Memories of Joel Matthew Fischer | Ever Loved

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In memory of Joel Matthew Fischer

Memories & condolences

Ellen Long-Middleton Joel is a very special person who I came to know through his parents, John & Terry. As is the Fischer family way, Joel’s parents took me under their wing and shared their home with me when I was far from mine while studying at UW. Our commonality of being part of American Baptist Church (ABC) clergy families kept us bound together through the years. At ABC biennials, our sons spent many a week at summer camp together with Joel. Through present day, our now adult sons still declare Joel the funniest person they ever met.

I am also incredibly fortunate to have known Joel as an adult and as a friend. He still made me laugh, but now his light-hearted ways were matched by a deep sense of justice seeking and a sensitivity toward those who were suffering. His love for others was particularly apparent in his love for Tricia. When I met Tricia for the first time a few years ago, I was taken by a sense of her grace-filled presence and their deep love for one another.

My heart aches for all of Joel’s family and friends. Joel was not perfect, but may we all be as fallen that others might be so blessed.

Much love to all,
Ellen Long-Middleton
Alpine Lake
Elizabeth RemleyCultus Lake, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, USA Alpine Lake
Elizabeth Remley Cultus Lake, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, USA: Tricia, Terry, Dave and Michael, friends and family of Joel.
It seems profoundly ironic that we are unable to gather to celebrate someone who was always bringing us together.

Joel always met people where they were at - that was part of his generosity. He might have had the biggest personality in the room, but he didn’t suck up the air. He allowed everyone the safe space to be themselves around him and others. He also brought out the best in all of us, so that when we were together we saw the best in each other.

I know that I’m not the only one in pain. I’m not the only one who has moments in the day where I stop, and the world stops, because I suddenly remember that he is gone. And then I think about all of my friends, all of you, who have undoubtedly had similar moments. Our friendship had bumpy moments because Joel wasn’t perfect and neither am I, and we’re both strong-willed, stubborn and opinionated people, but I guess we also both thought we were in it for the long haul.

My favorite memory of Joel is this one because it’s basically everything you need to know about Joel in one short story. He was an adventurer, spontaneous, an entrepreneur, a lover of his city and the outdoors, a crazy driver, and so many other things.

Joel loved to travel, even when he wasn’t traveling. In the summer, if you wanted to make plans with Joel, your best bet was to plan a trip out of town and invite him. Once Joel and I wanted get a head start on a weekend camp spot early on a Friday. Bryan and Tricia both had to work and couldn’t come til later. I have no idea why we took Joel’s car but we did. For those of you who have ridden with Joel before - only the most active adjectives for his style of driving will do.

Naturally we couldn’t get out of town until we ran a few errands for Joel - he was in the middle of the East Fork rebranding and we had to drop some stuff off here and pick up stuff there. We spent the afternoon first careening around Portland and then careening around Gifford Pinchot national forest in Joel’s green Corolla - a car that had no right to still be running. But we got a bomb camp spot and the next day we hiked to an alpine lake where we swam under blue skies and hung out on the grassy shore taking turns bumping tunes from the UE Megaboom Bluetooth speaker that Joel always had with him.

Joel is still on my phone’s favorite list. His UE Megaboom is still an option for my Bluetooth to connect. He is still a person I want to call or text when there’s something funny to tell him or advice to ask. I don’t know when he’ll come off those lists, but I do know I’m sorry to see him go, and I’m pretty upset that I didn’t have a choice. And I love him for loving us so unconditionally and I’ll never forget that.

Thank you to everyone who has stepped up in big and small ways to help Tricia, Terry, Dave and Michael. You know who you are, and so do we. Thank you.
Neal Val It has taken some time to find the words to express the feelings that I feel and probably share with everyone on and off this site for our friend Joel.

Here it goes.....

Joel and I grew up in Portland, OR and share many mutual friends. After graduating from college I really started to get to know Joel. He struck me as someone that was full of life and always living in the moment. (This is something I think a lot of people forget to do as we get caught up in this day to day rat race.) I admired this very much about him and it has taught me a lot about how to live my life. In addition, Joel had a very welcoming energy about him and this is what made him so special.

As time passed, we travelled our separate ways but reconnected several years ago as a result of our shared interest/careers in real estate. During this time, I became closer to Joel both professionally and personally. We both shared a common goal and passion for helping and empowering others in understanding their options in real estate and finance. I had the honor of partnering with Joel many times as we advocated for our clients ensuring they had the right guidance and support in securing their new homes. Beyond the numbers, sales contracts, closing costs, discount points, home inspections, etc. there was a human with a need and this is what united us!

I have probably gone over my time limit on this so I will wrap it up. I refuse to use the past tense when referring to Joel because I know that he is still with us. He exists in our laughter, our success, our smiles, when we make funny faces at each other and when we help one another through good and bad times.

My prayers go out to Joel’s Family and all of his friends!!!

We love you homie!!

#EastForkLife

I promise to play my music louder!
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v…

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v…
Sarah Halberstadt I knew Joel from our time working together as grassroots canvassers in Boston in 2004. He was a kind soul, a bright light, and a true champion of what is right. We’d been out of touch for some years but I will always remember him with love and am so sorry for the enormous loss I’m sure his family and his friends are feeling.
Phil Donovan I would like to share with Joel's family and friends what an accomplished professional Joel was in the Oregon State Capitol.

In the beginning (religious reference for all his summer camp colleagues), Joel was a legislative assistant. He worked for several electeds, but I first really got to know Joel when he worked for Senator Verger of Coos Bay. I distinctly remember him telling me that his parents were pastors and I thought "and you work for a Democrat?" There's been a lot of staff assistants who cycle through the Capitol, but I could tell he had the skill set to be successful and be around for as long as he wanted.

Joel then joined the lobby and we were joined at the hip for several years working as education advocates. Not only were we successful in the work we were doing (see Gov Brown putting $81 million into the Educator Advancement Council to diversify the educator workforce... yah, we created that), we had fun getting it done. Joel was a Capitol pro and I wanted to attest to his success and acumen.

