was a man of great personal integrity. He was spiritual but his
spirituality was inclusive, not exclusive, and was based on social
justice. When others felt pain, he felt pain and he wanted so
much to help make the world a better, gentler, more loving place.
The celebration of his life ended with Bob Dylan’s song,
“Forever Young” and he was forever young. As usual,
he and Dylan brought down the house.
Star Trek was a logical fit as it pioneered social justice.
Joe shared his passion for Star Trek, his passion for
the space program and his passion for his family with everyone
he met. When discussion about the privatization of space began,
he hoped to go. If he had won the lotto he would have helped his
family and given to charities but he would have tried to do one
thing for himself. He would have been first in line for a ride
in space. We are so happy that he is doing it now and in such
Family was his center and the last few years were some of his
happiest. He was happy to see his children grow strong and proud
and pursue their dreams. Sometimes the love and pride he felt
almost burst through him. He shared his love with everyone. He
kept books and journals of quotes that inspired him and shared
them generously with others. He was a loving husband and father
who was supportive of his family’s needs to grow and love
and laugh. His love of laughter is well known as he not only saw
the odd and funny things in the world but also would willingly
laugh at himself. He always said that he didn’t trust anyone
who could not laugh at themselves and felt politics would be a
much better institution if there was more laughter.
He was a loving son and brother and uncle. He was raised in Centralia,
Pennsylvania. The storyteller in him loved talking about his coal
mining roots and the Burning Banks under Centralia. He was a lifelong
printer and worked in Europe and Canada as well as the US. He
might have tried to smuggle a printing press into space and start
a business out there.
This gentle, loving man is greatly missed. There were trials
and tribulations on the journey but we kept on the path. Charlotte’s
cancer is in remission and so is Levia’s and he was there
during the horrible times but also the joyous times when treatment
was over. His family was there for him during his troubles. We
were able to build a wonderful life together despite roadblocks
along the way. As Helen Keller, who had quite a few roadblocks
of her own said: “Keep your face to the sunshine and you
cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” Maybe
that is why he always liked sunflowers in the garden.