Joseph “Joe” Distretti (9-15-18)

Joseph “Joe” Pride Distretti was born on Aug. 28, 1949, to parents Joe L. Distretti and Mary Pride Distretti in Memphis, where he grew up on their family farm.
The family moved to McNairy County in the early 1960s, and Joe graduated from Adamsville Jr/Sr High School with the class of 1967. He enlisted in the Marines the next year, and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was present for the Siege of Khe San, and later served with Marine Aviation as a heliocopter crew chief. He attained the rank of Sergeant and was discharged in 1972.
Following his service, he attended college with the University of Tennessee, where he met and married Ann Smith of Selmer. They moved to Knoxville, where Joe finished his Masters degree in U.S. history at the University of Tennessee.
In 1981, he joined the Tennessee State Park Service, and became park manager at Fort Loudoun State Historic Park, Monroe County, Tennessee. He there had two children, Justin and Gabriella, and in his spare time Joe taught history at Cleveland State Community College. He and family moved to Pickwick Landing State Park in 1997, where he took over management duties. After a divorce from Ann, he retired from the Park Service in 2002, and moved to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. There he worked for Pinkerton Security at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, and continued to teach history at Northwest Shoals Community College.
In 2008, Joe returned home to Adamsville, and together with his son re-opened his father’s farm, which he worked until his death, just weeks after his 69th birthday. He will be missed by all who knew him.