Rev. Milton Jochetz, 87 of Stanton, passed away Saturday, May 3, 2014, at Mabee Health Care Center in Midland.
He was born and reared on a West Texas cotton farm Sept. 23, 1926. The farm was and is in Lubbock County near the small town of Slaton. He was the son of Walter A. Jochetz and Myrtle Lena Saage Jochetz. The family was a church going family. On a Sunday morning in 1934, Milton, eight years old, accepted Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized by Rev. C.W. Foote, the minister at the First United Methodist Church, Slaton.
Milton attended school in Slaton and met Wanda Jean Vaughan on the night of his 1944 high school graduation. For a short time he worked for the Santa Fe Railroad. In September of 1944, he joined the United States Navy, serving two years on the USS Athene in the Pacific Theatre in World War II. During that time he and Wanda courted through letters and married on March 11, 1946. He was discharged on July 2, 1946. To that marriage of 66 years, three children were born, Tommy, Paula and Sandra.
In August of 1952, after working at various jobs, which included farming, Milton began the process of becoming a minister of the United Methodist Church (UMC). So at the age of 25, with a wife and two children they moved to Vet Village in Abilene, across from McMurry College. Prior to graduation at McMurry, they moved to Hawley, where they served their first appointment at the Hawley UMC. After graduation they moved to Krum and served the Krum UMC while Milton attended Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas, graduating with a Bachelor's Degree in Divinity. Their ministerial life took them to Texline, Bunavista/Borger, Sweetwater, Clarendon, Gruver, Seymour, Andrews and Stanton where they retired. During their 40 years of ministry, they traveled to Israel, Ireland, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Scotland and England where they served on an exchange program with an English Methodist minister. They were committed for five weeks to the English Church.
Milton and Wanda leave a legacy of love, friendship and service to the people of the Texas Panhandle and the Permian Basin. Milton was the definition of a true friend. During his long life Milton was an avid reader, loved to fish, play golf and be a part of every community in which they lived. Milton was a "joiner" in that he belonged to the Lions Club, Rotary Club, Kiwanis Club, the Masonic Lodge, the Stanton Library Board, Museum Board and Country Club. (Wanda asked him one time, "Is there is anything else for you to join?")
Milton and Wanda loved their son, Tommy and wife, Sharon; their daughter, Paula and husband, Joe Millhollon; deceased daughter, Sandra; 12 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; Milton's sister, Barbara Jones and many other close relatives and special friends.
He is preceded in death by his wife, Wanda; daughter, Sandra; and parents, Walter and Myrtle Jochetz.
The family will receive friends Tuesday, May 6, 2014 from 6-8 p.m. at Gilbreath Funeral Home, 209 N. St. Charles, Stanton, TX. A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, 208 E. St. Anna, Stanton, TX.
The family would like to thank Midland Memorial Hospital and Mabee Health Care Center and Rehab for their wonderful care during this time.
At Milton's request, a single red rose is to be placed on the altar at his service.
The family requests, in lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Stanton First United Methodist Church, American Cancer Society, Hospice of Midland or charity of your choice.
Arrangements are under the direction of Gilbreath Funeral Home of Stanton. Online condolences may be made at: www.npwelch.com .