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  • Obituary

Joseph W. Oldham

November 28, 1965 – January 1, 2023

Joseph W. Oldham, 57, of Fontana, Kansas, passed away January 1, 2023. A visitation and service will be 10 a.m. to noon Friday, January 20, at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, Olathe Chapel.


Joe was born November 28, 1965 in Kansas City, Kansas, to Floyd E. and Neva Jean (Pluss) Oldham. Joe graduated from Paola High School in 1984 and immediately enlisted in the Army. Joe was awarded Marksman Rifle M16 and Expert Hand Grenade citations during his service to our country. After serving his term in the Army, Joe proceeded to serve in the Reserves for many years.


In 1987 Joe went to work for Kansas Department of Transportation and served for 32 years with the State as a highway maintenance and snow removal operator. Joe retired from the State in 2020. In 2021, Joe went to work for Linn County, Kansas, doing road maintenance.


Joe was an avid outdoorsman. Anyone who spent time with Joe most definitely spent that time outdoors with him. Joe enjoyed camping on the banks of the river, fishing, hunting, shooting, riding ATVs, attending gun shows, metal detecting and hunting for arrowheads. Joe also had a kind heart for creatures. Joe kept the feral cats in the area well fed and warm by building shelters and boxes with blankets and hay for them. There were also occasions when he sheltered squirrels, raccoons and foxes on his porch while he rehabbed them before releasing them back into the wild.


Joe is preceded in death by his father Floyd E. Oldham, his mother Neva Jean Oldham, his brothers James E. Oldham and David C. Oldham, Sr.


He is survived by his son Joseph D. Watrous and grandchildren, Abby, Ava and Jaxon Watrous of Holt, Misssouri., nephews Matthew J. Oldham of Shawnee, Kansas, and David C. Oldham, Jr. of Kansas City, Kansas, and his niece Diana D. (Chad) Smotherman of Olathe, Kansas.


In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Gun Owners of America.

To leave a message of condolence for Joe's family, or to share a special memory of Joe, click on this link.



(Published in the Linn County Journal on January

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