Posted on 8:20 AM by Schottler
I'm sure most of the 2 or 3 people who read this probably know that my step-dad passed away unexpectedly on the 8th from a heart attack. I really don't know how to express how we are all feeling, so I won't say much. My Dad passed away when I was 11 from a heart attack as well. Joe was my step-dad for 11 years too, and losing a Dad for a 2nd time doesn't get much easier. I learned a lot the first time and know more about how to deal with it and what to expect, which includes a lot of bike riding.
He was a VERY respected man, who accomplished about 100 times more than most people do in their lives. He made a huge impact in my life and will be missed greatly, but everything I was taught from him will always remain, which is how he will live on. Without his encouragement and support the last 11 years, who knows where I would be.
My sister Kelly called me on the morning of the 8th while I was sitting in my office and I flew home, literally, 1 hour 35 minutes from Columbia to my parents house by the airport in KC. I come around the corner of the house and see about 15 police cars with officers lining our entryway.
We had a police escort to the visitation, which never happens, as well as a 16 KCPD motorcycle and 5 police car escort to the funeral. The visitation had an estimated 400 people come by and the funeral completely packed with at least 30 people standing at the back. It's obvious how much of an impact he made to so many people's lives.
Here is his obituary:
"Joseph P. McHale, Ph.D., lovingly known as "Big Joe," of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away on December 8th, 2011 of natural causes. Joseph was born May 13, 1950 to Joseph and Orpha McHale in Riverside, California. During his youth, he relocated numerous times to the different military bases his father was assigned to in the United States Air Force. While living in Macon, Georgia, in the mid 1960's, Joe married his first wife, Starlette Rose White McHale, and fathered two children, Stephanie Marie and Joseph Frederick McHale. Joe married his second wife, Suzanne Schottler, in 2001 and had the honor of becoming part of the Schottler family. This included daughters Kelly Schottler and Melissa Bodine, and sons Travis Graf and Jonathan Schottler. Joe was a dedicated and proud grandfather to Amelia and Michael McHale and Eleanor Bodine. The mother of his heart was Amelia White, of Milledgeville, Georgia.
Joe began a distinguished career in law enforcement with the Macon, Georgia Police Department in 1971, where he remained until he was hired by the Kansas City Missouri Police Department in 1975. He remained with the Kansas City Missouri Police Department until 2001 when he retired at the rank of Major. Joe gained vast experience during his tenure but was most proud of the Traffic Unit assignments he held at every rank. Joe became Chief of Police of Platte City, Missouri in 2002.
He obtained a Doctorate Degree from Northcentral University in Business Administration with a specialization in Criminal Justice-Homeland Security & Terrorism, as well as dual Master's Degrees in Public Administration and Information Management Technology. He was also working on a third Master's Degree in Homeland Security Terrorism. With his educational achievements, he began teaching at several universities. Joe was a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a very strong supporter of the United States Military.
The countless people whose lives he touched had the opportunity to know an extremely caring, supportive, intelligent, honest, and giving man. He was the rock that everyone could rely on when help or advice were needed. Joe was so widely known in the Kansas City area and in the KCMO Police Department that many of his stories are legendary and not in short supply. Every time he went out, he always ran into someone he knew. It was an equal rarity that he encountered a subject that he did not know something about; he was a walking volume of encyclopedias. His vast knowledge on a wide range of subjects, most notably history and military history, was awe-inspiring for even the most seasoned trivia buff. Though he had devoted much of his life to public service, his family always came first. Even as that family grew after his marriage to Suzanne, in Joe's eyes he had six children and he treated them all equally. He was a wonderful, loving husband and father, devoted grandfather, a teacher and a truly great friend."
I'll be moving back to KC tomorrow to live with my Mom until I find a job somewhere, which will be at least a month. My Master's thesis was accepted by the graduate school this morning, which means there's nothing left to do, my graduate degree in mechanical engineering is finally finished. I never want to do that again. It's a sad feeling leaving Columbia, my home the last 7.5 years. I've met countless lifetime friends and have had the time of my life, there are so many good memories, I can't believe this part of my life is over. I say I am leaving, but will probably be back quite a bit.