- 67 years old
- Date of birth: Dec 19, 1944
- Place of birth:
Bellingham, Washington, United States
- Date of passing: Oct 23, 2012
- Place of passing:
Bellingham, Washington, United States
|Let the memory of Kenneth Lee Joseph "iiYaxbid" be with us forever|
"have not been traveling. eileen has been going with her son. can't get motivated to get out. too tired and just stay home. if you were here I would probably be going out. i sure miss your company. just going to town every week. enjoy helping carpentry and plumbing, and electrical classes. miss your smile and jokes. wish god would have saved you and let you stay with us longer. for some reason it was your time to go. wish i did more for you. think of you a lot. lot of friends are resting now until the Lord comes. thanks kathy your friend in recovery, and co worker. i was angry and sad when you passed but life goes on. hard at times."
"I believe Kenny is praising God with the angels and singing all those songs he wrote here on earth. He is walking on streets of gold and in a most beautiful place with the rest of the family celebrating everlasting life in a place where there is only joy. The whole Joseph family there to welcome David home to everlasting peace."
"He did have a warm heart. I was fortunate to ride the senior bus with him to the Lummi Senior Center for lunch. He was also my neighbor. He wore wonderful cedar hats. still in my heart Ken."
"met group of youth sharing their experience, strength and hope this week. it was great way to spend the weekend since we lost and buried my niece Regina Charles this week. still miss you a lot, especially when I go out to pow wow. still don't attend aa much since you gone. too hard to go when your not there. i guess i need to go more. need to put christ more in my life too. miss you my friend"
"can't believe it has been three years. I miss you so much. Especially when Eileen and I go traveling. I wish I would have asked Richard to let you stay with us. I didn't know you were getting ripped off so much. I didn't know about your chainsaw. I wished I would have asked Richard to fix your lock for you. I am enjoying myself helping with construction 1 class. This winter quarter I get to help with plumbing 1 class. Something different to do. I don't really go to meetings anymore. It is still hard to go alone without you. I know I should go but work is keeping me busy. I read meeting online with my phone. I need another friend like you to hang out with except a female this time so rumors don't start. I really am sorry I didn't do more for you. I know it is not my fault you are gone, but I should have done more. I miss you so much. When I see you in Heaven I will give you a big hug since I never ever did give you hugs. I know I see AA members hug you all the time. I never did because I didn't want rumors to start. I miss you my friend. God seen your work was done and you are resting until our lord comes to get us. I look forward to us seeing each other again.
your friend Kathy Humphreys"
"This past week you have been on my mind a lot as we get together with Larry and Sally, Paul, Soung Wa and Joung Youn to do Christmas and worship music after elders lunch at the Soc Service bldg. We miss you joining us. I miss your smile and your sense of humor and most of all your love of music. Eden has made her own flute and is learning to do songs on her own. I hope she joins us soon. We so miss you and wish you were here with us. Love from the rest of us."
"My dear friend. I think about you every week. I miss you whenever I am traveling. Even when I went to work training you traveled with me because we would go to pow wows after the training. I thought of you October 23, that was the worst day of my life to know that some one would hurt you so bad all for money for their drug habit. I wish you would have just let them leave with your money and you were still here. I don't go to meetings much anymore it is too hard to go with you not going with me. I don't make friends that well. I did sign up for October Mount Baker Round UP. I know you use to go to that every year. I went the first year after you were gone because it was a way for me to think about you. I am going again this year. Things are so uncertain at work. Our GED grant got cut so I am helping with the construction class. I miss you so much. Life is lonely with your company not here for me. I didn't realize how much time we spent together. Yet I feel I didn't do enough for you. It has been hard learning to live on without your presence. It has not been easy. No one can ever replace you.