I'm very sorry for his passing - to his family and wife, to his close friends my thoughts have been with you and about him this past month. I look forward to joining you next week. Phil
Lori Schlott Russell I can’t think of Joel without sharing a funny story that encapsulates him in my memory perfectly. It was 1998 at the summer camp we’d attended for years together and we were all in the lodge watching people playing Chubby Bunny. Joel was the drummer for the church camp band. He was a never ending staple on stage with a smile and sunglasses. He had a love of music that he shared with everyone. A bat suddenly flew into the lodge. The music for the game was very loud and most of us were watching the front. Joel was immediately there with a broom trying to usher out the wildly flying bat. Once everyone realized the bat was there, it was pure chaos (as any high school event with a wild animal might be). But Joel was there, got the bat out safely, and received a round of applause by the entire group. His smile lit up the lodge. I imagine that take charge yet gentleness was how he lived the rest of his life. We lost touch after those camp days but his light and love will stay with me forever. I’ll miss you, Joel.
In response to "What made Joel different from most people you know?"
Cynthia Krestalude I did not know Joel personally, but he passed by me like a breeze outside the Cultivation Classic one day. As I greeted the team, he pressed a llama pin into my hand, then smiled and walked away. Pure warmth. May he be at peace.
Leslie MacColman My heart goes out to Joel's family and friends for this tremendous loss. Joel and I became friends in 2004, when we were the only two Oregonians working at a big political campaign office in Boston, MA. I have wonderful memories of our conversations and of his incredible warmth and human spirit. Although I hadn't seen him in years, his Facebook posts often brought a smile to my face. This world just lost somebody very special.
Shana Ruess I met Joel at the Environmental Middle School where we both attended in the mid 90s. Years later, after attending different high schools, I was so surprised to discover him in the same political science program at OSU (Go Beavs!) While we only ever reconnected on Facebook I have enjoyed watching him travel on so many different and interesting paths. Even as a kid he was such a bright light in the daily lives of his classmates, with the most beautiful smile that all the girls loved. My heart goes out to his wife, mom, and friends who are missing that light right now.
Tyson Elliott I remember having deep political discussions with you late at night at Sanchos in Corvallis. The house parties we had at the quadruplex are some of my favorite memories. We were young and ready to take on the world. Your energy was unique and motivating. My heart goes out to your family and loved ones.. You will be missed but never forgotten.
Briana Lindstrom Wow. This news took my breath away. Heartbreaking and unbelievable. Although we haven’t talked in years, I was always aware that we still lived in this crazy world at the same time and that was a comfort. You were always welcome on my couch (and my mom’s) and I was always welcome on yours (and your mom’s). Thank you Terry Sue ❤️ So many amazing memories all over Oregon, CA and Taiwan. Mostly being so silly and laughing but also obsessing over Outkast lyrics, current politics, and trying every food. Rest In Peace and Ociousness. Terry Sue, as a mom I can’t even imagine. Sending you so much love and so many prayers. Joel is loved all over this crazy planet and will never be forgotten.
Derek Sigman I am so saddened to hear about this. My heart goes out to everyone.
Kevin Clark I learned spontaneous empathy, which is how Joel responded to me only moments after I met him as a total stranger!
In response to "What did you learn from Joel?"
Terry Sue Fischer I thought I'd share a couple of "Mom" memories about my adventuresome son, Joel:

As a consequence, one time when Joel was a teenager, we removed the faceplate on his car stereo so he couldn't listen to music while he drove. A few days later, we discovered he had jammed a pencil between a couple of the radio parts, and had it playing loud and clear! There are other such memories, but I don't want to cast aspersions on any of his cohorts!

Joel came home from college every weekend to "hold my hand" after his Dad, my husband died. We laughed and cried together as we celebrated John's life.

When I injured my back a few years ago, I awoke the next morning unable to get out of bed because of the pain. I called Joel for help and he said "I'll be there in 20 minutes." He was, and for days after that.

At Christmas he still wanted a "Christmas stocking" and at Easter, an Easter basket! When he asked Tricia to marry him, he hid the ring in an Easter egg and had her hunt for it. He videotaped the event for her parents. Often he would arrive at my front door, remove his shoes, and run down the hall to slide on the floor till he hit the rug! Grinning and laughing with the joy of a child. At Christmas, he would dress in red and green with a Santa hat while he made that slide!

He loved to joke with his brothers about being the "favorite" son, but I've always had three favorite sons. Joel's body is gone but his spirit is still with us as well as with God whose love holds Joel.

I so appreciate all of the heartfelt reflections expressed here and in the many cards, financial contributions, meals, flowers, calls, etc. I know you were all gifts in Joel's life. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and keeping Tricia, David, Mike, Rita and myself in your hearts.
Emily Bolles I am still processing all of this, but I wanted to share my condolences. I have about a million memories from my time with Joel, because that is just the way that he was. There was never a dull moment with him. He had the most energy, the biggest heart, and never-ending tenacity for working towards his goals and dreams. I learned many things from him but some of note were: go HARD in everything that you do, listen to Quincy Jones and Mac Dre as much as possible, dance a lot, expand your knowledge in new ways - pretty much every day, love your friends like they are your family, and hug your loved ones super tight. I truly can't believe that the world doesn't have you in it anymore Joel. Sending you deep love and peace...
Ross Mordini It's hard to imagine this plane of existence sans Joel. I've always been impressed by his ability to bring people together and endless motivation to create an exciting space for them. I remember him as a loyal friend and caring individual. I loved hearing him geek out on business schemes and learning from his experience there. I'll miss his exciting mind and loving presence. My love and healing vibes go out to his family and loved ones.
Joel winning the award for be…
Iris Chavez2017, Salem, OR, USA Joel winning the award for being our Super Star lobbyist on public safety/Justice Reinvestment program funding! Missing this face as we start another Session.
Kevin Clark I met Joel in front of a house he was renting. I explained that I was there to rent the house for my son - that he had gotten into trouble and no one wanted to rent to him. When we got to the front door, Joel said : "I'd be honored to give your son a chance and rent to him"...Joel's empathetic compassion has made ALL the difference. I think of his kindness often and am so-o grateful. Obviously, my experience of Joel's graciousness is not unique. What a lovely heart!
Angela Crowley-Koch Oh Joel. It's the first week of session and I miss your skinny self in your fly suits zipping around the Capitol laughing and taking everything in stride. Solving the Rubik's cube to entertain us and sidling up to people in the hallway. And then super serious when it was go time. Miss you buddy.
Elsie Lin He was super friendly and easygoing. I think the most unforgettable thing I learned from him is his kindness. I really appreciated what he did for me when I studied abroad alone. He supported me and introduced lots of his friends to me even my English ability was not good enough to conversation with them so well. He was my brother and close friend forever. Thank you Joel. I miss you.
Miles Pengilly Joel was perhaps the most unapologetically himself of anyone I have ever met. So many of us conform to the expectations of others in small but myriad ways, and I always respected Joel for his individuality and refusal to conform. He had a style all his own that he expressed in the suits he wore, the music he listened to, the vehicles he drove (who else owns a beater Corolla and a race motorcycle?), and the way he lived his life. Joel made traveling a lifestyle and priority in a way that other people only talk about, and he built an incredible, eclectic network of friends who shared his zest for life

