After graduating from St. Mary's High School in Jackson in 1940 and completing time in the U.S. Army during World War II, Joe decided to take a chance and do something he's always wanted to do – be his own boss and own his own business. Joe, along with his brothers, established Dunigan Brothers Incorporated, specializing in demolition, land grading and underground work.
Over the years Joe has been instrumental in many industry-related initiatives. He helped form the Association of Underground Contractors, a group that represents a strong, unified voice to local and state governments, as well as union officials, to achieve a more favorable position in the job bidding process. Joe was also very involved in the development of the Miss Dig program, preventing utility damages and reducing insurance costs, while protecting his employees and homeowners. He felt very strongly about safety, and it was always a top priority to protect his employees.
His civic involvement in the community started early in his career and has continued throughout his life. His achievements are numerous and his dedication to his church and the Catholic community is immeasurable. He was pivotal in combining two of the local Catholic high schools into Lumen Christi Catholic High School in Jackson, from acquiring a building site to constructing the new school and many other projects related to the school in the following 40 years since its inception. He served on their board from 1967 to 1970. He also was a long-standing board member of the W.A. Foote Memorial Hospital from 1974 to 1986.
In addition to leading his company, Joe and his wife, Marian, raised a family of twelve children. Seven of his children are currently employed in all aspects of the family business. In addition, there are also seven grandsons employed by the company at this time.