March 13, 1983 – October 31, 2013
Joseph Williams, better known to his family as Joe or Joey and to his friends as “Joeski” lost his battle to Friedrich’s Ataxia on October 31, 2013 at the age of 30.
Joey was born and raised in Williamstown, New Jersey. He started out life as a normal infant, toddler and young boy. At the age of eleven, he was diagnosed with Friedrich’s Ataxia and by age sixteen, he was in a wheelchair. In spite of his diagnosis, Joey moved on and never gave up hope for a cure.
Joey was an avid sports fan and attended about every home Philadelphia Phillies and Eagles games and was also present at many Philadelphia 76ers and Flyers games. In spite of his handicap, Joey did not sit home and feel sorry for himself. Joey was always ready to go and planning where he was going to go next. When there was a home Eagles game, Joey was up at the crack of dawn to be ready to tailgate before the game. The highlight of his sports days was attending the World Series the year the Phillies won. Joey had an amazing family that adored him and were always there for him, no matter what he needed. He had wonderful friends that supported him and included him in on all their activities, however, Joey was often the one planning the activities. Joey traveled to South America, Mexico, took several cruises and traveled to many places in the United States. Even when Joey’s health deteriated, he pressed on and never lost his sense of humor. Joey always had something funny to say and whenever Joey was around, there was always laughter in the room.
Joey received a black Labradoodle service dog named Amigo from Canine Partners for Life in Avondale, PA. Amigo was not only Joey’s service dog but his companion and best friend. Amigo went everywhere Joey went; if Joey was hospitalized, Amigo was lying by his side in the hospital room (or sometimes in the bed with him). Joey and Amigo had a very special bond and were inseparable.
The one word that was often used when describing Joey was “amazing” and he was always referred to as an inspiration. Joey inspired many people in his determination to live and to the fullest. He accepted his disease but never gave up hope that he would walk again.
It was evident how much Joey was loved by the 500 plus people that attended his funeral services. Joey touched everyone’s lives that he knew and their lives were enriched by having known him. Joey will be greatly missed. We should all take lessons from Joey to accept the life God has dealt us and to create your life around all the positive things instead on dwelling on the negative.