When I think of Joel, I will always think of the countless gatherings he hosted, the late nights in his living room, and bombing through the Ghanaian jungle in a pickup truck (with Joel DJ’ing, naturally). I will miss his tireless energy, his adventurous spirit, and the joy he found in bringing people together. RIP Joel.
Christine Lewis This past week of remembering Joel at unusual times has brought forward memories that go back more than a decade. The memories of dusty campfire dinners and trips into the bar in Maupin. Not sure how many pairs of neon green sunglasses he lost to the Deschutes over the years on the summer rafting trips. The War on Christmas parties... the only holiday party actually about the spirit of the season and actually connecting and catching up with friends and meeting new friends of friends. Generosity of spirit. Hosting the Framework summer garden party 2 or 3 years ago on the deck overlooking the Columbia. Wednesday evenings out, that evolved into trivia Wednesdays. I think we called it Victory Club way back in 2008... Lots of smiles in the halls in the capitol, a place where few are willing to smile. A good friend full of love. I miss him and my heart aches for all of his community that can't all be together right now.
Sarah Coleman I met Joel through a mutual friend and we became buddies over the last few years. He helped my family tremendously educating us about alternative medicines for our child with autism. He showed true compassion and kindness towards us. Not because he had to or for money, just because he cared.
I only knew him for about five years and I knew he was a badass, but reading all these amazing comments makes me realize I only knew the tip of a really, really, amazing iceberg.

My love goes out to Tricia and his family....I didn’t know you guys well but I do know Joel sure loved y’all. Always was speaking lovingly of his Wife and Mom. We will miss Joel so much and will keep y’all in our hearts forever.
Nathan Howard East Fork Cultivars Mourns Loss of Ambassador of Happiness: Cannabis Business Times: https://www.cannabisbusinesst…

East Fork Cultivars Mourns Loss of Ambassador of Happiness

Oregon-based East Fork Cultivars co-owner Joel Matthew Fischer, known for his surreal zest and passion, dies at 37.

By Tony Lange
Published January 15, 2021

Ambassador of Happiness wasn’t just a nickname, or some informal moniker used around his inner circle of close friends and colleagues, but rather it was the official and legal title for Joel Matthew Fischer, a co-owner of Oregon-based East Fork Cultivars. For IRS purposes, he was literally the company’s Ambassador of Happiness.

Along with his fellow co-owners – Nathan Howard, Aaron Howard and Mason Walker – Fischer was part of a quartet known as the East Dorks on East Fork Ranch in Takilma, about 40 miles southeast of Medford, where their cannabis and hemp business launched in 2015. They own about 40,000 square feet of canopy along with 12 acres of craft hemp.

Also a licensed realtor, real estate investor and personal finance coach, Fischer died unexpectedly Jan. 8, at age 37, leaving his East Fork family devastated. Fischer is survived by his wife, Tricia Chin, mother, Terry Fischer, and brothers Mike Fischer and Dave Fischer.

“His death has broken me,” Nathan Howard said in a post on social media. “When I’m able to put myself back together, I hope to do so with his spirit, love and approach to life as guideposts.”

Howard described Fischer as a “magical” person who went through life with “surreal zest” and passion that is legendary among his friends and family.

Fischer, who grew up in Portland, built and developed an ability to impact those around him through his belief that people are capable of so much more than they think.

“There’s room for everyone to be further empowered in their lives, and they really just need a mentor,” Howard said of Fischer’s ideology. “So, a cornerstone to Joel’s approach to everything was that if people believed they can do it, they can. And if people have been traumatized or beaten down or bullied or told by others that they can’t do it, it’s the worst thing if they internalize that, because that makes it all the more likely that they won’t change their lives or do what they want to do.”

One of Joel Fischer's "trademarks" was passing out little, blue vials of organic lavender to people he'd meet.

In addition to empowering others to follow their passions, Fischer was big on giving away small gifts, like organic lavender that he’d buy in bulk and put in small, blue vials to keep in his pocket and hand out to people he’d meet for the first time.

Not to mention, Fischer would often help counsel others for free, whether it came to buying a house or just financial planning in general. His generosity earned him the nickname, “Patron Saint of East Fork Cultivars.”

“It was small and big stuff,” Howard said. “But the Ambassador of Happiness title was really about helping other people find more happiness in their lives.”

According to his obituary, Fischer made a point of making those around him feel loved. He was always up for an adventure and spent much of the last few years traveling the world. His presence in Oregon’s cannabis community, and in his own community, was extensive.

“The impact he’s had on people across Oregon and the world is spectacular,” Nathan said. “And [it’s] only becoming more clear in his death. His accomplishments, personal and professional, are similarly striking.”

Nathan and Aaron Howard also experienced the grief of losing a loved one when their other brother, Wesley Howard, died in 2017 from complications associated with a severe case of neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition that causes tumors to form on nerve tissue such as the brain, spinal column and nerves.

Wesley’s condition is what sparked the Howards to start growing medical cannabis at their southern Oregon home, a former llama breeding ranch, in an effort to help their brother manage his pain and other ailments.

When his brother Wesley died, Nathan Howard said Fischer was there for him.

“Joel and I were together at a business meeting, working to build what’s become East Fork, when I got the call that my older brother Wesley had suddenly passed away,” Howard said. “Joel drove me to Wesley’s apartment, hugged me, stayed with me while saying goodbye to his body, and helped my family make all the post-death arrangements that we’re now making for Joel. He shared essential wisdom he had gained after losing his father far too soon.”

But Fischer didn’t leave behind just his tight-knit community of about 25 co-workers at East Fork Cultivars. On a memorial website created for Fischer, those who knew him from all walks of life shared their condolences and memories.

Before joining East Fork, Fischer, who earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from Oregon State University, spent 12 years working in Oregon politics. Oregon state Sen. Sara Gelser and former Oregon House Speaker Dave Hunt paid tribute to Fischer with their testimonials.

“My heart is broken,” Sen. Gelser said. “I began working with Joel early, early, early in my legislative career. He was always so bright and funny and cheerful and flexible and charismatic. To all who were lucky to have him be part of your regular life, please know how deeply admired he is, how loved he is and that you are wrapped in love in this time of sorrow.”

Hunt wrote on Fischer’s memorial page that they both grew up as sons of American Baptist preachers, but they really got to know each other when Fischer started his political journey on former state Rep. Chris Edwards’ legislative campaign in 2006 in Eugene.

