As I mentioned the other day, my cousin Joe Heuring died on Saturday night in Appleton. His passing comes as a shock to all of us. He is the first family member of our generation to leave this world and he leaves too soon, at the age of 47.
Joe was a good egg. Joe was the first son of the first son on my dad's side of the family, which meant that he faced a lot of expectations throughout his life. Although I am only 3 years younger than he was, I didn't know Joe that well as he grew up in Stevens Point, a river town about 65 miles west of Appleton, and we only saw him on occasion. He ended up moving to Appleton as an adult, but I'd long since left there by then.
Joe raised two children with his former wife Elly and remained an important part of their lives even after he and Elly divorced a few years back. From what I understand, Joe's life was pretty complicated in recent years but now is not the time to discuss those complications. There will be time for all that in due course.
Joe was a smart, diligent guy and had a dry sense of humor, but in a quiet way. In an extended family with an inordinate amount of wise guys, Joe wasn't the guy to hold court and let fly with the one-liners. You had to listen carefully. If you did listen, you were rewarded. I am convinced that he had a lot more wisdom to share, but it is not to be. God bless you, Joe.