Joseph Francis Kaczyk Jr. died on May 30, after a long journey with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. His wife Meg, sister Monica, and friends Andrew, and Sally were with him as he passed.
Joe was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on Jan. 11, 1957 — although one of the many stories he tells, his mother, Therese, contended 11:57 p.m. Jan. 10 was the actual date. The doctor having paused for a cigarette break, noted it differently and it wasn’t until young Joey went to get a work permit at age 16 that he found out his birth certificate listed 1/11/57 12:15 a.m.!
Coming from a deeply connected family of Polish immigrants, Joe enjoyed many real and honorary aunties and uncles, including nuns and priests from Our Lady of Czestochowa and Brother Ed from the Franciscan order in Philadelphia.
Joe loved old cars, motorcycles, trees, poetry, jazz, art, architecture, sailboats, and music of all kinds. He appreciated the adventure of life together with his beloved wife Meg for 19 years including camping in Northern New Mexico, Eastern Oregon and the Oregon and Washington Coast — not to mention the simple pleasures of lattes in the morning, Chinese Checkers and Joe’s excellent dry martinis on the occasional evening.
Joe loved to tell the stories of his youthful years on the road with his old friend Misha, when they travelled across the country in their Dodge pickup with a homemade camper on its back, their dog Jacques, a guitar and not much else. During that trip, Joe discovered the West Coast and finally returned to make his home there in 2004, getting introduced to Portland, and to Meg, through Misha and his wife, Dana. Once settled in Portland, Joe continued his 35-year banking career until his disease prompted retirement in 2014.
Joe and Meg moved to Port Townsend from Portland in 2016 — mindfully choosing their new hometown for its quiet, beauty and community.
Joe leaves a wealth of friends who will miss him so much — the stories, the evenings of spinning records, the laughter and the fun. In addition to the Port Townsend crew (you know who you are), there’s the Portland neighbors, the Portland Tuesday Night Moto Club, and the East Coast legacy pals, many of whom Joe kept in touch with over the years. Joe is preceded in death by his mother Terry and father Joe Senior. Surviving family include wife Meg; stepdaughter Lucie (Jacob); stepson Duncan (Libby); sisters JoAnn (Teddy), Katherine, Monica (Paul) and Donna (Bruce); as well as granddaughter Naomi, born in October 2022 to Lucie and Jacob.
Special hugs to Dr. Michi Shinohara and Dr. Ann Murphy for their steadfast love and care in these last few years. Joe would not have lived as long as he did without their help.
Joe will rest as soil among the trees on the Olympic Peninsula. His wish is for people to remember him by planting trees or making a donation to a conservation group.