“Although Joel and Chris were both proud Beavers, it was fun to watch him hide his ‘colors’ and find success in the heart of Duck country,” Hunt said about Fischer being an Oregon State graduate working in the same city as the University of Oregon. “His successful journey then continued in and outside the [Oregon] Capitol. He demonstrated his ultimate commitment to equity and justice at OBI in 2018.”

Hunt continued and said, “Joel and I both lost our fathers about 15 years ago. We shared many conversations since then about how much we missed our dads and struggled with their premature deaths. May God bring comfort to Joel’s wife, mom Terry Sue, family and friends during these tragic days.”

Early on in Fischer’s political career, he was the policy adviser for current Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, whom he helped redesign the state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program – which is designated to help low-income families with children achieve economic self-sufficiency – and guide it through the political process, according to Fischer’s LinkedIn page.

When it came to cannabis legislation, Howard said Fischer was involved in the work that led to the passing of Ballot Measure 91, which legalized adult-use cannabis in the state in 2014.

Oregon state Sen. Michael Dembrow, whose district Fischer resided in for a long time, will be introducing a bill in the upcoming legislative session to honor Fischer’s memory, legacy and all of his political contributions on the floor of the upper chamber, Sen. Dembrow confirmed. “Joel was a great guy, much loved and respected by those he worked with at the [Oregon] Capitol,” Sen. Dembrow said.

While Fischer’s political impact extended to all corners of the state, back on the ranch at East Fork is where he found his favorite original cultivar – sour pineapple. Mentally, Fischer said in his company bio that it picked him up when he was down and settled him down when he was up. Physically, he said it is excellent for post-workout recovery and general relief. Those who also enjoy East Fork’s sour pineapple can do so with a connection to Fischer.

Since last Friday, Howard said he’s spent a lot of time with Fischer’s family and friends at Fischer’s home trying to wrap their minds around the fact that he’s gone.

“We spoke most days for the past five years,” Howard said. “Many of my favorite memories from recent life are with Joel. We didn’t say goodbye to each other when we were done hanging out or hopping off the phone – we said I love you.”
Nathan Howard Joel Matthew Fischer was one of my best friends, as much my brother as my biological brothers, and a fellow owner (there were four of us) and patron saint of East Fork Cultivars.

His death has broken me. When I’m able to put myself back together, I hope to do so with his spirit, love, and approach to life as guideposts.
Joel was a magical person.

He lived life with a surreal zest and passion that is legendary among his friends and family. The impact he’s had on people across Oregon and the world is spectacular. And only becoming more clear in his death. His accomplishments, personal and professional, are similarly striking.

Joel and I were together at a business meeting, working to build what’s become East Fork, when I got the call that my older brother Wesley had suddenly passed away. Joel drove me to Wesley’s apartment, hugged me, stayed with me while saying goodbye to his body, and helped my family make all the post-death arrangements that we’re now making for Joel. He shared essential wisdom he had gained after losing his father far too soon.

We spoke most days for the past 5 years. Many of my favorite memories from recent life are with Joel. We didn’t say goodbye to each other when we were done hanging out or hopping off the phone - we said I love you.

Over the past few days, I’ve spent a lot of time with his family and friends at his home trying to wrap our minds around the fact that he’s gone. And around the reasons that he’s gone. Joel should still be here. There’s no way around that. But we’re also celebrating the Ambassador of Happiness (his official and legal title at East Fork).

Instead of texting, slacking, hanging with, and calling Joel, I’ll be helping to write his eulogy, at least the first draft, over the coming days.

If anyone would like to bring food to Joel's family they can do so here: https://www.mealtrain.com/tra…
Mohamed Alyajouri I met Joel this past summer when he and his brother Dave invited me over for a backpacking trip planning dinner with their friends. I had heard so much about Joel from my dear friend Dave. Dave often shared stories about Joel and I could tell he really respected and admired his brother. I was fortunate and happy that I finally met him. Joel was extremely hospitable, very warm and welcoming. My prayers go out to Tricia, Dave and the entire Fischer family. May he rest in peace.
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Kelsey Hood2017, Dufur, OR, USA What the Festival
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Kelsey Hood2019, Zion National Park, UT, Springdale, UT, USA Kels & Norbz joint bachelor/bachelorette party
Kelsey Hood Gratitude. It is not a word that often comes to mind after the loss of a loved one, especially while simultaneously experiencing such intense and deeply profound feelings of sorrow. But today, I have many things to be grateful for and my heart is filled with gratitude.

I am grateful for having had the privilege of calling Joel Fischer my friend. I am grateful for all the memories, adventures and countless good times we shared. Every conversation, every laugh, every tear.

I am filled with gratitude for the gift of Joel’s life and for the lives of all those he has touched. For those of us who knew him, I ask all of you today to acknowledge the absence you feel by honoring the energetic imprint of his presence. May his memory be a blessing to us all.

Joel wasn’t just a friend. He was an ambassador of happiness, an umpire, a comforter and a mentor. The reason he touched so many lives and affected so many people was due to his dynamic sense of being.

I will always admire Joel’s amazing ability to connect with others. His love for his friends was unconditional—and he had a lot of friends. He loved deeply and fully. He loved giving his time and focus to others and was always willing to give just a little bit more. Today I honor and celebrate his life and his love, our lives more colorful because he was a part of them.

Something very beautiful happens to people when their world has fallen apart: a humility, a nobility, a higher intelligence emerges at just the point when our knees hit the floor. At this point, you have the freedom and the ability to decide what to do with your life, and that includes learning how to welcome happiness again. It's a conscious choice we each have to make, to emerge from the embers of profound loss and hopelessness, to become the fire that warms us, lights our path, all of it. We have the ability to embody that warmth and light, just as Joel did.

In the quiet moments, I hope not to resist what comes, and to see every brightness and every sorrow as a gift of this sacred adventure of being human. And give thanks.

May today nourish and soothe you, heart and soul, in loving memory of my dear friend, Joel Fischer.
lindsay Keys Everyday I return to this page and ask myself if I am ready to post on here and do I know what I want to say. Everyday I just feel not ready. There just are not words adequate enough to express what a loss myself and others feel and what Joel has meant to me for the 17 years. My heart breaks for Tricia and Joel’s family, the loss they must feel, it’s unimaginable.

