I get too many e-mails with that heading. The latest, with a link from the Austin America-Statesman:
"BEAN, Joe, 51, public affairs specialist, of Austin, formerly of Lamar, Mo., died Thursday. Services pending with All Faiths, south location."
Joe Patrick Bean was the ed-page editor for a good part of the time that I worked at the Vicad. He was a really bright guy with an almost-Aspergery way of fixing on topics and gnawing at them. People used to complain that he was too far left for the city. I always felt that no Lutheran has been very radical, Martin Luther himself excepted.
Joe loved reading and edited the book page when my wife was reviewing books. She always said that he was a pleasure to work with because he so loved books and reading. You could always talk books with Joe.
He was a history major and a history nut. He specifically loved the history of Ireland and was partisan in a way that probably exceeded most native Irish. His last visit to Ireland, he sent us a note that he couldn't bear to go see the Giant's Causeway because he would have to travel in the north – I believe he called it the Six Separated Counties – and didn't want to spend a cent or a minute up there.
He had become interested in photography and traveled around to places where he could find photo ops. We saw him for the last time this year when he passed through our village and ate lunch with us on his way to look for birds to photograph. We have a Joe P. Bean butterfly photo, a gift when he left the Advocate, hanging in the living room. He was one of those people who make life more interesting, one of those you keep tucked back as little treasures in the cupboard of your mind, and it is indeed sad news that he's dead. We'll miss him.
Joe's Facebook profile.