Friday, December 28, 2012

Coach John Joseph: Rest In Peace

What can you say about a man who influenced so many lives in such a profound and positive manner?  His strength of character, integrity, enthusiasm and compassion were absolutely unrivaled.  Our beloved Coach, Johnny Joseph, passed away yesterday afternoon, December 27, 2012, several years past his 90th birthday.  Is there an Santa Monica College swimmer who was not encouraged and made better by JJ?  Nope.  So many of us are better people because of him.  I often think of him and his example and expectations continue to help me make better decisions.

So many memories.  So much love.  So much caring.

Forty-Two (42) years as the Swim Team Coach at Santa Monica College!  Incredible!  Here is the story from the Los Angeles Times that spoke of this milestone upon JJ's retirement:

SMC Hall of Fame

How many of our beach lifeguards (Santa Monica City, L.A. City, L.A. County, State of Calif.) were coached by JJ?  Hundreds!  He was there when I took the Santa Monica City Beach Lifeguard Rookie Swim Test in the Spring of 1974.  And he attended rookie swims for over 40 years and the Lifeguard Brass knew to talk to JJ about which guys and gals were his swimmers, such was the level of respect and influence that he had earned.  Heck, by the time I took the rookie test, the lifeguard brass were often SMC/JJ Swimmer alums anyways! 

The Obituary published in the Los Angeles Times appears at the following link:

What a remarkable life our Coach lived.  He will always be with us, of that I am sure.

He is with us today and will be with us tomorrow.  While no longer with us in person, he will live on in perpetuity in each of us in our heart and soul.

God bless you, Coach.  Rest In Peace.


Will Maguire
JJ/SMC Swimmer Alum, 1973 - 1975

Photo by & courtesy of Nick Steers

Photo by & courtesy of Nick Steers

JJ Scholarship Dinner, June 2007

Photo by & Courtesy of Nick Steers 2010.

In the words of Art Verge, Sr., Ph.d:  "Johnny Joseph Forever!"


Nick said...

What a great tribute to the man we all loved and respected!

pachinko said...

I worked at SMC with John for 12 years. His reputation for kindness, hopefulness, and good humor are well known. Very sorry to hear of his passing--he seemed like he would be around forever.