Joe Gonzales Diaz of Blanket, Texas, passed away on May 26, 2011, after a lengthy illness.

    He is survived by his son, Joseph Diaz Jr. of Blanket; daughter, Doris Calder and husband Eddie of Blanket and son Carlos Diaz and wife Melba of Brownwood.  Joe has 16 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, and two great-great grandchildren.

     Joe was born in Whon, Texas, on June 9, 1922, in Coleman County. He later moved to Blanket in 1939, where he remained as a resident the remainder of his days. He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and a retiree of the 3M Corporation. He served in the U.S. Army in World War II both in the 101st Airborne division and participated in the D-Day invasion as a paratrooper and later linked up with and served with the 90th Infantry Division where he was captured and held POW by the German Vermacht for nine months. He earned three Bronze Stars, and a Purple Heart. He was married to Cresencia Hernandez in Mason, Texas, on June 30, 1945, and remained married for 58 years until her death in 2004. He greatly loved gardening, fishing, and most of all sports that included the Astros or the Texans.

    He will be greatly missed as a father, grandfather and friend. He is preceded in death by his wife Cresencia, parents Sam and Maria Diaz of Blanket; four brothers; and two sisters.

    Wake Services will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, May 30, at Heartland Funeral Home in Early, Texas, with church services at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 31, 2011, in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Brownwood, Texas. Burial will be at Blanket Cemetery with military honors.