I will be glad to see you in Heaven. Kathy Your friend for ever"
"I miss you so much. I miss us doing something every week. I am going to recovery meetings off and on. It is so hard to not see you there and us walking in and out of the meeting. It is so hard for me to make friends, I don't like being lonely. I know you had friends you called. I have to start working the program like you did. I heard a song about dancing in heaven called dancing in the sky. I can picture you playing your guitar singing and dancing with the angels. I am so glad you showed me about the program of recovery and how to be committed to the program. thanks for being my friend Ken. I miss you soooo much. I will see you again when the Lord comes to gather his children at the second coming. It will be a great reunion. I am writing this to you and I know you can't read it but it helps me. later gator. your friend kathy"
"I still miss you just as much as a year ago. I am going off and on to morning meetings. They call on me to speak and I actually am talking. I always wished I had as many friends as you did and maybe I will get there if I continue to go to the meetings. I sure wish you were here. I miss you traveling with me to events. I miss seeing you sleeping all of the time. The new 2014 GED test is harder now so students have to study harder for math. They can still do it though. Your family gave me your cane that I bought you. I almost cried when they gave it back to me. They gave me a blue coat. I wished I could have gotten some of your belonging like shirts or music and movies that you watched. I miss your company even though we didn't talk that much. Some times I see someone that looks like your build and think of you. Miss you lots my friend.
thanks for helping me with college math, and meeting friends in recovery. I am close with a woman I met when we went to recovery meetings now. If it was not for you taking me to that meeting, I would not have met her. She will be celebrating her birthday. I get to celebrate it with her. My youngest grandson's middle name was named after you. I thought that was neat that Joe and Miranda told me they were going to do that. Made me feel good they would do that for you, my friend. I felt so lost with out you around. I could not go to recovery meetings for awhile. I just cried and still have hard times sometimes.
I have done a good job at making friends in recovery. I don't share much. I am still mixed up about what happened to you. It is hard to deal with but I stayed sober that is the main thing. Joe's dad, Mike James was buried on my birthday Back then I went out for three years of the anniversary of his death. I didn't know not to pick up the first drink. I hate death and losing you, but I am glad I will see you some time in the future when the Lord comes in the second coming. Thank God and his son, Jesus, they gave us that hope. Kathy"
"I sure miss you ken!!! Eileen has me traveling with her again to pow wows.
She keeps me going.
When we travel it just reminds me you are gone because I have to go and your not here. I know you don't hear me, but I talk to you telling you where I am going and when get back to Whatcom County like we use to talk. Silly but it helps me a little bit. I hurt my arm so I had to go to smaller totes.
I have a on line recovery class since I don't like going to meeting by myself. I should have made more friends when you were still here, but I had you and I am not good at making friends.
I know you would not have traveled with me or spent as much time as you did if you could have driven. I guess that is the blessing of your disability of not being able to drive anymore.
I wish you were still here. I don't try to think of it because it makes me sad.
I miss going to recovery meetings with you, movies, eating dinner with you.
I wished I would have helped you change your locks by asking my husband to help you fix your locks. I should have done more for you. I know it was not my fault. I still feel I should have done more for you.
I know you are resting now and you don't have to worry about life like the rest of us here on this wicked world.
I hope you knew your friendship meant a lot to me.
I didn't think I would miss you as much, until you were gone.I didn't realize how much time we spend together until you were gone.
I spend a lot of time by myself now again.
Richard is with me and I appreciate that I know he is home, but we don't do anything together.
I try to remember to treat everyone with kindness because we never know that is the last time we will see each other. some times I forget. Mike James died in car accident AND I didn't get to say see you later to him either.
If I knew your life was in danger I would have let you stay on my couch at my house.
I MISS YOU KENNETH LEE JOSEPH
Your friend kathy"
"He'd always dance with me - never said no. At other venues, it was a treat to see how he'd connect with his guitar. And, of course, it was wonderful to see him interact with humans young and old, big and small. Miss you Kenneth."
To Whom It May Concern,
My name is Anna K. I lived in Bellingham Wa for more than 17 years....
my family roots and many of the people I love are there. I am back in Alaska now.
I write today to tell you about my friend Kenneth Joseph.
I got sober at the Bellingham Group on Railroad Avenue in May of 1997. Kenneth was a long time member of that group with long term sobriety, even at that time, and one of my first and closest friends from that group. There was a group of about 6 to 8 of us that hung out at meetings, went to coffee at the Horseshoe Cafe before and after meetings, did 12 step calls together and were the service core of, not only our own home group, but the AA District itself and went to meetings all over the state.
