COL (R) Joseph Henry Just

08/21/1945 - 06/04/2020


COL (R) Joseph Henry Just, age 74, of LaCrosse, went to his heavenly home, Thursday, June 4, 2020 in Fishersville, Va. Born in Pekin, Il, Joe graduated from Officer Candidate School at Ft Lee, where he met the love of his life. He was a Vietnam combat veteran and after returning to Virginia, joined the Virginia Army National Guard. After 38 years of military service, he retired as Director of the Department of Public Works at Ft Pickett in 2003. In addition, he owned and operated Reese Motor Company for 26 years. Joe was charismatic and vivacious, inspiring everyone he met. He enjoyed beekeeping, woodworking, and gardening, and loved his grandchildren dearly. Joe was a member of the American Legion Post 79 and VFW Post 7166. He was a 32° full member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry at South Hill Masonic Lodge 279. He served on the board of the Industrial Development Authority and as past President of the South Hill Ruritans. In his youth, Joe earned Eagle Scout honors, and served as a leader and mentor with the Boy Scouts throughout his life. He was a fierce warrior, a loyal patriot, and hero to many. He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Charlene Reese Just, son Dr. Scott Just (Casey) of Crozet, VA, daughter Stacey Sengewalt (Larry) of Charlotte, NC, sister Karen J. Merritt of Pekin, IL, brother Philip M. Just (Rose) of LaCrosse, grandchildren Spencer and Caroline Just, Jacob and Eva Sengewalt, and nieces and nephew. He was predeceased by his parents, Louise and Philip H. Just. A funeral service will be conducted Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 2:00 pm at New Hope Baptist Church with interment at LaCrosse Cemetery with full military honors and Masonic Rites.The family requests memorial contributions be made to New Hope Baptist Church, Box 128, South Hill, VA 23970; The Wounded Warriors Project, Box 758516, Topeka, KS 66675; or the National Rifle Association, 11250 Waples Mill Rd, Fairfax, VA 22030. Online condolences may be sent through Crowder-Hite-Crews Funeral Home and Crematory are serving the Just family.

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12 reviews of this entry
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  1. What a great man, always a kind word and a smile. I am a better person , Joe had a way of getting us to appreciate this life and the people that touch us. God bless old friend .

    Good friends.

  2. COL (R) Just was an exceptional leader, officer and gentleman. I worked for him in the Virginia National Guard and had so much respect for him. He taught me a lot about being a young Army leader. He always respected his soldiers. God Bless you, Charlene, and the entire Just family. Prayers for healing during this difficult time.

  3. Mr. Just was a great man at church that all of us loved in his time there he is going to deeply missed . prayers from us to the family may god and him watch over you all. Love the Gilbert family

  4. Colonel Just was one of the finest people I ever worked for. Upon reenlistment, in the National Guard, in 1998, I had the great fortune, to meet and work for, Colonel Just, at DPW. He was a man, of great vision and his principles were unquestionable. One of the proudest moments, of my military career, was to have Colonel Just pin my stripes, when I was promoted, to SFC. I salute you and your family, Colonel Just. Rest in peace.

    Chuck Reams


    Proud to have served under the leadership of this warrior and gentleman. COL Just’s service reflects great credit upon his family, the US Army, and our nation.

  6. Fellow Warrior

    Col Just was one of the finest officers I ever served with. I was never under his command but did serve with him on many occasions. He was “an enlisted man’s officer”. I know he will be missed tremendously by his friends and family. We will donate to WOUNDED WARRIORS in his honor.

  7. Colonel Joe Just and I served in the Virginia National Guard together for many years. He was one of the finest officers I had the honor of serving with. He was the consummate gentleman, and an exceptional soldier, leader, and senior officer. Reasonable, humble, and affable were his strengths. Quick to make friends and a pleasant personality; never taking himself or his position too seriously; he excelled at what he did every single time. He respected all his soldiers and they in turn respected him. He embodied the very best of our Country as a selfless American who was driven to serve the United States of America and Virginia. He did it well and I was always proud to call him my friend. God bless Joe and his family. What a great American. Many of us will miss his presence with us. He has left us all far too soon and leaves big shoes to fill for those who follow him.


    He was a very kind and caring man and he will be missed by all who knew him. May God be with each and every one of you in the months ahead without him. Lots of love from my home to yours.

Crowder-Hite-Crews Funeral Home & Crematory

PO Box 422
1504 N. Mecklenburg Ave.
South Hill, VA 23970
Local (434) 447-7171
Fax (434) 447-3212


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