Joseph James Platko was born March 5, 1925, and passed away July 26, 2012. Joe was a loving husband to Pearl; caring father to Andrea, Vicki, Tony (wife, Debbie), and Sam (husband, Louis); compassionate grandfather to Amanda, Rachel, Joe, Ashley, Paige, and Brandon; and a gentle great-grandfather to Brenna, Gwen, and Dayton, all of whom survive him. He is also survived by his sisters, Florence Schilling and Bernice Haines, along with many nieces and nephews. To his close friends and family members he will always be remembered for ending each phone call with a, "See you on the River!!", which is derived from his love of gold prospecting and dredging on the Applegate River as a hobby. Joe and Pearl gave away literally pounds of gold they had found to their many friends and relatives in the form of earrings, pendants, and necklaces. This is a reflection of how he always lived his life as one filled with generosity and giving.
Joseph was born in Portage, Pa., as one of nine children born to Joe and Anna Platko. He went to Michigan State as an Air Force Cadet and then gained further training in Colorado. He became an honored World War II veteran after serving his country in the Air Force. Joe graduated in 1949, from State Teachers College in Lock Haven, Pa., and then headed to Oregon. He later spent a football pre-season trying out with the New York Giants Football Club as a center. Unfortunately his 6'4, 230-lb. frame just wasn't quite big enough, but did give him some excellent memories of playing with Hall of Famer, Frank Gifford. With his love of football, he and his wife, Pearl, later became avid Booster members for both Ashland High School and Southern Oregon University. He retired as an Ashland Realtor but continued his involvement with the Elks and followed his sports teams.
Joe will be greatly missed. For those who wish to honor his memory, please donate to Ashland Community Hospital Hospice, 1970 Ashland Street, Ashland, OR 97520.