Submitted by his wife
Joe lived his life with a simple‚ quiet sort of passion. He loved his God‚ he loved his family‚ and he loved his work. He loved a good argument‚ and he loved a good joke – often at his own expense. He lived life and it showed. He lived every minute of his 46 years.
Joe joined the Fire and Rescue Department of Springfield‚ Illinois in 1989. He consistently challenged himself to be the best he could be. He was an intermediate emergency technician. He was promoted to Driver Engineer in 1999 and to Captain of Engine House #6 in 2002.
Joe lost his life on January 14‚ 2003. While he was fighting a fire‚ he went out to refill his air tank and collapsed. Though he was immediately rushed to the hospital‚ he did not survive.
Though Joe is gone‚ his spirit lives on through all who knew and loved him. His Division Chief said‚ ‘Joe will be missed‚ but not forgotten.’ His friend and fellow firefighter spoke of how ‘he embodied the spirit of a firefighter.’ His pastor said‚ ‘Some people serve God reluctantly. Not Joe. He saw a need and he served it.’ The Mayor of Springfield said‚ ‘If only we could all leave this world doing the work we love to do the way he did…’
Whether Joe was working‚ fishing‚ traveling out west with his wife‚ Sandy‚ their children and other family members‚ or just being with family and friends‚ he was always 100% present. And his presence is missed.