Kenneth was a part of our service group all the time. As an elder he was a mentor to a lot of the younger native guys from Lummi, Nooksack, Tulalip, and Darrington among many others. He was a mentor and a friend to me and a lot of the other group members who were serious about their sobriety and wanted to be the best examples we could be to all the people in our lives. Kenneth told his story and spoke his truth in many countless meetings across the state of Washington. He also played music, beautiful music, with groups of other musicians, quite often in Tulalip. Family, playing music with his friends, sharing sobriety and love of life was very important to Kenneth. I have always felt blessed to know his brother as well, though we didn't get to see him as much as we all would have liked. And kathy, he loved going to the movies with Kathy. Kenneth always included me in what was happening in his life, even with family I never met.... he was my friend and we shared all the good times and the bad.
In 1999 I also joined Al Non and my sponsor was in the Sedro Wooley group. I then discovered that Kenneth had been going to Alanon meetings all over the place. We went to many Alanon meetings together over the years with some other amazing people who wanted to be a part of the solution, not the problem. We always encouraged and supported each other. The AA and Alanon network in Northwest Washington is very good and Kenneth was a big part of it. He helped to bring meetings to the young people on the Lummi Reservation and was very active with the other elders in sobriety. He taught and tutored mathematics at the Northwest Indian College at Lummi. He was very serious about helping others in any way he could.
Unfortunately, Kenneth suffered from a severe from of diabetes, which has taken the lives of many of people he loved over the years. For a couple of years before he was killed, as a result of the worsening diabetes, he was losing his eyesight and was becoming less able to function on his own as he was getting older, he finally couldn't even drive. It was harder for him to get out and go to meetings or take care of his own needs and he was reliant more and more on friends like kathy Humphreys for help. Fortunately for Kenneth, Kathy was always there for him. she took him out to meetings, to do laundry and shopping and to the movies, which he dearly loved. He never told me how bad things were for him. When I talked to him on the phone he always put a positive spin on his life.... I didn't know that he was failing as badly as he was. Like most of us, Kenneth would never really ask for help. I always had to suggest something. He would never ask. I am guilty myself of not getting on a plane and coming to Bellingham to see what was happening.
I hope that my statement might in some small way help somehow in the conviction of his killer or killers. Kenneth was a great friend and a wonderful human being. He will be sorely missed by many.
My friend Kenny Joseph is a Godly spiritual man. I met him 6 years ago at Pastor Merle Wiliams Ministeries in Tulalip Reservation. A Holy Ghost Tent Revial 3 day of singing, praising, and glorifying the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Kenny J. always informed me of native spiritual camp meetings around the area. I was ex-heroin user for 46 years and Kenny was ex-alcoholic, but he was my friend. When I asked him for a gas loan, he said how much 20.00 I said, Kenny would give me $40.00.
Ken was a man of God, a very spiritual person he effected every person he met and they will remember forever.
"Jean E. B.
To Whom It May Concern: RE: Kenneth Joseph
I moved to Bellingham in 2000 and have known Mr. Joseph since that time. We both regularly attended meetings of a self-support group and both of us continued attending individually until his death. These meetings were held twice daily.
The group held summer picnics and potlucks and annual celebrations, and I always saw Mr. Joseph there.
In addition, this group was one of a larger Whatcom County group. I frequently saw Mr. Joseph at celebrations and gatherings of the larger groups as well. This continued until his death. He appeared to enjoy with gusto the food and fellowship at these events.
From the years 2000 to 2010 I saw him at both the noon meetings and the evening meetings almost daily. Most frequently he attended the evening meetings from 2005. Beginning in 2010 I saw him less frequently, because my work schedule prevented me from attending these evening meetings with such frequency.
Mr. Joseph was active in helping a mutual friend of ours sell Native American crafts and musical instruments. This meant he traveled out of town almost every weekend. My friend frequently referred to him as a great help to her. I know he traveled with our friend on these trips almost every weekend for more than five years.
He was as active as his eyesight permitted. It was deteriorating. Mr. Joseph could not watch television easily, if at all. He greatly enjoyed being out with people. He as not content to stay at home by himself.
