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Joe Larkin

Charleston, AR, 1939 - 2022

Joe Oliver Larkin passed away on June 28, 2022, at the age of 82. He was at home holding the hand of JoAnn: his wife, his best friend, and his business partner.
Joe was born to Mabel and Joe W. Larkin on November 24, 1939, in Brownsville, Ark., outside of Lonoke. After graduating high school in 1957, he attended Ouachita Baptist University and then UAMS School of Pharmacy, graduating in 1962. Joe moved to Fort Smith, Ark., to become the first director of pharmacy at St. Edwards Hospital (now Mercy). During his first year in this new position, he clashed with a strong-willed RN. Six months later, Joe made the best decision of his life, and this contentious relationship ended with a marriage that would span nearly 58 years of love, work, family, friends, and adventure.
In 1964, JoAnn and Joe chose to move to Charleston to raise their family. Joe was devoted to Charleston often saying, "why would anyone live in {fill in the blank with anywhere on the planet}, when they could live in Charleston?" Joe was a leader in his community, profession and church, and over the years, he faithfully served each in innumerable ways.
Soon after moving to Charleston, JoAnn and Joe purchased Laws Drug and launched MediSav Pharmacy. Joe's brother Keith joined JoAnn and Joe in 1982. Hard work and sheer determination saw them through the years and eventually created a "55 year overnight success." Joe loved MediSav, its customers, and most of all, its employees.
JoAnn and Joe were faithful members of the First United Methodist Church of Charleston. He served on every committee, and built, repaired, chaperoned, and supported every aspect of the Church. One of his favorite causes was the Methodist Shoal Creek Youth Camp. He was a self-described "tinkerer of many talents, master of none." There was nothing Joe could not build or repair. For his children, he spent years repairing lawn mowers, motorcycles, and boats; mending and medicating cats, dogs, horses, birds, and rabbits; building swings, parade floats, boats, and barns; and remodeling apartments, rent houses, and homes. He loved working with his hands and never lacked for a list of projects.
Joe's close relationship with his brother, Keith, was a bond that saw Joe through his last breath. Joe's pride and joy were first, his children; and later, his nephew; and then his grandchildren.
Joe is survived by his wife JoAnn; his children, Joe W. and wife Laura; Heather and husband Rick; and Holly and husband Tod; his brother, Keith and wife Cindy; his nephew, Blake; and his grandchildren Cally, Stella, Sydney, Jack, and AJ.
A memorial service will be held Friday, July 8 at 11 am with visitation prior at 10 am at First United Methodist Church (1205 E Main St, Charleston, Ark. 72933). In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church Charleston (1205 E Main St, Charleston, Ark. 72933), the U.S. Marshall's Museum (789 Riverfront Dr., Fort Smith, Ark. 72901) or to the Joe O. Larkin Memorial Fund/Ark. Community Foundation (5 Allied Drive # 51110, Little Rock, Ark. 72202). All arrangements are under Brotherton Brothers Funeral Home and Flower Shop in Charleston, 32117 Highway 22, Charleston, Ark.

Published July 6, 2022

Brotherton Brothers Funeral Homes/Charleston
32117 Hwy 22, Charleston, AR
Phone: 479-965-8202