Joseph Raymond Hruska, age 49, died July 4th in his home on Bainbridge Island after fending off cancer for several years. Joe was a pioneer in every sense of the word – born in Tonasket, Washington, and raised in Wyoming and Alaska, Joe founded two successful companies on his quest to rethink how we interact with computers in our business and daily lives.
Growing up in Fairbanks, Alaska, Joe learned all the expected skills for the outdoors, but he found a passion for computers during the long Alaskan winters. Joe quickly showed the ability to not just “problem solve” but to build durable solutions that prevented problems from arising.
Outside of software, Joe had a passion for the possible – and his version of possible often outstripped the rest of us. Joe worked on pioneering concepts in virtual world building and VR, but always with an eye for what could be done better, so that today’s impossible was tomorrow’s normal.
Joe’s success in both life and business is embodied in his commitment to be actively engaged with the world around him. Although technology was his passion and his muse, Joe was the embodiment of “there for you.” With his dry sense of humor and eye for the absurd, Joe was the best kind of friend – up for anything, but you knew if it got too deep, he would stand with you, shoulder to shoulder. His resolute dependability and willingness to pitch in on any activity no matter how difficult was his defining characteristic. Even when cancer was wracking his body, Joe continued to work on projects – building levels for games, helping to produce music, and troubleshooting business and software for other startups in the Y-combinator family.
Joe influenced the lives of countless individuals throughout his too-short time on earth. His friends and family, who will miss his infectious laugh and unparalleled wit, include: His wife, Seana; Parents, Joe and Lillian Hruska; and siblings, Matthew D. Hruska, Sarah Hruska, Kristin Hruska, Rebecca Hruska-Jarvis, and Bethany Latimer.
Joe had a lifelong love of space, science fiction, and astronomy. He often discussed sending his ashes into space and how cool that would be. So his family sends up his ashes to honor both his inner scientist and his geekdom.