He contributed to the strength of our self-support group because he was such a regular attendee at all functions, and because he had been a member for three decades.
I hope this adds to the picture of his life.
Jean E. B"
To Whom It May Concern:
Kenneth Joseph was a very good friend of mine and many others.
He was a very spiritual man with a wonderful smile and laugh who gave much of himself to help others. Ken helped me in my life in a countless number of ways including helping me free myself from a serious alcohol addiction. He was one of the finest people I;ve ever known and I will greatly miss him in my life. I know of many others who feel the same. Sincerely, John G."
To those who cared so much for our friend Kenny.
May our memoires become full of warmest and fondest thoughts and of deep gratitude for our times with Kenny. Take Care. Cal"
Kenny was a very kind and outgoing individual. His work at the college spanned many years as a student and later as a math tutor in our Learning Assistance Center. He later retired from this position but always found time to visit the campus and come to special events though out the year with the college. Kenny spent much of his time helping others through difficult times. As a recovering alcoholic he could relate and help others through his/her troubles with addiction and refer or get people to AA meetings as needed. Kenny helped me when I was going through a difficult time in my life and he was very supportive and available in his gentle way.
It has been difficult this past year with this terrible ordeal as it would be almost impossible to find anyone that would say Kenny deserved or needed to die in the manner he did. It is tragic as I once pulled canoe with the young man that did this to Kenny and must think of the good and bad that a person can have inside of themselves when addiction or poverty engulfs an individual. Kenny has many plans of things to do, we even talked about taking a chartered fly fishing trip down the Yakima River, something I will probably do on my own now that he is gone. Everyone that knew Kenny, misses him and his smile,
his guitar and his Johnny Cash music......"
"John Frey-Instructor Northwest Indian College (retired)
I first met Kenneth Joseph when he was my student at NWIC in the mid nineteen nineties. I was teaching developmental English and math, and Ken started his college experience in that area. Ken was a dedicated student who worked very hard on his studies, often spending all day in our lab working on his coursework. With a natural affinity to math, Ken took every math course that was offered at our institution. Kenneth received his AA degree, and was hired to be a math tutor and assistant in our lab. He worked with us for ten to fifteen years before his diabetes and other medical issues prevented further employment.
Ken became a close friend and colleague. We had a mutual interest in playing music, and we played together regularly at work and elsewhere.
Ken would also come to my ten acres in Whatcom County and fill his truck with firewood from the woods near my house. We had many good times and mutual friends together. Ken was well respected by students and was sought out all over campus for help with math at all levels. I miss Ken a great deal and will always remember his gently spirit and his sense of humor."
Director of Facilities Maintenance
Northwest Indian College
I have known Ken as long as I have been sober which is 32 years. Ken and I both worked at NWIC. He was very active in his AA program, attending AA meetings in Bellingham and Lummi. Any AA function in the Lummi Community, you could count on seeing Ken there. Playing the guitar was talent Ken had and this talent doesn't come without practice. On numberous occasions I seen Ken playing with other Lummi tribal members during religious conferences. As a employee of NWIC, Ken was one of several that pretty much every Friday, you could count on him and other employees enjoying their talents by playing their instruments.
As a Traditional dancer, I attended several pow wows from Bellingham to Seattle and would run into Ken on several occasions with Kathy Humphreys who is a regular vendor at these events.
A gentle soft spoken man who had very good words for those that were still suffering from the use of alcohol and drugs was shared by Ken freely when asked. He walked his talk, give freely what was freely given to you.
When I would get the time, I would go and pick up Ken and go for rides on the rez or to an AA meeting or just visit."
Distance Learning Specialist
Northwest Indian College
To Whom It May Concern:
Ken Joseph worked for many years at Northwest Indian College as a teaching assistant to John Frey. He helped many of our students get through different areas of math. He played his guitar and sang at many of the NWIC functions. He was a well liked and well loved friend and coworker. He is missed and remembered here at Northwest Indian College and in our hearts forever. Please give justice to the person who took this kind and caring man from our lives."
Kenny Joseph was a great human! And a teacher, a singer, a mentor, and a comedian. His students thought very highly of him as did his faculty co-workers. Northwest Indian College missed him when he no longer worked here. He as and is missed!"
