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Joe Paul Dabbs

September 15, 1951 - December 12, 2019

Joe Paul Dabbs was born in Anniston, AL to Elsie Loree Ackerman and James Aaron Dabbs on September, 15th 1951.  He graduated high school from Grosse Ile High in 1969.  He met his wife, Laurine Ann Valentine in March of 1976 while playing music at a coffee house on Grosse Ile, MI. They joined in marriage on March 20th, 1980 at the Belle Isle Flower Conservatory in Detroit, MI. Joe graduated from Wayne State University in 1975 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting. His studies brought him to Italy where he produced the most beautiful watercolor paintings and fueled his dream to one day take his wife and family to experience the Italian lifestyle. He achieved this dream in 2015 when he and Laurine traveled with stories and their music through the Italian countryside. They especially grew fond the little village of Vernazza in the Northern Region of Cinque Terre, Italy.


His fine art skills and keen eye for detail brought him into the design industry. He worked for over 40 years in multiple manufacturing and design locations including Chrysler Defense, General Dynamics, Masco Tech, Boeing; in the last 20 years at Huntington Ingalls Industries as an Expert in 3D Data Translation. He designed in 3D modeling, data translations, visualizations of Military Tanks, Automotive, Boeing passenger class airplanes including the 747, 767, and Nuclear Aircraft Carriers and Submarines. Joe also dreamed of designing in the Locomotive and Air and Space Industries. He received numerous awards and recognitions for his diligence and expertise in data translation.


Joe had a lifetime passion for motorcycles, beginning as a young teenager when his father bought him his first, a 1965 Suzuki 55cc 2 stroke. He bought his first BMW, the R60, in March of 1976, the same year he met his wife. The two of them enjoyed a lifetime of riding and exploring the country. They especially were drawn to antique motorcycles. They joined the Antique Motorcycle Club of America in the 1980’s as they started their family tradition of attending annual rallies with their young children. In recent years after moving to Virginia Beach, VA Joe became closely connected in friendship with Adventure BMW in Chesapeake, VA.


Around the same time Joe received his motorcycle, his father gave him his first guitar, and he became a singer/songwriter with his first song, I’m Gone © 1966. His first band was The Rebel Kind in Detroit area, Michigan as a lead singer/guitarist. He went on to put himself through college, playing as a solo artist in coffee houses all around the Detroit Metro area. While attending Wayne State University, Joe became involved with and recorded some of his music at United Sound Systems and Groovesville Productions.


He was a prolific singer/songwriter and music became a vital part of his entire life. He shared this great love with his wife and 4 daughters, writing music, recording songs, traveling the world, inspiring listeners. This passion to express his life through music was passed to his entire family. He produced sensitive, heartfelt original music with guitar, piano, ukulele, mandolin, cello, harmonica, banjo and voice. He formed a family group, Blue Tattoo in Detroit, MI in the early 1990’s with his wife and eldest daughter, Cassandra. Blue Tattoo also performed in Hampton Roads Region of VA with his youngest daughter, Athena and late best friend and drummer, Jack Adcock.


The Guitar Man © was a recorded original song, epitomizing this gifted musician.


“Aurora Borealis – a cracked kaleidoscopic sky

Embraces his vision (the stars dance in time)

He plays with precision (the planets align)

A man with a mission (the moon it doth shine)

He is the Guitar Man…”


Joe is preceded in death by his mother Elsie Loree Mulero, father James Aaron Dabbs, older brother Alan Dabbs.


Joe is survived by wife, Laurine Valentine-Dabbs, daughters Victoria Morcote, Cassandra and William Paffrath, Vanessa and Christopher Lesser, Athena Dabbs and Paul Blocker, his sisters Susan Eoff, and Laura Mulero Khalifeh, brothers Victor Mulero, Larry Mulero, and Ronald Mulero; grandchildren Gabriel, Marco and Elena Morcote, Matthew and Madelyn Paffrath, Avalyn and Elisabeth (Elsie) Lesser, Lilith and Jerico Blocker.


In lieu of flowers the family asks that you make a donation in Joe Dabbs name to the American Lung Cancer Foundation to support research.


Celebration of Life Service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, Portsmouth, VA at 2 pm on January 18, 2020 with Father Grant Stokes officiating.

Service Information

Memorial Information

Date: Saturday, January 18, 2020

Time: 2:00 pm


Trinity Episcopal Church

500 Court Street
Portsmith, Virginia 23704

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