Joseph “Joe” Linhares, 89, of Turlock, died peacefully on Sunday at his home. He was born in Turlock to Antonio and Marie Linhares and spent his entire life here. He attended Tegner School, a one room schoolhouse, and in September of his senior year at Turlock High School he eloped to marry his high school sweetheart, Irma Commons.
Joe grew up on the family dairy farm, which he later took over to operate for most of the remainder of his life. He was drafted into the U.S. Army during WWII, but after six months was sent home to manage the dairy when his father became ill. Besides his work at the dairy, he worked for Carnation Milk picking up milk cans nightly.
In his youth Joe was active in 4-H and FFA, and when his sons were old enough for 4-H he became a 4-H Community Leader. When he wasn’t working on the dairy, ranch, as a teenager he began working at the Stanislaus County Fair as a clerk in the Livestock Dept. In the early 1950s he became the Junior Division Livestock Superintendent, and in 1978 when the Junior and Senior Divisions were combined, he became the designated Livestock Superintendent, a position he held until 2002. During his time as Livestock Superintendent, he was recognized for his commitment to serving the youth by several local 4-H clubs, and was also given an honorary chapter farmer award by the Turlock FFA. In 1988 Joe was named Agriculture Leader of the Year by the Turlock Chamber of Commerce. During the 1992 Stanislaus County Fair, he was honored by California Assemblyman Sal Cannella with a resolution from the State of California for over 57 years of dedicated service to the Stanislaus County Fair.
The fair board also honored Joe by designating a barn in the livestock area to be named the Joe Linhares Dairy Barn.
Mr. Linhares is survived by sons Gary (Arlene), James (Mary) and David (Sheri), 11 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He also leaves sisters Adeline Baptista and Mary Perry. He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Irma, and son Michael.
Donations may be made in his memory to Turlock High School FFA, 1600 E. Canal Dr., Turlock, CA 95380.
Visitation will be held on Thurs., Oct. 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Turlock Funeral Home. Services will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Fri., Oct. 10, at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. A reception will be held at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds following the service.
Private entombment at Turlock Memorial Park will follow the reception.