"Nancy James NWIC
Kenneth Joseph was a kind and gentle person. He would always say hello and ask how you were doing? I would run into him here on campus and also at Pow wows. I would stop and talk to him, he was always happy go lucky kind of guy. Always very pleasant and enjoyed being around people. He loved to play music when ever he had a chance. Will miss very much! Rest in peace Kenneth."
"Debbi A. Melemai
Ken was a great listener and a very sweet and kind man. He was very peaceful and peace loving man. He never said anything negative about anyone. He was a great musician and freely shared his enthusiasm for his music and a great sense of humor. It was a great and terrible shock when I heard how he died. It was very truly a tragedy for this community and for all the people he helped though school here at NWIC."
"Charlie Roberts NWIC
Kenny was not only a great friend, but also a great mentor, educator and musician. Kenny played important part in my life in helping me finish my education. He was awesome in math. Being Hawaiian I enjoyed playing music with Ken. I miss him a lot. He was a great mentor and kind and loving man."
"Paul Roberts NWIC
Kenny was a humble man and a wonderful friend. He attended the Lummi 7th Adventist Church when he could. He was a great math teacher, and we missed him when he retired. He was a quiet person, but had a great sense of humor. He played music for funerals with the Catholic Church with other volunteers. He loved our community."
When some one you love dies, you feel like Humpty Dumpty.
You can compare yourself to eggs as well as trees.
Your scrambled, you feel cracked, you feel raw and then you get hard boiled. But as one member of a bereavement support group said, some day we'll be sunny side up again.
When you grieve you're like a tree hit by a tornado.
Some of your roots are pulled up. Your twisted and bent.
Your leaves have been stripped. Your bark is loosened.
And worst of all, one of your big limbs has been brutally broken off.
You will never be the same. Eventually, slowly, your roots grow back.
You experience a new growth of leaves. You straighten up and reach out again.
But the limb never grows back. It becomes covered with a natural scar tissue. For ever after, you will be aware of the tornado and the tremendous change it made in your life. We hope we can stand with you in the storm, that we can be there as you weather this grief and as you look forward to standing tall once more.
By Joyce and Dr Marvin Johnson. Above all, know that you are not alone. There are people to help and support as you start this new life cycle, you'll face a journey.
Its not a journey you have to travel alone.
" Grieve Seasons"
In Winter time the grieving tree is cold, numb, naked.
When Spring time comes the grieving tree seems warmer, softer, gentler
In Summer time the grieving tree feels hot, full, stifled.
When autumn fall comes the grieving tree begins to Let Go...
By Jean McGrew
I found these after you died. I copied them because that is how I felt.
I sure miss you!!!! I should have gone to Bellingham home group AA birthday meeting this month, but I could not bring myself to go because you were not there. I know it was your birthday month. I miss you.
I am making friends in another program and I wish you were here!!!
It is so lonely with out you here without some one to hang out with.
I wished you could be here one more day for me to tell you you were a special friend to me.
See you in heaven some day my friend, LIfe has not been the same with you gone, but we have to accept life on life terms.
not so easy to deal with murder.
Thank goodness I have my cats, husband, program friends, work, son and grandchildren.
thinking of you every week.
I miss you at meetings it is so strange not to have you there.
It is my journey and the rest of us now.
See you down the road.
that is a heaven re-union I look forward too. your friend kathy"
"What a wonderful man...he is truly missed and never forgotten. He used to come visit me when I worked at NWIC and also helped me with some math problems, which he was great at. He is someone who was special and very warm and accepting to others. He had a kind and loving heart and will also be remembered."
"Miss you , brother. Wish more folks were as gentle as you. Good role model."
"I, too, miss my friend Kenny. A story I treasure always. I asked Kenny about what the kids these days should know about nature. We took a walk out in the woods on Kwina. This was before his eyesight went. He told me stories about when he was a boy in the woods - he showed me the moss on the tree trunks and how they always knew where they were. How when we stepped we busted twigs and turned over leaves to find our way back or to track deer. Back in those days kids liked the woods and didn't get lost. Those trees were cut down to make way for progress. Forever in my heart."
