Joseph W. Zupan, III
May 14, 1949 - March 24, 2014
WORCESTER - Joseph W. Zupan, III, 64, passed away peacefully on March 24, 2014 surrounded by loving family and friends. He is survived by his wife, Myrna Rivera, stepson Anthony J. Vega, sister Karen Zupan of Indianapolis Indiana, his childhood and life-long BFF Greg Williams (Spider) of Indianapolis, Indiana and his beloved local family and BFFs Dan and Gail Hunt, aunts and nephews.
Joe was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, his mother Avonelle Evans, Indianapolis, Indiana and father Joseph Zupan, Jr., of Slovenia have predeceased him.
Joe was Jazz Director of WICN, Worcester, MA for many years until he retired in 2012 and in that capacity he aired the latest jazz pieces and interviewed national and regional jazz personalities with an ability to bring out the musicians' best. His gift for jazz shined brightly, both in the playing of his drums, in his ability to understand jazz and its message of improvisation and personal freedom, and also gave him the opportunity to win over may people throughout the world to jazz and its special music. He played the drums for Little Red and the Riders, Jubilee Gardens, Chuck and the Mud, Sandstorm Trio Organ, The Red Riders and most recently for the newly formed band, We and Mrs. Jones.
Joe always led a vigorous and productive life and his incredible energy enabled him to use his skills for everything from professional radio work to riding his bicycle from Worcester to Indianapolis in June 2012! After earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Studies Education from Eastern Washington University, Cheney, Washington, he was a Social Studies and Physical Education Instructor working with inner city youths on court ordered probation. Later, he served as a radio producer and reporter in Spokane, WA and in Roanoke, VA, and with his marvelous speaking voice, gathered large followings of admirers. Joe also served in the US Peace Corps in Vanuatu in the South Pacific as Broadcast Advisor to the Vanuatu Ministry of Education. A gentleman and a true Renaissance man.
In addition to his musical talents, Joe enjoyed recording video of nature and his bands. But his true love was riding his bicycle everyday even in the snow... he was the fearless and amazing "Cool Joe". He truly enjoyed the outdoors, driving cross-country, his beloved Indiana Pacers & SF Giants and the Pacific Ocean where his remains will be scattered in the Northwest Pacific (Washington).
Joe filled every room he was in with vitality, warmth, and an irrepressible energy that was catching. His gifts will be greatly missed by all who knew him. His easy-going personality and sweet demeanor drew people to him that made life-long friends, and a loyal friend for life.
We want to thank all the dedicated and caring Doctors and Nurses, the Pancreatic Division and Oncology staff at UMass Medical Center, and especially the staff at Holy Trinity Hospice Residence (Ichabod Washburn) for their sensitivity, understanding, and caring professionalism... and a big thank you to all friends and family for your support.
No calling hours, but a Celebration of Life in Memory of Joe Zupan at Leo's Restaurant, Shrewsbury St., Saturday, April 19, 2014, 1-4pm.
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Donations may be made to The Pancreatic Cancer Alliance Foundation at UMass Medical School, 55 Lake Avenue North, Worcester, MA 01655.
"May I be a protector to those without protection, A leader for those who journey and a boat, a bridge, a passage for those desiring the further shore.
May the pain of every living creature be completely cleared away. May I be the doctor and the medicine and may I be the nurse for all sick beings in the world until everyone is healed." His favorite spritual book, The Tibetan Book of Living & Dying, Sogyal Rinpoche
Published in Worcester Telegram & Gazette from Mar. 27 to Mar. 28, 2014