By SHELLY WILKISON
For longer than anyone can remember, Troy Joseph has watched over his beloved hometown from a seat on Loop 332.
A reminder of a time when downtown Liberty Hill flourished with activity, when people took the time to “sit a spell” and swap stories, Joseph offered a friendly wave to passersby from his chair outside the Information Center at City Hall. As people rushed from one place to another, Joseph, 91, hoped to slow them down long enough to take a closer look at their community while bringing a smile in the process.
For health reasons, Joseph decided last week to finally retire from his volunteer post, and his decision has already changed the landscape. Today, things just feel a little different.
“Dad has decided it’s time to stay closer to home, and he is hoping that all his friends will continue to visit him there as his door is always open to friends; old or new, and those in need,” said Suzy Joseph-Lyon, his daughter. “I have no doubt that he still has much to offer the community, a higher purpose to serve and a greater good to fulfill.”
“Mr. Joseph has been a fixture in this town and on this street for so long, that you find yourself instinctively looking for him there,” said David Pope, chairman of the Board of Directors for the Liberty Hill Chamber of Commerce. “Not only was he a great resource of information about Liberty Hill’s history, he embodied the spirit of community service.”
Over the years, Joseph has served on numerous boards and committees for various community organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce. As family members removed his personal memorabilia from his office at the Information Center this week, they were moved by the dozens of plaques and certificates of appreciation recognizing his service and contributions.
“Many people have influenced the makings of our community, but few have had such a far-reaching impact over such a long period of time,” Pope said.
That’s why he and members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors are asking the City to consider renaming Loop 332 in Joseph’s honor.
The City is in the process now of negotiating with the State of Texas to acquire Loop 332. Pope said that as the final arrangements are made to transfer the road under City control, it would be appropriate to change its name as a lasting tribute to Joseph.
“This just feels like the right thing to do,” Pope said.
Although Joseph lost his eyesight years ago, his clarity of vision and his memories of the past continued to shape Liberty Hill from the front porch of the Information Center as he motivated young people to use their lives to make a difference for their community.
From the same seat, Joseph saw a lot. In fact, he saw more of Liberty Hill than those with perfect eyesight. After all, age and experience contribute to one’s ability to put things in the proper perspective.
“I believed that the world would end in 2000,” he told Radio Free Liberty Hill during an interview on his 90th birthday in 2009. “I never dreamed I would live this long. My age and the passing of time never meant anything to me.”
Troy was born Dec. 8, 1919, in the Rock House community just north of Liberty Hill off U.S. Highway 183. He was born in a house next to where he lives now under the care of his family and home health nurses.
On June 6, Troy lost the love of his life, Norma, whom he married in 1958. He met her at a local watering hole about a month before they married and he credited her for making his life “a grand adventure.”