In Memoriam of Josh Church – A True Friend

Jack Berens, Co-editor

On November 16 just five days after his seventeenth birthday, WTHS Junior swimmer Josh Church passed away unbelievably abruptly.  He was a friend of mine (and very many), and if you knew him or want to know about him, please visit his obituary page on the Warren Cemetery’s website: http://www.warrencemetery.com/book-of-memories/2773566/Church-Joshua/obituary.php

I want to share a short story in the anthology of Josh’s spectacular life.  He always was one for brevity in conversation, so I’ll take his lead on this one.

Josh and I had been friends since elementary school, and I couldn’t be more thankful for knowing him.  To show his thoughtfulness in a nutshell, look no further.

It was my birthday in eighth grade, and as always Josh was great at remembering birthdays.  He wished me ‘happy birthday’ on the bus immediately after I boarded, which made me smile.  Once we got to school, my day followed its normal routine until I was pleasantly surprised when I walked into math class.  On my desk was a brand new Sports Illustrated book featuring sports records with pictures.  Considering I’ve loved sports and especially records all my life (I read the entire Sports Almanac cover to cover during summer camp when I was nine), I was beaming; it was such a thoughtful, great gift.  Josh casually strolls over.

“Figured you’d like it, saw it in the book fair and thought of you.  Happy birthday again, man.”

I love it and ever since that November in eighth grade it’s been on my nightstand, and I’ve gone through it countless times.  His generosity and thoughtfulness were two of his clearest, most amazing traits, and they are just a pair in the treasured catalog.  They are missed by his friends, family, and acquaintances.

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