David Franklin “Dave” Joseph
At 3:56 p.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2021, Dave passed away at Summa City Hospital peacefully, comfortably and pain-free after a brief and fierce battle with COVID-19 which he acquired during in-patient rehab for stroke recovery.
Dave was 79 years old and just a few weeks shy of his 80th birthday.
He was born in Morgantown, WV, the first-born child of Avis Caroline Mollohan and David Samuel Joseph.
Dave loved the outdoors starting at an early age. He would spend his time outside playing sports and exploring his neighborhood for most of the day. Fishing became a favorite pastime for he and his boyhood friends. Anywhere their bikes could take them and get them home by sundown was worth a try.
He graduated from Kenmore High School, Class of 1959.
After high school, he started working in the drafting trade at Bellows Valvair and BFGoodrich in Akron. When the US Government discovered that his number had not yet been called in the selective service draft, Dave’s career at BFGoodrich was put on hold and he started a new 4-year career with the US Air Force. He spent all 4 years at the Randolph Air Force base near San Antonio, Texas. During the day he worked in Base Civil Engineering, Site Planning and Development as a surveyor and map maker. Mostly they surveyed the local farmer’s fields and farms, located and marked monuments and kept their heads down. It only took Dave one time of not following the “chiggers rules” of Texas, when he came home and fell asleep after a long hot day in the fields of Texas in the San Antonio summer sun and didn’t take his cold shower to de-chigger. He paid for that with several weeks of misery. It didn’t happen a second time.
They spent their down time and days off building hot rods and race cars. Dave built a VW Bug hot rod. It was hard to beat on the airstrips. No one knew quite why it was so fast. Dave knew why. It was what Dave did best. Analyze, design and figure it out.
After saying goodbye to the US Air Force, he returned to Akron to continue his career at BFGoodrich. He enjoyed the company sports leagues and played on the men’s softball teams, coached women’s softball, participated in multiple bowling leagues and multiple golf leagues. Golf was the bane of his existence. He loved the game and excelled at it, a near scratch handicap. But there was something about the game that he couldn’t enjoy because of his competitiveness and it ruined the game for him.
But then, at just the right time, a friend asked him if he wanted to fish as his partner in a fishing tournament that weekend. Dave was “IN” and he was excited. And, after catching the “Big Bass” for the tournament and winning some prize money, he was hooked. Hard. The golf clubs disappeared and the fishing gear started to accumulate.
It was time for Dave to part company with BFGoodrich. But, what a blessing. He landed a new job at Aircraft Braking Systems Corporation. And it was a job that he loved. He loved the parts, the precision, the design, the detail, the manufacturing. He loved watching a brake stack glow like the sun just before failure. He loved designing parts to fit together with tolerances so tight that it seemed impossible that they could be manufactured and maintained. He loved his co-workers, the brilliant, energetic and fun engineers, his fellow designers and supervisors. He learned so much from them all and had great respect and admiration for ABSC and the great teams there. It was where he was meant to be and he knew it and he was so thankful for his friends and co-workers and the opportunity he had to learn and excel at ABSC.
And there was fishing. Bass Fishing. So much to learn. Every spare minute was devoted to fishing. Dave bought his first boat and it was a dream come true. Then came the fishing clubs and tournaments. When there wasn’t a tournament scheduled, there was practicing for a tournament. Every waking moment was spent studying and learning about the lakes, about bass, about gear. He was a student of the sport. There were several boat upgrades over the years, each as unexpected as the last. Sparkly boats. Fast boats. Now he could chase those fish down. And he did. It was his dream come true and nothing that he would have imagined being possible in his humble lifetime.
The greatest joy of his life was being able to fish with his best friend, his son, Brooks. Dave was never prouder and happier than when he and Brooks were in the boat together, learning together, winning together and thoroughly enjoying their time together. There were annual spring fishing trips to Santee Cooper, SC, week-long vacations to Thousand Islands, NY, weekend trips to Chautauqua, NY. There were bass clubs and tournament circuits; AAA Bass Club, MTOC, Lakes Area Tournament Trail, ABA of Ohio, Trade Winds Marine Bass Circuit, Norton Bass Circuit, Berlin Bass Series. There were hundreds of fishing friends, partners, fellow competitors and acquaintances. Even though Dave slowed his tournament fishing in recent years; the 3 a.m. wake ups, 2 hour drives to the lake, 8 hours on the water, a long drive home all became too much; he still thoroughly enjoyed a day on the lake, on his own terms. Many thanks to his friends and fishing partners for your phone calls and visits over the past 40 years. He truly enjoyed hearing from you and he loved you all. Thank you for being his friend.
He lived a charmed life and was proud and happy to be a life-long learner and teacher. He taught himself how to build the best custom fishing rods and how to run a mill and lathe to customize the ABU 507 fishing reels so they were reliable and as unbreakable as possible. He loved making fishing gear that work well.
He was a designer, an inventor, a master craftsman. There wasn’t anything that he couldn’t fix or make better. He figured out hard things. He was always willing to help anyone in any way. He was always up for an adventure. He never said NO, except to Goats. Goats were a hard no. He loved his cats. He loved hard rock and heavy metal. Metallica, Ozzy, Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, Roger Waters, AC/DC, Beastie Boys. If it was worth playing, it was worth playing LOUD. He loved going to concerts. He will be sorely missed by all of us who loved him. He was a kind and good man.
Dave was preceded in death by his father, David Samuel Joseph and his mother, Avis Caroline (Mollohan) Joseph. He is survived by his loving wife Debra (Brackett) and his son and best friend, Brooks (Jenny) Joseph, grandchildren Alex (Celia) Joseph and Andi (Will) Frick, great granddaughter Luna, sisters Ellen Calkins and Annaleisa Manning, nephews Keith Fickle and Stephen Manning and cousin Mary Ponikvar.
Because Dave believed that the earth is for the living, cremation has already taken place. A private memorial will be held with family in the future.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Until we meet again, my love.