Thursday, September 26, 2013
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John Robert Joiner Jr., age 52, of Sugarloaf Key, Fla., peacefully passed away in his home Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, surrounded by his family. John fought a hard but short battle with bladder cancer.

John was a husband to one, a father to four and a great friend to many. Even though John left us very early, those who knew him knew he squeezed two lifetimes into one. He was always busy coming and going, spending as much time with family and friends as possible. John touched so many lives in a positive way.

Out of high school, he served our country as a member of the Marine Corps. He worked formerly for Skillman Construction and was a former member of the Brandywine Valley Chapter of the Phoenix Motorcycle Club.

John cared for others as a respiratory therapist at Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West. While living up North, he provided care at Christiana, St. Francis and Kent General hospitals, as well as Union Hospital of Cecil County, Md.

He traveled miles and miles touring the country on his motorcycle, most recently taking his youngest son from Key West to Anchorage, Alaska, for the summer of his 50th birthday.

He loved life and made friends everywhere he was -- boating, on camping trips, bowling leagues, at dances and rock concerts. He enjoyed the little things in life, like just watching his son grow up playing football and baseball. He loved to talk to and listen to others. John was one of those people who got along with everyone and everyone got along with him. He always had a smile that made you feel welcomed.

John saved, enhanced and touched so many lives while he was with us, but his main focus was always his family. Following his dreams, they moved to Key West in 2007. Nothing was more important to him than his wife, Leah; his sons, Jeramy Sheeley, 30, of Phoenix, Ariz. and Jeffrey Joiner, 9, of Key West; and daughters, Ashley (Plows) and her husband, Adam Chamberlain, of Key West and Maddi Kreer, 19, of Newark, Del. John is also survived by his parents, Jackquline and Harry Fowler of Millsboro, Del., and John R. Joiner Sr. of Newark, Del.; his brother, Kevin Joiner of Cecil County, Md.; and a niece and nephew.

We will all miss John in our own way. We will take our memories of him and put them in that place in our souls that no one knows about.

Everyone knows the brightest stars burn out the fastest: John was that star. In closing, I'd like to quote a song from one of John's favorite bands: Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here."

A ceremony in celebration of his life will be held at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, 2013, at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park, Key West. Those who are unable to attend in person may join in by logging on at that time to share in the memorial. In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting donations be made to an account for his son Jeffrey in his father's memory, part of which Jeffrey wishes to donate to the American Cancer Society. Donations can be mailed to Bank of America, 3200 Flagler Ave., Key West, FL 33040, Attn: For Jeffrey Joiner.

Arrangements entrusted to Castillo & Thurston's Key West Mortuary and Cremation Center.