Joe and I were best friends for about 30 years. We were family. All of you are aware of the various contributions Joe made to our community and society so I am not going to talk about any of them.
We traveled to Alaska and Africa together during his last years. We talked on the phone several times a day. Wednesday nights we had dinner together followed by grocery shopping. When he felt up to it after shopping I would leave him at Cafe Driade and Mark K. would give him a ride home.
As best friends we shared each others' joys and sadness. I am privileged to have been able to help Joe enjoy a more comfortable life for the past year. All of the time I spent with him will forever be with me.
Once several years ago Joe asked me to go to the movies to see Daniel Wallace’s “The Big Fish.” I asked what it was about. Joe said, “It’s about the kind of funeral I want.” I was surprised as the movie began because I didn’t understand what Joe meant. Midway through the movie I understood and both Joe and I cried like “girls” till the end. Those tears were wonderful tears of love, joy and understanding.
I left the theater knowing that Joe wanted me to be the person piecing together the stories he had gathered over the years. And I, too, like Will Bloom, began to understand Joe’s great feats and his great failings. I am so happy Joe let me carry him into the water.
I want to thank my husband, Roy, for being so understanding of my absences and my two sons, Fred and David for offering me so much strength and support when I needed it.
I will also miss Joe and am so happy that he was such a huge part of our lives.
Joe in Africa, 2006.