Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rest in Peace, Joey Fosko (1967-2013)

Joey Fosko died early Monday. It was his 46th birthday. 

He went to Lone Oak High School when we were at Heath, and we crossed paths plenty watching our football and basketball teams or participating in various academic-team or school-journalism competitions and whatnot. Later, he and I both worked at The Paducah Sun together just a bit. I was there as an intern or a part-timer at Christmas or a stringer or something--some kind of in-and-out-the-door capacity--but he was starting a 26-year run as a sportswriter with the newspaper. Joey went all-in on his passions for his hometown and sports.

We were not close friends, but Joey was nice enough to reach out a few years ago when he learned that my wife and I had moved back to western Kentucky from North Carolina. We became Facebook friends, and we traded comments and "likes" pretty frequently. One of the last posts of his that I clicked the little thumbs-up like for was this one.

I signed the back of my license today.

There are some extraordinarily kind and lovely tributes being expressed about Joey by people who knew him a lot better than I did. Here's one from Ricky Martin with Murray's paper. Here's one from Neal Bradley, the Murray State play-by-play dude. Here's one from Joey's colleague at the Sun, Dusty Luthy Shull. Here's one from Julian Tackett, the KHSAA commissioner. And here's one from Jeff Bidwell, with Channel 6.

And there are a heck of a lot of really sweet things being said by folks who hardly knew him at all. They appreciated how he interacted with their kids in his job, or they appreciated his writing in the paper, or they appreciated that, through him, they could find out from afar how their favorite teams performed and suddenly feel a little closer to the Jackson Purchase again.

I hope that Joey knew when he was alive how much he was appreciated, and I pray that he's now getting to understand it even more deeply. I suspect that he did and he is.

Rest in peace, Joey Fosko, a pal I admired and a true champion of home and fun and games, which are among the very, very best things this whole world has to offer. What a neat and valuable life you lived.


  1. This was very nicely done. I was one of those people who never knew Joey Fosko, but who was always very happy to read his work and to know he was doing such a great job. He will be greatly missed.