My sincerest condolences. To Joel’s family, thank you for bringing Joel into this world and raising such a tremendous man that touched so many people and built a genuine connection and friendship with so many. Thank you Tricia for sharing Joel with us all and for being you. We are all so lucky to have you in our lives. I want to support you guys now and in the hard months to come. If there is anything I can do to help please do not hesitate to ask. I love you now and always Joelyocious. One day I will figure out what to write but for now this is all I know how to express.
Bernie Turner We have known Joel's family for many years. His parents were very dear to us. Our hears are deeply saddened by Joel's death. His grandparents we have known since 1955. We send our love to all his friends and family who are so deeply affected by Joel's death. Obviously he had dear friends with whom he shared his life. Our love and sympathy goes to them as well. Roz and Bernie Turner
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Jen Bryant
Lee Ramos
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Lee Ramos This is Heartbreaking so sorry for your families loss.
Gina Williams I've had a really hard time finding words through the shock and heartbreak of this terrible loss. I worked with Joel at Oregon Business Association for five years and kept in touch here and there since. He brought a kind of joy and humor to our little team that was rare in my previous work life. When I think of him, I can't help but smile. He was smart, funny & always took time to really get to know the person beyond the position. One of my funniest memories is from one day at work when Joel came walking out of his office and headed out with a raft strapped to his back & carrying paddles. We all just kind of stopped speechless while he smiled like, "what?" and went out the door. Instead of going to the work cafeteria for a sandwich or a walk around the block like the rest of us boring people, he was going for an afternoon paddle on the Willamette. Because why not. I like to think that he's out there paddling away now, off on another adventure. I'm thankful that I had the opportunity in this life to meet such a beautiful, silly & generous soul. <3
Seth Cohen
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Easter beer hunt
Liwen Chang2009, Portland, OR, USA Easter beer hunt
Seth Cohen When my partner and I hiked the Oregon and Washington section of the PCT Joel became our own personal trail angel. He met us numerous times along the trail, following us south along our travels. Each time he showed up he brought us snacks, love, and endless fun - something we desperately needed having spent so much time away from home in the woods. After taking a break in Portland for a couple days Joel insisted that he be the one to take us back to the trail to send us on our way. This photo was taken right before we left back to the trail. I will never forget the 3 days of camping with him and Seth at the Rosery Lakes. A highlight of our trip that inspired many more celebrations with Joel and his community.

In many ways Joel was like my life long trail angel. After taking me under his wing in high school, inspiring and encouraging me to go to OSU, he traveled anywhere and everywhere to come and find me, always showing up with love, his thirst for adventure, and his big heart and generosity.

From Davis, CA, to the PCT to most recently South America and countless other adventures in between... Joel, you will always be my forever trail angel.
With Courtney Graham and Sen.…
Alissa Keny-Guyer2018, OLCV dinner With Courtney Graham and Sen. Michael Dembrow
N Kots 2009, Portland, OR, USA: I knew Joel because he and my younger sister went to school together. I will never forget this special moment in 2009. A co-worker told me that she would be headed to OSU to accept an honorary degree for her late father who was forced to leave school during World War II and sent to an internment camp.
I came to learn that Joel was one of the students behind making that possible for over 40 people. He was so accomplished. I am so sorry for your loss Fischer family
James Howbert Joel was a brother, to me, to everyone. He was also a son, a very proud son who genuinely loved his mother and father more than anyone I know. He traveled the world, talked to everyone, and most likely mentioned his family. My heart, my soul, my spirit, is with Joel's family as we move through this passage of grief.

So many things to say about Joel, I don't know where to begin. We met the 2nd day of college and were immediately hooked on each other. He saved me from joining a frat, thank god. We did everything together for the next 4 years, and many more after. Lots of roadtrips, eating, slumber parties, drinking, and all around adventuring. Most of my best memories are with Joel by my side. He taught me how to be loyal, thrifty, and emotionally vulnerable. Although we grew apart in recent years, I think about him everyday.

Joel, I promise I'm gonna finish the book I'm reading and eventually travel the world. Love you buddy 😭😭😭
Chuck Sheketoff
Shared a heart Red heart
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Chuck Sheketoff
Tracy Wurzburg I’m so sorry to hear this news. It really shook me and took a few days to process. The news actually encouraged me to reach out to a few people I hadn’t spoken to in years that also knew Joel. It later had me thinking about how much that really reflected on him. He was a person that brought together many different people and connected them through good times; creating great memories along the way. My thoughts are with his family and close friends that will feel that loss on a daily basis.
Rainier Butler 2013, Salem, OR, USA: I didn’t know Joel well but remember working with him when I worked for then Rep. Mark Johnson (yes - we have that in common...) and he was always just a warm and genuine dude. A good guy. He cared about what he did and made a point to connect with people. Scrolling through the names of people who knew him well, worked with him, or barely knew him, all speaks to what a wonderful person he was and how much he’ll be missed.
Jennifer Rapf2019, Monflanquin, France
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Brian Powell I loved the look Joel would get on his face just before he was about to win a game. The last time I saw him, there was a group of us that played games late into the night, it was so much fun--that's how I'll remember him.
Don/David Edmunds/Lomnicki Joel was one of the nicest guys. We met him at Ainsworth United Church of Christ. He was full of many layer of interest. He was genuine.

Our prayer to the Fischer family. Rest peacefully Joel.
Kai Braun
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Sondra Nolan I haven't seen Joel in years, but I remember him fondly and always enjoyed his presence and intellect. During the time we crossed paths, I found myself in the corner of a party or bar discussing literature with Joel on more than one occasion. And in the years since, social media showed me that Joel was making his dreams come true, with a meaningful life that included travel and love. To Tricia, and all of Joel's family and friends, there are no words. I am so sorry for your loss.
sabastuan allen Praying for all close friends and immediate family, send love and strength in this unfortunate loss!! Joel you will live forever in the memories we've created throughout our years and I'm grateful to have known you as a classmate, a friend and a brother!!!

Rest Easy 🙌🏾🙏🏾
Kim & Kjell Nguyen-van Zoen So sorry for your loss. In my work and play with EastFork I had the pleasure of meeting Joel a few times and always enjoyed our conversations immensely. Much love to all the family and friends during this difficult time.
Molly Woon
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Molly Woon While we really got to become friends through politics and Salem, I first met Joel when a friend (Erin Devaney, who knew him through the Oregon Student Association) took me to The Spaghetti Factory on Macadam and introduced me. Last year, I took my boyfriend Andy (who lives in Joel & Tricia’s basement unit) to the Spaghetti Factory for the first time and I was SO EXCITED to tell Joel about it. I also remember Joel telling me that the first thing he always ate after traveling outside the United States was Taco Bell. And I remember he kept his own personal bottle of Sriracha in the Capitol Cafe in Salem. I don’t know if it says more about me or Joel that some of my favorite memories of him are food related.

