Joseph Forrest Gotchy, Jr. Passed away on May 27, 2014, at the Life Care Center of Puyallup. He was 87. Born in Little Rock, Washington, Joe lived in Fife, Sumner and Federal Way. He left Fife High School during his senior year and joined the Marine Corps 1st Division. Joe saw action at Okinawa prior to being sent to China. Following his discharge in 1947, Joe became a pile buck and member of the Carpenters Union in Tacoma. Eventually, he became an accomplished crane operator who gained the trust and respect of pile bucks and steelworkers who worked with him. Joe was a lifetime member of the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 612 in Tacoma. Working for Manson Construction Co., he helped build the I-90 Bridge across the Columbia River at Vantage, the Yukon River Bridge, SR520 floating bridge, and hundreds of other projects. Joe closed his career building huge modules for the Alaskan oil fields at a Port of Tacoma job site. Joe loved motorcycles, boating, camping, barbequing and gardening. He embraced the internet and performed cowboy poetry for family and friends. He also loved his Segway and could be seen riding it across the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Joe was preceded in death by his parents, June and Joseph Franklin Gotchy, Sr, and brother, Clarence. Surviving are his wife, Ellen Gotchy of Federal Way; son, Joseph R. Gotchy and daughter-in-law, Margaret of Auburn; son, Thomas Gotchy and daughter- in-law, Celest of Bellingham; granddaughter Lauren Wegener and husband, Stryder of Seattle; and grandson, Kyle Gotchy of Seattle. At his request, there will be no memorial service.
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Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on June 15, 2014