they dragged him out,” Murphy said.
“And then for us to find out that on that very night he had to go to the hospital. It was shocking. He gave tirelessly of himself,” Murphy said.
Son of Maxine and Joseph Weatherby, who owned Weatherby Ford in Brownwood, Mr. Weatherby was a life long car buff, who doted over a collection of Fords, a wood-framed Morgan sports car, an MG sports car and most recently a U.S. Army Willys jeep. He shared his passion for cars with his children and family.
As a published author, Mr. Weatherby read and travelled widely. The ninth edition of the college textbook that he edited and helped write, “The Other World: Issues and Politics of the Developing World,” was published the week before he died.
He encouraged his students to travel and experience the world and led multiple student foreign study programs abroad, including five tours to Russia before the end of the Cold War.
He loved movies, especially those with a political bent, and for the past decade on a weekly basis he hosted movie night at his home where friends and associates would meet and discuss the message and meaning of films.
Weatherby was a graduate of Brownwood High School in 1954. He served for the next eight years in the Texas National Guard. He graduated in 1961 from the American Institute for Foreign Trade in Phoenix, Ariz.
In 1962 he earned a Masters of Arts degree from Baylor University and remained a fiercely loyal Bear fan. In his university office is a fluorescent green ring from a football goalpost when Baylor beat Texas A&M 35-34 in October 2004.
In 1968 Weatherby graduated from the University of Utah where he earned his doctorate in Political Science and Geography. He moved to California and while he was a professor at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo he participated in several sabbaticals of foreign study, including becoming a Senior Member at Wolfson College at Cambridge University, Cambridge, England. In 1972 he was the recipient of the Outstanding Teacher Award at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.
He was earnestly patriotic and had a yellow ribbon tied to the door of his academy office.
Mr. Weatherby is survived by his wife Jane of Brownwood; daughter Holly Jane Weatherby and her husband John Nickerson of Darien, Conn.; son James McDonald Weatherby and his wife Leann and grandchildren Lucy, Joseph and Malcolm Weatherby of College Station and sister Sarah McAlpin of Blanket. His daughter Anne Berry Weatherby is previously deceased.
A funeral service for Mr. Weatherby will be held 2 p.m. Monday, April 5, at Church of the Good Shepherd, officiated by the Very Rev. Andrew F. L. Bradley, 1800 Good Shepherd Dr., Brownwood.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dr. Joseph N. Weatherby’s name to Howard Payne University’s Model United Nations program within the MacArthur Academy of Freedom, 1000 Fisk St., Brownwood, TX, 76801-2794.