Some of our readers may be aware that long-time native Dentonite and local businessman Joe Normile passed away on June 9, 2015. You can read his obituary here. I wanted to share some personal memories and research done when I learned of his passing.
Joe was a member of the Denton High Class of 1945 and here is his senior picture from that year’s Bronco yearbook:
By 1963, he had opened his own service station at 1700 West Hickory at Welch and remained there until its closing in 2010. Here is an ad from the Denton Record-Chronicle of 2/3/63: Normile1963Ad
I met him in the late 1980s as a mechanically clueless college student at NTSU when my beater Chevy needed some minor work done and he helped me out. Two decades later he was still there of course and I stopped by when I saw some old cars parked in his lot. Maybe me driving up in an equally old car helped in this regard, I don’t know, but he proceeded to show me his one-owner 1965 Impala Super Sport lovingly preserved under quilts in one of his service bays. I was gobsmacked! He told me the story of it being stolen not long after he bought it with the motor burned up somewhere in the Rio Grande Valley. It was found and returned to him a little worse for wear. He had several other old vehicles stored away but, I’m afraid I was too focused on that particular car to pay much attention to the others, sadly.
Here are a couple pictures I took this past September at Charlie Beck’s Garage when I noticed it parked there. Apparently one of the mechanics is now the owner and custodian of that beast. I never thought I would see that car again.
Here is Joe in his station in later years. Picture taken by Mike Cochran and used with permission
I didn’t really know him but I appreciated his help and taking time to show me that car. The old school service station is mostly a thing of the past now.