Tribute to Latestarter

Devonviolet

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It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of our beloved Latestarter. He passed away on Saturday Feb. 23, 2019, at approximately 9:00 PM.

Joe admitted himself to the hospital, on Saturday February 16th and was admitted to the ICU. He called me on Sunday afternoon, and asked DH and I to go feed his goats. He knew he was going to be in the hospital for a while, and asked us to give them enough food, that we could go every other day, since it is a bit of a drive to his house. He was planning to be home by Friday.

At the time he called they put him on a breathing mask, and he couldn’t talk. So we proceeded to text. He INSISTED that nothing be posted on BYH, and that when he was able, he would post on his journal and explain everything that had happened. So, I gave him my word, that I would not say anything on BYH. When people started commenting, on his journal, wondering how Joe was, I asked if I could at least say something. So he allowed me to post the bare minimum, saying he would fill in the details when he was able.

As many of you know, Joe has been sick for a while now. I believe the worst of it started last December, when he came down with the flu, which left him with a bad cough. Although he has had pain in his hands and feet for a while, which made it increasingly difficult to do anything on the farm. I believe about two months ago he was in the hospital for kidney issues.

This time, when he went to the hospital, I believe it was for pneumonia, for which they used a Bi-PAP Oxygen mask and antibiotics. The initial diagnosis was for a rare autoimmune disease, which causes extreme pain in wrists and ankles, as well as fluid on the lungs and heart and kidney failure. As the first week went by, he seemed to get better, and they moved him from ICU to a step-down unit and then to a regular floor bed.

Last Monday, I talked to him, on the phone and he sounded fine. But by Monday night he was back in ICU using a ventilator, to help him breathe. I didn’t hear from him for a couple days, in spite multiple phone messages and texts, so I called the nursing station and learned that he was in critical condition and that his family had been called.

By yesterday, multiple medical treatments had been attempted, but it was becoming clear that he was going down hill.

This afternoon, the doctors told his family that he didn’t have more than 72 hours left. I was making plans to drive to Shreveport tomorrow, to see Joe one more time.

Then tonight, his son texted me that he had passed sometime after 9:00 PM. My heart is broken. I had come to love him like a brother, and I am really going to miss him!!!

I remember the day he joined Backyard Herds! He was our 10,000th member and I was the first one to welcome him. Little did I know how much I would come to love him. He was a kind, intelligent, stubborn, gentle soul.

I am so grateful, that he was able to accomplish his dream and have his goats. He truly loved those goats!!!

Rather than put this on his journal, I decided to give him his own special tribute. Please post your thoughts and memories of this very special man. His passing will definitely leave a big hole here on Backyard Herds!

Here are some photos I have of him. The first two are one of the first times we saw his place here in Texas. He was loving on his big lumux (Pyr/Anatolian LGD), Mel. What a sweet boy Mel is.
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This third one is the day he came to our place to help build gates. This one was for one of the shelters for our new 16X16 chicken run, with a dividing wall and gate, for two 8x16 runs. We had a great time that day. On another visit, Joe helped us butcher chickens. The man was a work horse!!! :D
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Devonviolet

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Joe’s son is staying at his house for now, and he will be feeding the animals.

Up until Friday, DH and I have been taking care of the animals. We are going to the house, (Sunday) to meet with his son, and will learn more about what his plans are, for the animals.
 

CntryBoy777

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I treasured Joe's friendship, that grew over a short period of time....and spending time with him at our place in Mississippi and the ride in the car to Mike's.....we kept in touch and talked on the phone from time to time....he was very helpful with advice thru the situation we were in and even offered us a room at his place, if it were needed.....he will be sorely missed and the Friend "list" just got smaller.....but, it is a large hole to replace.....RIP my friend......:hugs
 

Baymule

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Joe was in the category of one of a kind. Kind, generous, and interested in everyone. He came to see us also and we visited him. He sure could grill a mean steak! He was proud of his farm and loved showing us around. He loved living his dream.

It has been difficult for @Devonviolet to respect his wishes. Joe was an intensely private person and wanted to catch everyone up when he got home. If anyone reading this ever had a friend as true, loyal and loving as DV and her equally loyal husband, count yourself Blessed by the Lord. She has been so torn between doing what Joe wanted and her love for everyone here.

Joe called me Monday, ready to go home and grateful to DV and her husband for going above and beyond what friendship normally is. He sounded cheerful.

Joe regaled is with his adventures. If it wasn’t wrecking his truck, it was finding out that mowing in shorts was a very bad idea because of all the finely chopped poison Virginia Creeper that got thrown at him.

Joe loved life, he loved Mel, Elf, all his goats, but most of all, he loved all of you.
 

Rammy

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I only met Joe for a couple hours at @Mike CHS for the get together. Talked to him on the phone a couple times. He texted me too and told me he was in the hospital amd not to say anything. I have been so worried.
Im going to miss him terribly. Even though it was only for a few hours in person, I counted him as a friend. I loved the banter and the teasing about us getting married, BFGF talk. He knew it was in fun and we both got a good laugh over it.
I was looking forward to coming to Tx if there was a get together again. I cant believe this. I knew something was wrong when he wasnt posting yet. Never expected this. RIP Joe. :hit:hit:hit
 

Bruce

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I too am having great difficulty with this. Too far away to meet Joe in person but we had a forum and PM relationship that goes back to when he joined BYC (about 6 months before joining here) back when he was still in Colorado looking to move elsewhere. I think he was fortunate to have @Baymule and @Devonviolet encouraging him to land in East Texas, it resulted in a physical proximity that allowed him to have very good friends with good old fashioned community values, that help each other as needed. I think he met, in person, more BYH friends than any other member.

RIP my friend.
 

Mike CHS

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I only met Joe in person once but with the interaction on this forum, we became more than friends over the last several years. I don't have the words to do him justice in what he gave not only to me but to everyone he touched. I had no idea until this morning what the loss of a friend that you didn't physically 'know' could be this great.

Rest now Joe knowing you touched a ton of lives.
 
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