He was always such a good friend to me. We grew apart and back together over the years. I’m very grateful to have spent time with him and Tricia this last year during quarantine (since my boyfriend lives in the basement). I’m sure many of you feel like I do — this doesn’t seem real at all. Sending all my love to Tricia and Joel’s family.
I am completely floored by th…
Tricia Chin2018, Lisbon, Portugal I am completely floored by the outpouring of support and just how many lives Joel had touched. I'm so grateful for everyone's words and memories. It's been helpful for me to know how many people loved him and to cope with the deep loss that I never ever dreamed would come so soon. Here is one of my favorite photos of Joel and I, doing what we loved best, traveling and having an amazing meal with friends. Joel only ever wanted to share meals family-style for maximum potential to try every delicious thing that caught his eye.
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Meredith Shield I met Joel working in the Capitol over a decade ago. I wanted to be friends with him as soon as I met him, he brought so much amazing energy in everything he did.

I have too many memories to count- but I will always take credit for helping to set him up with his wonderful wife Tricia.

Sending love and light to us all xx
Jennifer Folkerts I first met Joel 5 years ago when he joined East Fork. Since then we have all become family: Joel, Tricia, Mason, Molly, Nathan, Leslie, myself, and my husband Aaron. I will miss all the fun he brought to our community but also my connection with him and our conversations that brought me closer to him .

When Aaron and Nathan's brother Wesley died I will never forget how Joel was there for us. He knew what we needed during a very difficult time and opened up his heart and made things a little easier. I am already missing you dear friend.
Elsie Lin Joel is my good friend, also like my brother in the state. He was kind and considerate to me. When I studied abroad in the state, he gave me lots of support and help. He is one of my important friends in my life. The last time we met was two years ago. He traveled in Taiwan. I was pregnant. He gave me a big hug and told me everything would be great. He was positive and warm. I miss him so much.
In response to "When was the last time you spent time with Joel?"
Ruchi Sadhir You were so kind and thoughtful Joel, as soon as I met you! Your fashion sensibilities and fearlessness were only matched by your sensibilities and fearlessness to do right and make the world better. I’m sad that you are gone too soon. I would have loved to spend more time with you on Earth. Sending love into the universe to find you. Sending peace to all your family and friends.
Tim Hartman I met Joel through Nathan Howard’s introduction in 2016. Occasionally, I would work on his house for him. I remember him saying “thank you for helping with the garage door, I’d ask my brother- but I don’t like to burden him with repairs every time I need something.”

Joel had a soft, loving voice, he loved to smile, and loved to provide smiles for those around him. My daughters remember Joel as the friend who gave them Lavender oil as a gift at Nathan’s birthday last year. I remember Joel as a friend who asked for nothing and who had everything to give.

As it turned out, Joel and I along with Seth all went to high school together. There’s truth to the sentiment, “it’s a small world.”

As I grow older, and experience loss- I’m increasingly galvanized to be fair, kind, gentle, and loving. Thank you Joel, for contributing to the evidence that humans are kind and wonderful. I will miss you my friend.
DJ Vogt Joel taught me a lot in the years I worked with him. He was always a bright light in what sometimes could be cloudy days. He brought a keen wit and a positive attitude to every day I worked with him. I miss those days. Now more than ever. Peace, my friend.
Stacy Austin Joel was a powerful life force. We had several serendipitous overlaps: Oregon State, Bus Project, teaching English in Asia, Portland, etc. I’ve always admired him. Our conversations always inspired me to be a better person. He is so greatly missed. Big love and thanks to his family for sharing this beautiful person with the world. He will not be forgotten.
Adie Rae Trish and family, words cannot appropriately express how much I feel for your loss. Joel touched so many humans and worked for so many virtuous causes in his too-brief time on this planet. Joel and I shared many beers, swayed together to live music, and most recently, he was instrumental in helping me find my forever home. My lavender oil stash and East Fork pin collection are more dear to me now than ever. Every tear is shed with purpose, Joel's life is worth every moment of mourning. Until we meet on another plane, my friend.
Tracy Suzuki My sincere condolences to Joel's dear mother, Terry Sue, and brothers. I knew Joel from when he was in high school. I was his neighbor across the street. I enjoyed hearing stories about his travels and time living in Asia. I was always impressed by his enthusiasm for life and love of culture.
Jock Mills I met Joel when he was a student at OSU, and in charge of legislative issues for the Associated Students of Oregon State University. He was instrumental in an effort that resulted in OSU recognizing 42 Japanese-American students who were evacuated from campus, and to present honorary degrees to 22 of them or to representatives of their families during commencement in 2008. I stayed in touch with him throughout his career and appreciated and enjoyed every interaction we had over the years. https://www.gazettetimes.com/…
Bryan Remley I stayed up late last night going through old photos. It's telling that almost all of my pictures of Joel were group shots. He had a knack for bringing people together. One of the ones I kept returning to was taken in Taiwan, 2016. We'd all painted messages and wishes on a lantern that was to be lit and sent into the sky. My gal Elizabeth wrote 'Tomato lives forever' on one panel (Tomato is our dog). Joel wrote 'Blater' on one side (his nickname for Elizabeth, a play on her name Beth Slater) and 'Happy AF' on another. Looking at this photo, it occurred to me how 'Joel AF' that statement really was. Our ambassador of happiness was seriously focused on being happy, and creating and maintaining good times with good people. Reading all the messages on this page, from people I've never met, only reinforces this. He was always uniquely 'Joel AF,' and we all loved him for it. I'll miss him. I know we all will. My thoughts are with his family and his many other friends.
Alison Johnston I'm so sorry for everyone’s loss. I’m the CEO of Ever Loved--I happened to click on Joel’s memorial website and realized I’d met him. I sat next to Joel on a flight from Portland to San Francisco (I think in 2007), and we discovered that we both had bussed tables at the Old Spaghetti Factory and knew many of the same people. We ended up having several drinks and chatting the whole flight. 14 years later, I still recognized him and remembered our conversation, which I don’t think I could say about anyone else I’ve met on a plane. My heart goes out to everyone who knew him well.
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Elizabeth Remley
We finally got to meet up for…
Amy Waggoner2008, Portland, OR, USA We finally got to meet up for drinks in Portland! I’ll never forget you being the most popular guy in the room.
Joel loved his gadgets. One o…
Seth Prickett2016, Rockaway Beach, OR, USA Joel loved his gadgets. One of his favorites (and mine) was his set of illuminating bocce balls. I loved playing bocce with Joel all over the state. I don't know anyone else who used the measuring string as much as he did to make sure which ball was closest. Here he is with one of the green balls, which of course was always his color.
Guillermo Grand Joel was the drummer on the worship team at Camp Arrah Wanna in 1998. Growing up in a secular home, I knew nothing about the Bible. It was that week, at that camp, that I came to Christ.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16
Parasa Chanramy Joel, I'll always remember how kind you were to me when I was navigating my first legislative session in Oregon. Thank you for everything. Your humor, wit, integrity, and generosity of spirit will never be forgotten. I'm going to miss you so much.
Joel loved Otter Crest, the o…
Anne Buzzini2017, Otter Crest, Oregon, USA Joel loved Otter Crest, the ocean, and of course, his sun protection. He was the only man I would ever let use my Korean sun milk because he actually knew what it was. (This merman pose was also his suggestion.)
Joel was always up for hangin…
Jessica Richen Joel was always up for hanging out and impromptu happy hours, even if it meant driving up from Salem.
The guy that made the effort …
Danica Carlson2015, Portland, OR, USA The guy that made the effort to hang out when almost nobody else did, a special soul indeed, see you up there my friend.
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Danica Carlson
Lisa Fitch While I never got to meet Joel, I always heard great things about him from Tricia, one of my oldest friends. I was thrilled to hear of all the amazing adventures they got to go on around the world. I send my deepest condolences to all who knew him.
Classic Joel Gift -
Amber Blessing2019, Portland, OR, USA Classic Joel Gift -
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Nicholina Terzieff
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Tim Hartman
Amber Blessing 2019, Portland, OR, USA: I’ll never forget meeting Joel for the first time in my first week working with East Fork Cultivars. He was carrying his motorcycle helmet and wearing a leather jacket. I knew I’d like him right away. He handed me a tiny vial of lavender oil and told me he keeps one in his pocket to take out smell when he needs the calm. Genius! I keep it in my pocket now most every day too. I don’t think I could smell lavender anywhere and not think of him now.

