Monday, December 28, 2009

Sad news

I get too many e-mails with that heading. The latest, with a link from the Austin America-Statesman:

"Joe Bean

"Death Notice

"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.


Truth Ferret said...

What a treasure your words about Mr. Bean are. Thank you for painting a picture of your friend.

Edith Ann said...

I called him one time to discuss how a delicate story was handled, and I was so impressed with his patience and eventual agreement that it could have been done better. Was very apologetic, and the story was corrected quickly, not days later.

I had friends who stopped their subscriptions because JPB was too 'non-republican' for them, but I liked him.

He went way too soon.

Pilot said...

I am sorry for the loss of your friend. I met him only once, as you know, over coffee in your front yard. It was fascinating just listening to the two of you talk. If he is hearing or better yet reading the kind tribute for a friend you have penned for him, I am sure he is smiling.

Sugar Magnolia said...

I was out of town for a couple days, and what a shock to come back and read this. He was far too young.

As you know, I also had the pleasure of meeting him, courtesy of yourself and herself and the Pilot. What an honor that was, and a very interesting person to talk to. I will miss him as well.