Joseph Edward Kirkwood
Joseph Edward Kirkwood was born February 22, 1954, in Tillamook, Oregon, to Bob and Anne Kirkwood. Joe's sister, Annette, was born in January, a year earlier. In 1956, the family moved to Madras, Oregon.
Joe attended his first twelve years of public school in Madras, and enjoyed another three fun-filled years at COCC in Bend. Joe's chosen field of study was music, and though Joe did not obtain a degree, it is safe to say he still got quite an education. His advisor once said (with a smile on his face) that if COCC had offered a course in "having a good time" Joe would have graduated with honors. Never could it be said that Joe didn't know how to have fun!
Joe did love music, and from a very early age began singing along with the radio, the phonograph and with family around the piano at home and campfires on yearly camping trips. Joe performed in different choral groups in high school and church, and would occasionally sing God Bless America at the Madras Dragstrip in his big, booming baritone voice. When old enough to join band, Joe's first instrument was the coronet, but he later realized what he really wanted to play was the sousaphone. Thankfully he was strong enough to pack it around, and readily participated in parades in addition to the high school band and pep bands.
Joe loved the great outdoors, bird and big game hunting, fresh water fishing and crabbing on the Oregon coast. He had the patience to look for morel mushrooms, and was always eager to share his finds with others. He was one hell of a good cook, and dazzled his mom, sister and friends with his culinary creations. He was an avid NASCAR and NHRA fan, and for many years traveled to Las Vegas to enjoy those events. Joe also had a love for aircraft, and appreciated the beauty and power of planes. He was a frequent and familiar visitor to the Madras Airport, and for years was a generous supporter of the Airshow of the Cascades.
Joe was a loving, thoughtful, kindhearted, person. Those that knew and loved Joe will attest to his acts of kindness and his generosity. Joe was also very patriotic, loved our country and revered those that served in the military. Joe did try to enlist, but physical injuries from his earlier rough-and-tumble years prevented it.
The happiest day in Joe's life was the day his daughter Erin was born. And the saddest day in his life was the day she passed in a motor vehicle accident. Joe only spoke of that day to a few of his closest friends, and we all knew his sorrow never waned.
The last twenty-six years of his life, Joe and his sister Annette, took care of their mother, Anne. Joe was a devoted son, proud father, the best brother a girl could have, and a cherished friend to many. Joe fought the good fight against cancer, but finally succumbed to the disease.
Though the cancer took its toll on his body, it did not weaken his spirit. He never complained. Joe was never a burden. And up until the last few days of his life when he could no longer speak, he made those around him laugh.
Joe was preceded in death by his father, Bob; and his daughter, Erin. At the time of his death, he was survived by his mother, Anne; sister, Annette; and several cousins.
Catholic services were held for Joe at St. Patrick Catholic Church on May 22, and he was buried at Mt. Jefferson Memorial Park.