One thing I loved about Joel is that if you were going somewhere, he probably had some travel tips for you. He sent me on a hunt for some very special chicken in Sayulita once. Pollo’s Yolanda. Pro tip: get there early for the chicken. If you get there too late, the chicken you see cooking is not for you, it’s for the people who get there early tomorrow. It looked and smelled great!

I grew to really admire Joel in the short time I knew and worked with him. He will be very missed.
Ellie Cox Sending all my love ❤️
Beth Cooke
Shared a heart Red heart
Sarah Taylor I was his middle school principal. The funniest was that he was always offering to take out the recycling but was found kissing his girlfriend under the steps. We would laugh and laugh. Always a smile and a twinkle
Laura Curtis Joel was a friend, a colleague and most recently my realtor. I was terrified of the home buying process, but when I called Joel to tell him we were ready to start looking for a house and ask for his help, I was instantly put at ease. Joel made looking for a house easy and at times, even fun.  A couple of months ago he was late to a house showing because he was making us cookies. Because, of course he would do something like that. They were so good. Still hot out of the oven. We ate them together in the sunshine.

He listened to me, supported me and gave me great advice. I trusted him so much because I saw the way he lived his life with integrity, made hard choices, made smart choices and prioritized what was most important to him. 

We didn't get the chance to finish the search together, but I learned so many valuable lessons from him. Wherever we end up landing when it's right, it will be because of him. And every time I choose just a little more freedom for myself, I will think of him and be glad I got the chance to know and learn from his example.

Thinking of all of Joel's incredible friends and family. All my love and deepest sympathies.
I've been extremely lucky to …
Olivier Cappitt I've been extremely lucky to have not lost many people close to me in my life. But without doubt, Joels recent passing has affected me the most, and so deeply.

I've spent the weekend looking through old photos, and thinking of times I've spent with him.

After meeting him in 2007 on a trip to Japan, and then most notably, on moving to Portland, Joel immediately opened himself and his friends and Tricia up, to a level I've never experienced before, and I straight away felt like I had a community of good friends which made my stay there so much easier and more enjoyable.
In the just over 2 years I spent there, Joel and Tricia became among my dearest friends, and there were few weeks in that time where I wasn't with either Joel or both of them.

Hot Tub Taco Tuesdays on my rooftop were among my favourite times.

I miss him so much already, and will carry his memory in me for the rest of my life.
RIP Joel. It'll be a much better and more interesting place up there now with you in it.
Martha Brooks I am so sorry for the loss of Joel. While I have not worked with him in the past year, we often worked together on issues and he was tremendous. I loved how he worked, his legislative savvy and good natured way. Goodbye, my friend.
Drew Johnston In addition to his love of green, I'll always remember his fondness for white - as in v neck undershirts with a tuft of chest hair popping out. Unabashed in fashion, Joel was similarly unconcerned with social constraints that above all would prevent someone from living a life authentic and a life filled with joy and discovery. Joel was magical and will be remembered as such through the many lives he touched.

I am so fortunate to be forever touched by the giant heart that lay beneath the v neck tees. He provided some of the deepest comfort after my dad passed as we bonded over fathers gone too soon. Now Joel has left far too soon and the full weight of the loss of love, friendship, and a life authentic that represents has yet to sink in. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
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Bryan Remley
Jerry Hancock RIP forever and always my friend . You were an amazing man. I will miss you .. and hope to some day meet again.
Pam Leavitt I am very sad to hear this news. Joel will be missed by his Capitol family - very sorry for your loss.
Brian Krieg I will miss his great sense of humour and energy in everything he did. He helped many kids in Oregon in his advocacy for CTE programs.
Mary Botkin I did not know Joel well but always appreciated his smile and positive attitude.
Mary Botkin So sorry to hear this news. ♥️🙏🙏♥️
Andy Smith This is such sad news. Joel, you brought such sunshine and life to every room you were in and to the many friendships you shared.
Lisa Paolo
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Nicolas Mentior Hello,

I didn't know Joel that much, I have seen only on vacations and few years laters when he came by in Belgium to visit us. I can tell he was someone great, He had such a nice aura. I remember saying that when I will be older, I would like to be like him. I'll miss that guy, i hope You all 'll be able to go througt that.
Ryan Deckert Joel Fisher lived life on his terms refusing to follow the herd and inspiring us to find our bliss.

