Joseph C. Gilstrap was born in Dothan, Alabama on September 14, 1925 and died in Gulf Breeze, Florida on May 17, 2018. He was born to Charles and Lennie N. Gilstrap. He was raised in Panama City, Florida and graduated from Bay County High School. Immediately after graduation, he joined the U. S. Navy and served in combat in the Pacific Theatre during World War II. After being honorably discharged, he returned to Panama City and was employed with The Bay Line Railroad. During this time, he served as organist at the St. Andrews Baptist Church where he met and later married Wynona James who also served on the church staff. After they were married in 1953, they relocated to Pensacola where he worked for the Frisco Railroad. He later was Traffic Manager at Tenneco Chemical Company and subsequently began Freight Transportation Consultants as his own business. He later actively sold real estate in the Pensacola area and then joined Gulf Power Company where he retired as a senior buyer. He was a member of various civic and professional organizations. Joseph was a committed Christian accepting Christ at an early age. He served as a Deacon and Church Organist for over 50 years, primarily at Warrington Baptist Church and the First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze. He and Wynona had two sons. The family moved to Gulf Breeze in 1958. Wynona retired from the Santa Rosa County School System after teaching Second Grade at Gulf Breeze Elementary for more than 30 years. Wynona died in 1998. Joseph is survived by his sons: Judge Rodney Gilstrap (Sherry) of Marshall, Texas, Joseph Randall Gilstrap of Robertsdale, Alabama; grandchildren: Katie M. Gilstrap, Dr. Lauren Gilstrap and Stephen S. Gilstrap (Meggie), as well as one great granddaughter, Abigail K. Gilstrap. Joe was committed to the Lord, devoted to his church and his family, and was a friend to everyone.
Visitation will begin a 9:00 AM, Saturday, May 26, 2018 at First Baptist Church of Gulf Breeze followed by the funeral service at 10:00 AM. A private entombment will occur at the Mausoleum of Rose Lawn Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Rose Lawn Funeral Home of Gulf Breeze. You may sign the online guest register at www.roselawn-fh.com