Obituary of Joe Tillman Brister
Joe Tillman Brister of Gulfport, MS, was called home by our Lord on April 5, 2019, at the age of 67.
He is preceded in death by his parents, J.O. and Mattie Scipper Brister of Gulfport, MS.
He is survived by his loving wife of 24 years, Tammy Caruthers Brister; his three beloved sons and their wives, Bryan and Heather Brister, Steven and Penny Keeffe, and Joseph Ashley Brister; two sisters, Tommye Carolyn and husband Rick Tonnesson, Susan and husband Rick Bedwell; his grandchildren, great grandchild and many nieces and nephews.
Born in Memphis, TN, Joe moved to Gulfport in 1956, and made it his home. He graduated from Harrison Central High School in 1970 and attended college at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.
He began his professional career in law enforcement as a Gulfport Police Officer in 1973 and was promoted to the rank of Detective shortly thereafter. Upon leaving law enforcement, he found his passion in broadcasting, first in radio and later television. He began his radio broadcast career as Country Joe, then went on to become the morning talk show host at several local stations including WVMI, WQID, WGCM and Foxy 96. He co-hosted the Joe and Randy Show, followed by the Joe and Jim Show. He also held positions of General Sales Manager and General Manager with these stations. In these positions, he developed a broader interest and learned the architecture required of broadcast engineering. Joe was instrumental in the development of WXXV Fox 25, from its inception to the first broadcast. He hosted many of the Talk Shows and served in the capacities of General and National Sales Manager.
After leaving his career in broadcasting, he was appointed to the Mississippi State Parole Board by Honorable Governor Kirk Fordice. After serving on the Parole Board, he became a licensed Real Estate agent. Through the years, he was recognized for his community involvement by the Gulfport Exchange Club, the Harrison County Republican Club, John C. Stennis Space Center, the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce, Shriners International, and was a 32nd degree Mason in the Scottish Rite and a 10th degree Mason in the York Rite.
In retirement and leisure, he thoroughly enjoyed gardening and cultivating, Ham radio activities, fishing, scuba diving, assisting in security aspects of church worship and was an avid reader. He was a very kind and patient man and loved his Lord and his family above all. Joe could charm anyone he met with his wit and immense talent for storytelling. He never met a stranger and welcomed all.
A celebration of life for family and friends will be held on Saturday, April, 27, 2019 at 11:00 am, with a visitation beginning at 9:00 am, at Riemann Family Funeral Home, 11280 Three Rivers Road, Gulfport, MS 39503.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to O’Neal Road Church of Christ, 15121 O’Neal Road, Gulfport, MS 39503, or in his honor, plant a nut or fruit bearing tree in your yard for future generations.