Joe Harrison Maltby, 88, of East Palatka, passed from this life on Thursday, May 4, 2023 at Haven Hospice Roberts Care Center following a brief illness. A native and lifelong resident of Palatka, Joe was a 1954 graduate of Mellon High School where he played football, baseball and ran track. He made All-Conference in both 1953 and 1954 and was captain of the football team in 1953, the year they won the championship. Following high school, he attended Berea College in Kentucky for a year and then matriculated to the University of Florida where he did his undergraduate work for 3 years. He then transferred to Auburn University where he graduated in 1962 from the College of Veterinary Medicine with his Doctorate Degree. Joe returned to Palatka and for 45 years, owned and operated Animal Medical Clinic. In 2003, Dr. Maltby sold the business to Dr. Lanelle Wall and continued to work there on a part-time basis. Dr. Maltby had been a member of the Florida Veterinary Medical Association, the Jacksonville Veterinary Medical Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. He had also served on the Board of Trustees at St. Johns River Junior College. Dr. Maltby had been involved in the community over the years as a member of St. James United Methodist Church, the Palatka Jaycees and the Rotary Club of Palatka where he was a member for over 60 years and served on the Board of Directors as well as serving as Treasurer, and was a Paul Harris Fellow, the highest award in Rotary. Dr. Maltby was an avid Florida Gators fan and was one of the original founders of the Putnam County Gator Boosters Club. He was likewise a 40-year contributor to the Florida Sheriff’s Boys Ranch. In his leisure time, Joe enjoyed fishing and boating on the St. Johns River, gardening and traveling and attending any Gator sporting event.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 44 years, Judith Ann Bennett Maltby and his parents, Hubert and Jean Maltby as well as his siblings Harold Maltby, Albert Maltby, Benjamin Maltby, Jean Maltby Davis and Priscilla Maltby.
Dr. Maltby is survived by his daughter, Melissa D’Orazio and husband Dan of Orlando, a sister, Mary Jane Kelsey and husband Bruce of Haines City and many nieces and nephews. Dr. Maltby is also survived by his God-Son, Matthew McLendon of San Antonio, Texas.
Services celebrating Dr. Maltby’s life will be at 3:00 P.M. Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Johnson-Overturf Chapel in Palatka with Pastor John Schafer officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Palatka. The family will receive friends Saturday from 2:00 P.M. until the time of services at 3:00 P.M.
Flowers are gratefully accepted or memorial donations are requested to the Florida Sheriff’s Boy Ranch, 1813 Cecil Webb Place, Live Oak, FL 32060 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Joe’s Book of Memories page at www.johnsonoverturffunerals.com.
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.