Joe Lane Travis, 87, of Glasgow died peacefully in his sleep on March 4, 2019 at T J Samson Hospital. He was born in Temple Hill, KY on July 6, 1931 to the late Yancey Terrell Travis and Maye Lane Travis.
Shortly after graduating Tompkinsville High School in 1949 he enlisted in the KY National Guard. He served with the local Battery A 623rd Field Artillery Unit from January 1951 to September 1952 in the Korean conflict. After the war in the reserves he re-organized the unit and would later be the first Korean War Veteran to become a battalion commander. He was also a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps. After 30 years of service he retired with a rank of lieutenant colonel.
He completed his pre-law at Western Kentucky University after returning from Korea. In 1954 he then attended the University of Kentucky where he received a law degree in 1957. It was while attending UK he met Mary Lou Copeland of Stone, KY. They were married on June 9, 1956 in Lexington. In 1960 he and Mary Lou decided to move to Glasgow where he would begin his law practice and they would raise a family. During the course of his legal career he would practice in partnership with Louie Nunn, Barlow Ropp and Walter Winn Davis. He later opened an addition law office in Tompkinsville.
Travis was active in local civic affairs and professional associations in his community. He was president of the Glasgow Jaycees and vice president of the state Jaycees. In 1969-70, he was president of the Barren County Bar Association. He also served three terms as Glasgow City Attorney. When law partner Louie Nunn became governor, he appointed Travis to the Public Service Commission, the Western Kentucky University Board of Regents and to the state Airport Zoning Commission. An accomplished pilot, Travis flew Nunn to many campaign events all over the state in those days.
In 1981 he was honored to have been elected to serve in the Kentucky State Senate representing the people of the 9th District. He was named the most dependable Republican Senator in his 1st session by fellow legislators. He served as a state senator until 1987.
In the 1990s and beyond, Travis served briefly as Barren County Domestic Relations Commissioner and was active in county politics behind the scenes. He focused on his private practice and was an avid supporter of fellow veterans, offering free legal services for them. On many mornings Travis could be seen walking on the Glasgow square toward the local drug store with pipe in hand where he’d gather with colleagues and friends to discuss current events and politics over coffee.
After 58 years of law practice health issues forced him to close a few years ago. Travis was an encyclopedia of history, politics and veteran’s affairs, especially on the local level. He loved to talk about those subjects and of his experiences in Korea and the military. He enjoyed getting his family together for the holidays and during the summer when everyone would gather around the swimming pool. He was of the Baptist faith.
Other than his parents he was preceded in death by wife, Mary Lou, on September 21, 2014 and younger brother, Bill T. Travis, of Tompkinsville.
He is survived by one son, Thomas Lee (Lisa) Travis of Lexington, KY and four daughters; Mary Jo (Jeff) Corbin of Glasgow, Diana Kay (Craig) Compton of Seattle, and Holly Lane (Mark), Amy Elizabeth (Todd) Carter of Glasgow. Seven grandchildren: Tom (Aubrey) Travis and Lauren (Jon) Snyder of Lexington; Diana Hogg, Tanner Carter, Landry Carter, Cody Lane and Connor Lane.
The family wants to extend its heartfelt thanks to the following for their compassion and care of Joe Lane in his final months: his nephew Dr. William J. Travis; caregivers Erica Vance, Carolyn Johnson, Pam Erickson, Karen Crews, Karen Dickerson, Sally Hayes and Duane Aspley; the Glasgow Fire Department; Lisa Riley and staff at Highland Ridge Assisted Living; and the staff and physicians at T J Samson Hospital.
A memorial service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, March 9, 2019 at Hatcher & Saddler Funeral Home with inurnment in Glasgow Municipal Cemetery. Glasgow Chapter 20 DAV will provide military honors at the cemetery. Visitation will be from 4- 8 p.m. Friday and after 9 a.m. Saturday until time for services at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the South Central Kentucky Veteran’s Support Office at 315 South Green Street in Glasgow.