When the world told him he had to wear a tie - Joel wore a bow tie and started a company designing outlandish bow ties. While most drove a car - Joel hopped on his motorcycle or paddled a canoe. You might reminisce about a dream vacation to France or Italy - Joel expanded your universe by sharing journeys to Myanmar and Ghana. You exulted your Portland cred by dining at Pok Pok or Hat Yai - Joel took you to the hole in the wall on Barbur Blvd. for real deal cuisine.

He wore slippers (from the Allison Hotel!) at work. He was the first person I know to have improvised (by stacking text books) the stand up desk. Joel beat Dos Equis to the punch as the worlds (or at least Oregon's) most interesting man. Spoke mandarin, rode motorcycles and loved, loved humanity! Joel was Robin William's in the Dead Poets Society - our Pied Piper urging us to seize each day and whispering "take the road less traveled."
Joel at Hemp Bar
Valerie Yermal2019, Portland, OR, USA Joel at Hemp Bar
Valerie Yermal 2020, Portland, OR, USA: Joel's love for life and others was unmatched. From the moment I joined East Fork, Joel was so helpful and supportive. He was the biggest champion of our mission, and of each and every one of us. He was so passionate and energized by our work, and I'm so grateful for the call we had on Wednesday night. He was as effervescent as always, and we had always had a great time collaborating on marketing ideas as well as geeking out together about photography. Joel was one of a kind, and his life's work lives on within each of us. His gifts to us ranged from clementines, to lavender essential oils, to his laugh, his eagerness to help in any capacity, and his valuable insights and advice. Joel was generous with showing his appreciation of others and giving words of affirmation, and always made everyone feel included.
Matt Albiniak Joel the Generous, King of Thoughtfulness. His ability to turn tchotchkes into meaningful, personal gifts through colorful, hilarious, and heartfelt stories is unmatched and, in itself, an incredible gift that lives on. Thank you for the inspiration, example and imprint you've made.
Only Joel would pack green na…
Jessica Richen2008, Maui, Hawaii, USA Only Joel would pack green nail polish for a camping trip
Jessica Richen I’ve been struggling to find the words of what to say, I am so saddened and crushed by your passing. Since we were 15, I’ve cherished our friendship from the start. I’ve always said you’re bright light in this world and you will always remain that way in my many memories. One of my dearest lifelong friends, always positive and full of energy with an ambitious and adventurous spirit. You’re one of the most loving and caring individuals I’ve ever met. You will be missed more than you know. I’ll miss your ‘let’s hang out’ calls and check ins. I’ll miss our random happy hours and laughs. I’ll miss you and your hugs, your green shoes (everything green), and you making me take so many pictures even though you know how much I tried to avoid it; I’m so happy I have so many to look back on now. You’ve always said no matter how much time goes by between seeing each other nothing ever changes. This holds true for the next time we meet again. My heart and prayers go out to your love Tricia, your family and all of your dear friends you’ve touched along the way. I’m heartbroken but so blessed to have known you. You never ended a call or hang out sesh without saying love you, love you my dear friend Joel!
Inspired for the holidays
Alex Johnson2019, Portland, OR, USA Inspired for the holidays
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Alex Johnson
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Alissa Keny-Guyer
Michael Cox Joel - You were a light in this world, my friend. I’ll always remember your energy and your jokes and your kindness. I’ll see you on the other side.
Joel was special. He truly lo…
Andrea Keeling Joel was special. He truly loved all his friends with his whole heart. I met Joel in 2001 while working at the Spaghetti Factory. He trained me how to be a busser and made me feel at home. We continued our friendship for many years, he’d invite me to dinner with family, we’d often visit each other in college, and after hearing I’d never been to Seattle he picked me up one day in 2005 and off we headed north. Although it had been many years since I had seen him I was so proud of who he’d become and hoped one day that we would meet again. My heart hurts for his family, and the world just lost a very special soul.
The year My Joel and I met.
Heidi Toth1998, Camp Arrah Wanna, Inc., East Arrah Wanna Boulevard, Welches, OR, USA The year My Joel and I met.
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Guillermo Grand
Steph Barnhart Joel Fischer! Joel had one of those names and personalities that had me always greeting him by first and last name together - a term of endearment I usually reserve for people I genuinely respect and adore. We had an unusual Venn diagram of overlap in life - serving on the board of Next Up together but also dreaming and scheming together in the cannabis world through East Fork Cultivars and my cannabis events. I’m pretty sure Joel’s official title at EFC was “Ambassador of Happiness” (?) and that is what he did bring to any of us who had the privilege of working with him in whatever sphere. Sending my love to everyone dear to Joel. ❤️
Charles McGee Since hearing about Joel's passing, I have had sadness in my heart. The world around us seems to be filled with a lot of that lately. My north Portland brotha was a good dude. I will forever remember my friend as someone who cared. Someone who didn't need praise and someone who loved his community. We never got to spend time in Ghana together, but I am thankful for our talks about faith and I am especially thankful for the times you reached out during my lowest moment. I am sincerely thankful for our friendship and all the good trouble we caused. Prayers all around.
Heidi Toth I’m devastated to hear this. Joel was one of my very favorite people. Love to you Terry Sue, Michael and David.
Phillip Kennedy-Wong I’m totally crushed. I was just remembering running into him in the Pearl. He was getting on his Ducati. I never knew he rode. I said, what else can’t this guy do. I was thinking about all the creative talents he had. Learning Chinese, being a photographer, selling neck ties, and working in politics. And...quitting a good job because of his convictions. I will miss you friend.
Sophia Hitti2014
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Angela Crowley-Koch
Taco Bell Feast!
Maddie Gertenrich2020, Joel's house Taco Bell Feast!
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Maddie Gertenrich
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Maddie Gertenrich
Dave Hunt Joel and I both grew up as American Baptist preacher’s kids (he was a double PK), but we really got to know each other when he started his political journey on Chris Edwards’ legislative campaign in Eugene in 2006. Although Joel and Chris were both proud Beavers, it was fun to watch him hide his “colors” - and find success in the heart of Duck country. His successful journey then continued in and outside the Capitol. He demonstrated his ultimate commitment to equity and justice at OBI in 2018.

Joel and I both lost our fathers about 15 years ago. We shared many conversations since then about how much we missed our dads and struggled with their premature deaths.

May God bring comfort to Joel’s wife, mom Terry Sue, family, and friends during these tragic days.
Dale Penn Joel was a great person, a staunch advocate for issues he cared about and a cherished member of our CFM family. He will be missed.
Suzannah Hoile Such a heartbreak! Joel was absolutely wonderful to work with. He had endless amounts of energy and projects. He deeply adored his family and friends. Seems like everywhere we would go for meetings we ran into someone that was excited to see him. He is a bright bright light that will be truly missed.