He touched lives with compassion
Josh was a loving, empathetic man; a very old soul. He loved people unreservedly. From an early age, he had a passion for mentoring and encouraging others; the compassion he carried in his heart was visible in his eyes and displayed in his actions. He could easily have an in-depth conversation with his 85-year-old grandmother, and in the next moment be playing on the floor with his 7-year-old niece.
As a child Josh was easy; never complaining or asking for much and always made the family laugh. He rarely argued with his parents and was respectful to everyone. He and his dad were buddies. Josh often accompanied his dad to work, helping him with small tasks when young, and later installing cabinetry, flooring and countertops for the family business. Their loving time together served as an example for the care that he displayed toward others and his steadfastness in supporting them.
In high school, Josh played basketball and baseball, but especially excelled at golf, breaking four school records. Though Josh attended three years at Bowling Green State University, much of what he accomplished was because of his interest in self-learning. He could master whatever task was put before him, through his talent, ambition and persistence.
One of Josh’s biggest accomplishments was as a wonderful brother to his siblings and mentor to his cousin, who credits Josh with molding him into the person he is today. He has a tattoo in Josh’s honor that reads: “Stay the Course,” as a daily reminder.
Josh and his mother were very close, she was his first call when he was sick, needed to share something, or wanted a home cooked meal. Despite this powerful bond, the questions about adequate parenting persist in her mind. “It has made me doubt myself,” his mom said, ‘You question your very being as a parent.’
Josh’s mom said that Josh lived his life “as if there was a pre-planned destiny to touch as many lives as he could in a short amount of time.” Though he fought hard to overcome his addiction, Josh couldn’t see a life past the age of thirty, so he made no plans for a girlfriend or children. “I believe Josh somehow knew his life wouldn’t consist of those relationships, and that is why he cherished the ones he had in all of us,” his mom said.
“I miss our daily talks, and his hugs that reassured me he was going to be alright,” his mom said. ‘He played such an important role in our small family; his absence is substantial.’ I was always wondering if he would relapse or what was coming next,” she said. ‘Now I don’t wonder if the ambulance I hear is heading to his apartment. It is an uncomfortable sense of peace.’
Josh’s mother, Kerrie Ham, provided the information for this narrative.
November 18, 1989-July 12, 2020
Age 30-Lived with addiction 12 years