Golf 04

Joseph Stanley Rawlings

1928 ~ 2020 (age 92)


Dr. Joseph S Rawlings died peacefully December 15, 2020, in Louisville, KY, after a lengthy illness. He was 92.


Joseph (Joe) Stanley Rawlings was born in rural Orange County, Indiana, on September 29, 1928 to Theodore and Lucille (McIntosh) Rawlings and was the oldest of three brothers. He graduated from Hardinsburg High School in 1946 and joined the US Navy. He completed two years Naval service and enrolled in Hanover College in 1948, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in 1952. Joe was a lifelong brother in the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and was a star guard on the varsity basketball team during his college years. Joe met Barbara Brown at Hanover and they married in 1951.


Joe taught high school and was the basketball coach in Flat Rock, Indiana for several years. He earned his Masters in Education at  Butler University in Indianapolis. They moved to Columbus, Indiana where Joe served in various assistant principal and principal roles in the public schools. During this time, Joe earned his Doctorate in Education from Michigan State University, awarded in 1968.


Joe and his family moved to Muncie, Indiana, in 1968 when he joined the faculty of Ball State University  as Assistant Director of Extended Services. He later became the Director of the Institute for Community Education Development and was named Dean in 1973. He retired in June, 1991 as Dean Emeritus of the School of Continuing Education and Public Service.


He received many accolades and awards, including the Emeritus Fellow of Extension Key. In 1988, he was given the Outstanding Administrative Service award by Ball State University. Joe was named a Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana Governors Otis Bowen in 1980 and Evan Bayh in 1991 and was a Kentucky Colonel.  Joe was inaugurated as a member of the Class of 1997 of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and received the Alumni Achievement Award from Hanover in 1999.

Following the death of his first wife in 1994, Joe married Sue B. McHugh in 1995 and moved to Louisville, KY. Joe and Sue have lived in Louisville during their 25+ year marriage and been very active in their community and family activities. Joe was a member of Beargrass Christian Church, where he particularly enjoyed the Friendship Sunday School Class.  He was a past member of Owl Creek Country Club. Joe continued community gardening every summer and playing golf several times a week at Owl Creek “with the old guys” until just a few years ago.

In addition to his wife, Sue, Joe is survived by his daughter, Susan Rawlings Molina, Tampa FL; his son, Richard (Amy) Rawlings, Fairfax, VA; sister-in-law Vivian Rawlings, Eaton, OH, and other in-laws, nieces and nephews.  In addition to his parents, Joe was preceded in death by his first wife Barbara (Brown) Rawlings, and his two younger brothers, Edward Dale and Howard Keith Rawlings.

Joe will be buried in Hardinsburg, Indiana, following a small family service at Loves Funeral Home, Palmyra, Indiana. Given the current pandemic situation, there will be a memorial service held via teleconference on December 27, 2020, lead by Rev Susan Lowe and the Friendship Sunday School Class. Friends are welcome; please email for the video link. Joe will be remembered as a loyal husband, father, leader, great storyteller and friend. The family wishes to extend its deep gratitude to the kind caregivers from Bluebird Home Care and the hospice team at Hosparus Health, in addition to the staff at Magnolia Springs. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Beargrass Christian Church, Louisville, KY or Hosparus Health Louisville.

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