Business leader Joseph Earl Breedlove Sr. dies

Joseph Earl Breedlove courtesy photo

Joseph Earl Breedlove Sr., an African American entrepreneur and construction company vice president, died June 7 at the age of 80 in Dallas.

Mr. Breedlove attended I.M. Terrell when it was a segregated high school in the late 1950s. One of his proudest moments was when his company received the contract from Fort Worth ISD to help renovate the school and build the 900-seat performance hall adjacent to it, as it was being made ready to house the STEM and VPA Academies.

Appropriately, funeral services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at I. M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual & Performing Arts, 1900 I.M. Terrell Way.

He born in Fort Worth, Texas, on Oct. 10, 1940, to the late Earl Lou Breedlove, his mother, along with “Babysister,” Devora Lue (Breedlove) Grays who rests in peace.

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Mr. Breedlove attended G. W. Carver Elementary and graduated in 1959 from Fort Worth’s historic first black high school, I.M. Terrell, where he was a star athlete in football and track.

Early in his Christian journey, he served as a leader of the Sunday School and Baptist Training Union for the late Rev. Roy W. Bivens of Sweet Home Baptist Church. He also was a longstanding member of St. Andrews Episcopal Church and St. Luke’s in the Meadow Episcopal Church.

Mr. Breedlove carved out a niche in a business sector that was not always welcoming for minority-owned companies.

He worked as a landscape laborer for Outdoor Living, a stone company in Fort Worth. He later moved into the role of a supervisor and then yard foremen.

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In 1969, Mr. Breedlove decided to open his own business and became the co-founder and owner with partner J. D. Richmond of The Craftsmen.

He was awarded the Dallas Black Chamber Quest for Success Award.

In 1991, he moved into the role of project engineer for Con-Real Inc., a larger minority-owned construction company where he led large projects such as Frito-Lay and FedEx. A few years later, he transitioned into the position of Senior Vice-President of Construction & Safety, and partner. Joe worked for Con-Real Inc. for more than years and retired in December 2020.

One of the highlights of his construction career was when his company received a major contract from Fort Worth ISD for renovation and construction of the new 900-seat performance hall at I.M. Terrell as the school prepared to reopen offering elite academics to students interested in Visual and Performing Arts and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).

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Mr. Breedlove attended the University of Texas at Arlington where he studied landscape architecture.

He served on the Board of Directors for AIDS Outreach Center and was a longstanding member of the Fort Worth Rotary Club, Downtown Fort Worth YMCA, and I. M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual Arts.

The family said his favorite pastime was spending time with family and friends and traveling. He enjoyed watching all sports that his boys participated in, but his most favorite activity was attending annual track and field meets such as “The Texas Relays.”

He is survived by his three sons: Joseph Earl Breedlove Jr. (Andrea), Stephon Breedlove (Marilyn), and Darren Breedlove (Stacy); stepchildren, Marty Ferguson and Kendall Ferguson; grandchildren, McKenna, Lydia, Joseph III, Isaac, Maddox, Montgomery, Liv, and Ella; niece, Lisa Grays, and daughter, Bria Sneed.

He also is survived by his loving wife Martha Breedlove, and her two children: James Malone (Shelly), and Erin Malone (Nick Shovlin) and grandchildren, Isabella Sparks, and Jordan and Jackson Malone; and a host of other family members and friends.

Includes material from the official family obituary.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, June 19, at I. M. Terrell Academy for STEM and Visual & Performing Arts, 1900 I.M. Terrell Way.

Spencer’s Funeral Home, 4000 Miller Ave., is handling arrangements.