Joseph Bradford Wharton III of Seaview died at home on January 5, 2023. He was 81. Born October 12, 1941, in Pittsburgh, PA, he was the son of J.B. Wharton Jr. and Sara Pollard Wharton. He was known for his gentle spirit, quiet kindness, and extraordinary stubbornness.
Joe grew up on the east coast, primarily in Baltimore where he graduated from The Friends School. He held a degree in industrial engineering from Lafayette College and an MBA from Harvard University. He served as a lieutenant in the US Navy during the Vietnam War in the Port of Da Nang and also taught economics at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis.
Joe met the love of his life while stationed in Athens, GA. He and Martha Jean Wilson were married in 1967 and celebrated their 55th anniversary in October 2022. They had two children.
He started his career as a CPA in Chicago. He was awarded the Elijah Watt Sells certificate for highest score on the state CPA exam in 1971. He later became Controller of Chemetron Corp. in Chicago. After Chemetron merged with another company, he moved his family to suburban Seattle to manage a small investment company. After serving in several corporate finance and consulting roles, he retired in 2008.
Joe always felt it important to give back to whatever community he lived in. Whether it was as a church elder, school board member, or by lending his financial management expertise to various community service organizations. He and Martha were members of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle for 32 years and of Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church in Seaview since 2015.
He was devoted to his family and all children. He was a baby whisperer. He was the best explorer and playmate for restless children. He made teenagers feel safe and seen. He was “Uncle Joe” to his many nieces and nephews as well as the many friends his kids brought home.
He is survived by his wife Martha of Seaview, son Greg Wharton (Kate) of Seattle, daughter Ellen Peterson (Gordon) of Moscow, ID, and five grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 21 at Ocean Beach Presbyterian Church. A memorial and celebration of his life will take place in the Seattle area in February.