"Such a kind man and I am at a loss for words to express my sorrow to the family."
"I have a hard time coming home to lummi and bellingham. I wish you were there so we could go to meetings and lunch and attend events around the state. love you brother."
"I will forever miss you and your music in the longhouse. Your love of gospel music will always be so very much appreciated. You were there for the POWWOWs and for the music in the longhouse. You always had your guitar and was ready to play anytime/all the time. You were a walking testimony in the way you conducted your life. Loved your sense of humor. Say hi to Grandma, Lawrence, Eveline we miss you all deeply."
"I have never missed some body so much in all my life. I missed my sons dad, but I only knew him for about a year before Mike died. I have known you for 20 years. I didn't even know it was that long since met and got to know you.
I think of you when I am at meetings because we were always together. I didn't go to meetings without you there.
After you were gone, I couldn't even go without you there.
I talk about you a lot still. We all miss you and I don't know why this had to happen to you.
Your work and journey is done and we have to continue on until our time is done.
I wish I would have told you I appreciated your time with me as friends, co workers and travelers on pow wows. I am glad you provided me with ready made friends that knew you.
Miss you my friend. I will never ever have another friend like you. It was amazing how much we had in common: large tribal families, education, recovery and enjoyed traveling. I should have taken you to more meetings it would have helped me. I still need to go to more meetings. I don't make any attempts to talk to people. I just leave after the meetings. not much, too much of a wall of protection built up. some protection. too lonely. no trust of anyone. look what happened to you with all your friends in recovery and no one to protect you.
I will try, but no body will be close to me like you were. Kathy Humphreys"
"To my beloved friend.
You created many strong roots for me to follow.
I will be grateful to you.
I will always remember your lessons you taught me of going to meetings and conferences all of the time. I went to mt baker round up after the first year of you being gone. I figured it was a way to be close to you and it would be good for support. it was good stories. I want to go again this year.
I miss you at every meeting, but I was glad you were in my life.
Thank you for being my friend and choosing me to be in your life.
I don't know why you hung out with me but I am glad you did.
It helped me through the years and helped me not be so lonely.
This poem made me cry when I read it. dedicated to you.
A poem by Edward Hays"
What no thief can steal"
Relatives and friends, I am about to leave:
My last breath does not say good bye,
For my love for you is truly timeless,
Beyond the touch of bony death.....
I leave my thoughts, my laughter, and my dreams.
To you whom I have treasured Beyond gold and precious gems.
I give you what no Thief can steal,
The memories of our times together; (traveling to pow wows, canoe journeys)
The tender, love filled moments,
The successes we have shared, (education helping others with math)
The hard times that brought us closer together (recovery stories)
And the roads we have walked side by side....
By Edward Hays
Another poem for my friend Kenny
Only God knows Why
You never said I'm leaving
You never said good bye
You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why.
A million times I needed you
A million times I cried
If love alone could have saved you
You never would have died
In life I loved you dearly my friend
In death I love you still
In my heart I hold a place
That only you can fill.
It broke my heart to loose you
But you didn't go alone
As part of me went with you
The day God took you home.
Your journey is done and it is my journey now until we meet again when the Lord comes for his children. You were a wonderful light to us in recovery.
We all miss you in meetings. We all think of you all the time.
I constantly hear your name mentioned and they quote what you said.
I have had to make new friends in recovery since your gone, but No one will ever take your place.
I hope you knew how much your friendship meant to me.
I miss you so much! I wished I could have been there for you more.
I was angry at God at first, but it was not his fault.
Your death brought me to my knees and questioned my faith and my life's direction. I am trying to improve my spiritual life!
I look forward to seeing your smile again my friend.
I wish I told you more how much your spending time with me meant to me.
I think you knew, at least I hope you did.
I didn't realize myself until you were gone.
I miss you Kenneth.
your friend Kathy Humphreys"
"Ken was always there to help my Mother, Martha Carpenter with her struggle with cancer and my Aunt Claudette..and all of us kiids......Forever in my Heart....... Little Claudette."
"He had a warm heart and was a special friend to me. Ken was always there for me and many others. He made you feel like you were an important friend to him. He was very important to so many."
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