Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma

The Great Seal of the Choctaw Nation
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Submitted by: Thomas Munkus

Joseph Granger Munkus was born on October 5, 1900 in Harrisburg, Indian Territory from the union of Beverly Clinton Munkus and Lillie Mae Spain, of Choctaw lineage. Joe Munkus was the second of five siblings: Ether, Joseph Granger, Estella Dea, Ollie Lee, and Ward. In his early teens he decided it was necessary to drop out of school, in order to work and assist in supporting his mother and siblings. Although this lack of a completed education hindered him later in life, his labor permitted the family to subsist during difficult times. It’s assumed that all who benefited from this sacrifice recognized and appreciated it at some point. In his youth Joe labored at various jobs including pipeline work. In the late 20’s Chicago Bridge & Iron Co. constructed a job in Joe’s area and offered higher wages than the local employers. Joe hired on and would be an employee of that company for the rest of his life, despite serious work injuries over the years.

On November 19, 1927 he married his sweetheart, Eula Mae Hammon. This loving marriage yielded three children: Bennie Jo born August 20,1928 and Thomas Lee born December 9,1936. Shirley Glow was stillborn on July 4,1933. Bennie Jo provided her dad with two grandchildren: Michael Stephen D’Angeli and Joseph Peter D’Angeli III. Thomas Lee provided Daniel Joseph Munkus. There is one great-grandchild: Michael Stephen D’Angeli Junior.

Eula Mae Hammon was born on January 26, 1907 in Waldron, Arkansas. She was a caring mother to her children and a helpmate and companion to her husband for her entire adulthood. In the prime of her life she was stricken with cancer. She lost the final fight against the disease on March 15, 1945, leaving Joe behind to look after the children. Her grave is located in the Cedarvale Cemetery in Bay City, Texas.

Joe carried on with his life and continued working as a supervisor for CB&I building steel vessels at various locations throughout the United States. He did this work for a total of about a quarter century, and was highly thought of and respected by his coworkers and employer. He was known for his strong work ethic, friendliness and generosity to all, and devotion to family. He worked until the very day his illnesses prevailed, and passed away of a heart attack in September 1953 in a Memphis, Tennessee hospital. His remains rest at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Tulsa, Oklahoma, next to those of his mother.

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