Joseph James Bode, Sr. (Joe) passed away on Monday, July 30, 2018 at ninety years old. Joe was born in New Brunswick, NJ. He earned a B.S. at Cal Polytech in electronics and aerospace engineering and an honorary doctorate for expertise in his professional career. Joe worked as a contract test pilot for experimental aircraft for McDonnell Douglas. He worked in intelligence and as an aerospace engineer for the Ajax Ground-to-Air Anti-Ballistic missile. He helped train the astronauts who performed the first manned mission to the moon.
Joe met and married Jeanne Ellis before moving to California. Joe designed a custom ranch home for his family in Malibu Canyon which included four children. They enjoyed horseback riding, fishing, and exploring the hills. After moving to Tustin in the seventies, Joe fulfilled his dream of owning his own airplane and took the family on short flying and sailing adventures.
After his divorce, Joe married Patricia Neuman in 1975. With Joe's four and Patricia's three children, family became the “Bode bunch”. As the children finished high school and left for college, military service, and other life events, Joe continued to pursue his passion of flying. He and Pat had many adventures on both local flights to Catalina Island and trips around California and neighboring states. Flying remained their favorite pastime when they relocated to Chicago for several years and then to the Washington, D.C. area. Joe worked for the Office of Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Department of Energy.
For the past 22 years, Joe and Pat have enjoyed retirement and travel from their lovely home in Solvang. Joe continued consulting occasionally in the aerospace industry and supported Pat's participation in the local Solvang women's club by assisting with administrative tasks.
Joe is preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister. Joe leaves behind his beloved wife Pat; 4 sons Jim (Sally), Brad (Jeanne), Dwight (Pam), and Scott (Linda); 3 daughters Brigitte Solvie (John), Chris Fossen, and Laurie Lirette; 13 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren. The family gathered for a private memorial.
The family expresses deep appreciation to the staff at Friendship House and hospice who cared for Joe in his final months. In honor of Joe's lifetime love of small dogs, contributions in his name may be made to Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, P.O. BOX 335, 111 Commerce Dr. Buellton, CA 93427, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Loper Funeral Chapel, Directors