Carrizales, the younger brother of Sheriff Carlos Carrizales Jr., was dead at the young age of 51 from an apparent heart attack.
“He loved his grandkids,” said Deputy Lt. Ronnie Jones Thursday, not long after the funeral.
“That’s why he worked – so he could buy things for them.
Jones said Carrizales had two granddaughters.
“I think they were three and five,” he said. Carrizales and the girls lived together, and he spent as much of his time with them as he could.
“He had recently made the comment that he had four more years until he retired and he would spend the rest of his life taking care of his grandkids,” said Chief Deputy Alden Southmayd.
Delores “Chach” Rodriguez agreed that the two girls were Carrizales’ whole life.
“Always, his main thing was his grandkids,” the jail administrator said Thursday.
She said Carrizales worked at the sheriff’s office 26 years and she worked with him 25 of those.
“I was his relief at the old jail in 1988,” Rodriguez said. “He was always laughing and joking and never in a bad mood. I used to make him blush. Never, never was he in a bad mood.”
“Everybody has bad days,” Jones said. “But Joe was always smiling. We need to find his book of jokes. He always had a joke to tell.”
Southmayd agreed. He met Carrizales in 1992 right after going to work with the Beeville Police Department. Carlos Carrizales was Southmayd’s training officer.
Southmayd said Joe Carrizales would stop in at municipal court while making his rounds and he would always tell a joke.
“Even with people he was serving with papers (court summonses) he was always upbeat,” Southmayd said.
In January 2005, when Southmayd’s boss took over as sheriff, that was when Carrizales and Southmayd started working together – Southmayd as the chief deputy and Carrizales in the warrant officer’s job he had held since 1990.
“He never forgot where he came from,” Rodriguez said. “He came from the jail.”
Rodriguez said she would always joke with Carrizales and try to get him to do some work in the jail. But she did not have to try hard. “Joe was always coming back there to help us out,” she said.
Jones said Carrizales had become a fixture at Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church. He was always there working security.
In spite of his joking ways, Rodriguez said Carrizales had a shy side.
“I’d give him a hard time and he’d just put his head down,” Rodriguez remembered.
In fact, the last time she saw him, last Friday, that was exactly what happened.
Like everyone else who learned this week that they had lost their dear friend, she was stunned to hear Joe Carrizales had died.
Christy Lansford, a recent arrival to Beeville and executive director of the Coastal Bend College Foundation, noted that Carrizales was one of the gentlemen who provided security for her organization during the recent Cinderella performance at the high school.
“He almost always wore a smile and it was a pleasure to be in his company,” she said.
“God has a way of showing us how fragile life can be,” she added. “Give your loved ones an extra hug tonight!”
Gary Kent is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 120, or at reporter@mySouTex.com.