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Joseph Austin

Joseph Austin

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October 24, 2014
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October 24, 2014
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February 20, 2014
I first met Joe in the mid-1990s. As a young artist with no real understanding of contemporary art, Joe took me in hand and educated me about the modern genre. On many occasions over the following years he shared with me works from his collection - at his loft, at the beach, on display at his firm, and on loan to galleries, explaining the unique nuances of each piece and why they were special to him. I learned so much. More than anything Joe taught me to always look deeper and see more. I have found no educational parallel to these experiences and I credit my creative and investigative world view to the thoughtful efforts of this man, who lived a full and intentional life. Joe was a consistent mentor to me over the years and I have always considered his example one to live up to. He taught me the importance of philanthropy and community service and I reflect often on his words and the bar he set. Always one to minimize his own contributions, I know he would be secretly proud of the very real differences he made to everyone he touched during his time with us. I know the best tribute I can make to Joe will be to create a good example and set down a meaningful path that those after me can follow just as Joe laid down his own path for others like myself. He made a huge impact on my life. I will never forget him.
June 22, 2013
June 22, 2013

I was so blessed to call Joe my friend and as I process his passing there are no adequate words to describe what I feel. Our friendship began nearly sixty eight years ago in Marshalltown, IA and we always shared so much; a special bond that I shall always honor.

Joe lived his life to the fullest and with all of his accomplishments he was exceptional, as a human being. His life was lived with love, with compassion, with conscientiousness, with integrity, with understanding, with humor and with joy! He spent his life with a kind heart and always practicing good deeds.

Joe was a man of the world who loved and experienced life in a pure form. Joe never talked about his accomplishments he simply just moved throughout his life with kindness and grace. Everyone loved Joe and in the span of our life long friendship there was never an unkind word about Joe. Joe had friends everywhere and everyone loved him.

His personal values are to be commended, as he gave so much to everyone. Words cannot describe his generosity and his ability To Be! I have a plethora of memories ranging from grade school, junior high, senior high and throughout our adult life.

Without a doubt Paris, France was one of Joe's favorite places in the world and spending time with him in Paris will be forever etched in my memory. To share this magical city with Joe was so rewarding; every step was an orchestration of history and beauty beyond words.

Last September we spent three glorious weeks in the Eternal City of Rome, Italy. Another classmate, Miriam joined us for two weeks and what a guy to put up with two women. He was just amazing! Having previously lived in Rome it was a treat for me to share some off the beaten paths and of course eat our way through the city. We loved experiencing " La Dolce Vita!" Before departing Rome we joined two more friends of Joe's, Barbara and Gwen and we toured the Amalifi Coast, Positano, and Pompeii. Thanks, to Joe I have two wonderful new friends.

On Saturday, March 30th Joe called me at home and he was feeling wonderful and making so many new plans. He suggested I take Zumba Classes, as I love to dance and would be good exercise for me...only Joe! He brought up a trip to Portugal and we had to return to Italy, as there was alot more to see. Our conversation was unusually long and touched on a myriad of subjects. As we ended our conversation he said he had to go on his walk and follow the doctor's advice. I look at our conversation, as a beautiful gift from my wonderful friend.

I shall miss my dear friend more than words could express. I shall be forever grateful for the priviledge of being his friend.

With love and deep respect,


Barbara Gates McIver
Cathedral City, CA
June 13, 2013
I served on the Board of Directors of Jenesse Center, Inc. with Joe. I found him to be highly intelligent, kind, generous, helpful and handsome. I am very happy that our paths crossed in this thing called life. I will miss him.

Pat Greene
May 26, 2013
As Joe's sister-in-law's sister-in-law, I only had the pleasure of socializing with Joe a handful of times in total through the years. He was always totally present, interested, interesting, warm and engaging. I am very saddened to not have the pleasure again.
May 20, 2013
Joe and I were fraternity brothers at Coe and roommates our senior year. We were good friends and Joe was an attendent when Judy and I were wed after graduation. We had similar interests and both left Coe for law school. I recall the nights when we found ourselves in deep discussions that were about life, God, the world, Government, (and Coe campus issues). We stayed in contact over the years and made sure to connect at Coe reunions. I truly grieve his death. His common sense, efforts to the benefit of others, and ability to analyze and directly address issues and problems were unsurpassed. Joe could say more with fewer words than anyone I ever knew.

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