The former Siskiyou County Welfare Director, Joseph E. DuJardin, passed away on Tuesday, January 14, 2014 in Medford, Oregon. He was Director from 1980 until he retired in 1994.
Born in 1937, Joe served in the United States Army for 20+ years. He and his wife, Annette, lived in Yreka from 1976 until 2 ½ years ago when they moved to Medford. He received his BA Degree from the State University of New York, Albany and served with the Army’s super-secret Army Security Agency (ASA) for most of his military career.
His overseas assignments ranged from Taiwan (Formosa), Okinawa, Ethiopia, East Africa and two tours in Vietnam. Beginning his military career as a Private in 1955, he attended Artillery Officer Candidate School in Ft. Sill, Oklahoma in 1959 and was commissioned as a 2d Lt.
He married Annette M. Boucher from Fitchburg, MA in January, 1960 and his wife accompanied him throughout the rest of his military career, including Okinawa and Ethiopia.
His first Vietnam tour was in 1967/68 as Communications Security Chief in the Office of the Asst. Chief of Staff, G2 for the US Army, Vietnam. In this capacity, he started the first Communications Security program for Army units in Vietnam. He traveled extensively throughout the country, visiting almost all of the Army units to implement this program. His second tour in 1972/73 was as an Intelligence Advisor to the Vietnamese Army in Long An Province in the Delta area southeast of Saigon. Mr. DuJardin also served in the Washington D.C. area with the National Security Agency and with the ASA Combat Development Command (CDC). While with CDC, he was selected as the United States Communications Security representative to a Quadripartite (US, Great Britain, Canada and Australia) Signals Conference in Melbourne, Australia in 1969. His final assignment was at Vint Hill Farms Station, Warrenton, VA where he headed a highly secret testing facility and also headed up a test team in Ft. Huachuca, AZ for an advanced airborne intelligence platform.
During his military career, he was promoted to Major and was awarded two Bronze Stars, three Meritorious Service Medals, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Palm and the Vietnamese Honor Medal, 1st Class.
Following his retirement from the military in 1976, he assumed the duties of Assistant Welfare Director under the tutelage of Wilbur M. vanOver. Upon Mr. vanOver’s retirement, the Board of Supervisors selected him as the new director.
In 1981 he had his “15 minutes of fame”, being interviewed by NBC Nightly News for his policy on requiring county general assistance applicants to apply at the local recruiting office as one of their job search requirements. He also served the community as a reserve police officer for 5 years, achieving the rank of Sergeant, retiring in December of 1994.
He enjoyed dirt motorcycle riding and covered many of the back roads and trails in Siskiyou County with his friends for many years. He also enjoyed rifle and pistol shooting and stunt kite flying as well as computer work and gaming on the computer his wife got him following his retirement.
Joe is survived by his beloved wife of 54 years, Annette; two brothers, James and Jay and two sisters, Janet and Jane.
Burial for Joe will be private in the family plot in the Evergreen Cemetery in Yreka.