Joe Edwin Sturges of Soquel passed away peacefully after a long illness at the age of 82 on August 2nd, 2017 with his family beside him. Joe was born in Oklahoma on October 30th, 1934 to Iva and Charles Sturges. He moved to Santa Cruz at the age of 12 with his family. He attended Santa Cruz High School and developed a love for baseball during that time. Joe eventually became well known as a great fast pitch soft ball pitcher. Joe worked at Lloyd's Tire Shop throughout high school and then moved on to bartend briefly. Joe then added Wrigley's Gum Company to his list of careers, where he started off as a mechanic and was eventually promoted to Maintenance Forman. A certain lovely co-worker caught his eye there. That lovely lady was Marilyn Hay, his future wife and love of his life. Although at first she did not take notice of him, he certainly took notice of her. They began dating and after a whirlwind romance the two married three months later, on January 20th, 1956. The couple soon started their family and were blessed with three beautiful daughters. He then moved on to Shaw's frozen foods, where he became Construction Forman and helped to build the plant. In 1976, he started his own business "Custom Fabrication", a steel fabrication company that kept him very busy and very happy for 40 years. He greatly enjoyed using his hands and took great pride in his work. Shortly after starting Custom Fabrication, he partnered up with his son in law, Tripp Chaney whom he greatly loved and respected as a fellow creative force.
Joe greatly enjoyed spending time with his wife Marilyn, taking off on a whim to lunch in Carmel or where ever the wind would take them, spending time with his daughters and grandchildren, fishing and hunting with his nephews Jimmy, Ron and Richard Lindsay, always telling the best stories and the most blush worthy jokes. Joe greatly enjoyed the company of his family and friends; he loved animals and always had a pack of beloved dogs by his side. Later on in life, he spent special times traveling with family to Victoria, Canada and to Maui, Hawaii-where he danced the hula with his lovely wife.
Joe is survived by his wife of 61 years, Marilyn Sturges, his beloved daughters, Vicki Chaney, and Renee Villanpando, his son in law, Tripp Chaney, his granddaughter, Tyler Woolley, grandson, Matthew Joe Chaney, his nephews, Jim and Ron Lindsay, his niece, Charlotte Thompson and the children of those mentioned. On June 9th, 2014 Joe and Marilyn suffered the loss of their youngest daughter, Tracy Cheville Sturges. He was preceded in death by his parents, Iva and Charlie Sturges, his sister, Marjorie Lindsay and his nephew Richard Lindsay.
Joe had a fun-loving nature, a rascally sense of humor and a kind heart. There was nothing that he loved more than his family. He will be greatly missed by all who had the good fortune of having him in their lives.
Come celebrate Joe's life with us all on Friday, August 25th, 2017 at Benito & Azzaro Pacific Gardens Chapel, 1050 Cayuga St. in Santa Cruz, the service starts at 11am.