Joseph Leroy Dwigans
October 13, 1921 — November 28, 2023
Although Joe was born in Iowa and traveled the world extensively, we in Mid-America Mensa are fortunate that he finally chose to settle in Kansas City. MAM was founded in 1964; Joe joined MAM in June 1964 and helped us grow into the vibrant group we are now fortunate to be a part of.
In December 1942, Joe joined the Navy becoming a Navy pilot and logging hundreds of hours of flight time until the end of the war. He retired from military service in 1971.
Joe loved to tell stories about his life as a naval aviator and his shipmates. There were many, but his favorites were circling the Statue of Liberty, flying low down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. as part of a military parade … and several close calls.
Joe was actively involved in his community. This included Mensa, YMCA, CPA societies, Tax Executive Institute, Country Club Homes Association, Oklahoma University Alumni Association, Missouri and Kansas Chambers of Commerce as well as the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce and the Masonic Lodge. He was also active in a number of military organizations, still attending meetings and events with his many friends in his final months: Navy League, MOWW, Reserve Officers Association, Naval Reserve Association, Association of Naval Aviation, Fleet Reserve Association, American Legion, and VFW. Joe and his wife Betty often invited fellow MAM members Kim and Tony Jackowski and Jim and Nancey Spaith to attend various military dinners with them.
For many years Joe and Betty had a camper and traveled widely. Travel also included trips to Alaska, Hawaii, Japan, New Zealand, and Europe. Well into his retirement, Joe came to many Mensa events as his time and schedule allowed.
Joe was humble, generous, and kind, and above all he deeply enjoyed and was very proud of his family.
He will be missed!