Joseph R. Britton was many things: a dentist, a veteran, a flutist. Above all, Britton was a bass tournament fisherman.
“Fishing was really the big passion in his life,” said his daughter, Allison Spittler of Elkhorn. “When my mom met dad, my grandfather taught my father how to fish. From then on, he had this lifelong interest.”
Britton, who died Friday at age 87, was a founding member of the Husker Bass Club in 1973. He helped it become Nebraska’s first club to use catch-and-release methods in tournaments.
Howard Anderson, a past president of the club, said Britton was competitive but never degraded his companions when they had a small catch.
Born into a poor mining family from Ohio, Britton led a conservative lifestyle but enjoyed it, said his wife, Sophia Britton.
During World War II, Britton served as a B-17 tail gunner for the 547th Bomber Group in the 8th Army Air Force in Europe, flying missions in Germany, England and elsewhere.
During training, he reported to Capt. Glenn Miller, the big band leader who later disappeared over the English Channel. Miller tried to get Britton to join the Army Air Forces Band.
“That was a big thrill for him,” Sophia Britton said. “He got to pal around with Glenn Miller for a bit.”
After the war, he studied dentistry at Creighton University.
Funeral services will be Wednesday at 11 a.m. at the John A. Gentleman chapel, 1010 N. 72nd St. Other survivors include a son, John Britton, and a brother, Richard Britton, both of Lincoln; a stepsister, Dorothy Hansen of Omaha; a sister-in-law Betty Gregurich of Fremont, Neb.; and seven grandchildren.
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