Adam Joy was remembered by his friends and family at a service in Portland on Friday night.
Joy was struck and killed by a driver while riding in rural Polk County on June 10th. Since his death, I’ve been contact with several members of his extended family. One of them shared the memorial page with me and said it would be OK if I shared his obituary here:
Adam Masaki Joy (September 9, 1967 to June 10, 2023) was fatally struck on his bicycle on a training ride for the STP on a Salem country road on June 10th, 2023. Adam was born in Okinawa, Japan and emigrated with father Alfred Peter Joy and mother Masako Joy to his father ’s home place of Portland, Oregon at five years of age. Adam lived the rest of his life in Portland, graduated from Parkrose High School, graduated in Physics from Reed College (‘89), and graduated with his Master of Arts in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College. Adam had the first degree (Shodan) of the black belt in Aikido and was a faithful student and teacher of Aikido. He recently served as the President of the Okinawan culture society Oregon Uchinanchu Kenjikai.
Whether dressed as Rasputin, teaching kite design, hunkered down fascinated by the creatures in an Oregon coast tide pool, gazing at constellations through a telescope, or over bubbling test tubes, Adam lived a life of extraordinary learning and service. He served as a Science Explorer at OMSI and taught at the the Alberta Science for Kids Program, in the Portland Public Schools TAG program, and at Pegasus Summer Programs at UC Irvine for gifted youth. At OMSI, Adam was in the Science Theater department as one of its best, most enthusiastic Science Demonstrators, especially the physics demos. He also really enjoyed special events like the Renaissance Faire where we would juggle with other Demonstrators. After earning his MA in Teaching, Adam taught mathematics and science to public middle school students at Vancouver Discovery Middle School and then public school (grades 6-12) science and math at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Adam was honored to receive many grants and special funding for advanced study in research in math and science education, including geology, biology, and STEM. He also co-authored book chapters and conference presentations about innovative, experiential, arts-infused, and multicultural STEM education.
There are thousands of Pacific Northwest students who will remember “Mr. Joy, Mr. Joy”’s sense of humor, passion for learning and teaching, and commitment to the beauty and regenerative promise of the natural world. When not working, Adam spent his time growing tomatoes organically in a permaculture haven with friendly chickens and a wide hammock. Adam was a daily bicycle commuter and a committed environmental conservationist who poured love into his sons, family, and community and lived a vibrant, vital life. A true creative and liberal arts Reedie, Adam loved music and played the violin, and he loved to juggle while on a unicycle. Adam had a verve and commitment to life that will be deeply missed. May we all carry his memory forward in our own lives, contributions, and good thoughts and deeds.
Adam follows his sister Maria Masami Joy, father Alfred Peter Joy, and Grandma Marcella Joy, and is survived by his two sons, Nao (15) and Ryuu (20), the boys’ mother, Narumi Joy, and Adam’s mother, Masako Joy. Adam is survived by uncles Chester, David, and Jason Joy, Aunt Marcie (Marcella) Joy Boroughs, and cousin Karen Joy Warton, along with the extended Petri-Joy Clan of the Pacific Northwest. Adam is also survived by close friends including landmates Marna Hauk and David Copeland, and companion Megan Person. Adam is also survived by beloved OMSI alumni colleagues, including Greg Dardis, Jake Elsas, and Matt Miller, and many more, and Reed alumni colleagues, Discovery Middle School students and colleagues, and the entire faculty and student body of the Vancouver School of Arts and Academics.
Joy’s family has retained a lawyer and the investigation into the crash is ongoing. Stay tuned for updates.