Joe Stoltzfus passes away at age 52

Father, unicyclist and MUni Weekend host Joe Stoltzfus passed away on May 18. John Childs forwarded me a link to a local news article about him:
http://www.mtexpress.com/index2.php?ID=2005126175
I will paste the text below in case the link gets taken down:

Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Friday, May 22, 2009
Joseph Karl Stoltzfus

                                                                                                                                                          [IMG]http://www.mtexpress.com/images/09-05-22obitstoltzfus.jpg[/IMG]                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Joseph Karl Stoltzfus, 52, died on Monday, May 18, 2009, at his home in Hailey after years of pain. 

Joe was born to Joseph and Dorothy Stoltzfus on Nov. 15, 1956, in Lancaster, Pa. In 1976, at 18 years old, Joe rode his bicycle across the United States. His ride took him through Hailey and Ketchum. He loved the area so much that he returned to live in Ketchum, where he began working as a carpenter.
Joe married Judy Lacina on May 27, 1984. Joe and Judy met while Joe and his parents were camping in Glacier National Park, where Judy was backpacking. After Jared was conceived, Joe and Judy built Judy’s dream home in Hailey. Both Joe and Judy’s parents gave much help to the construction of their log home.
Joe has worked as a carpenter all his life. He gained his initial skills in carpentry from his beloved grandfather, Ira Herr, who he lived next door to growing up.
Joe expanded a childhood passion of riding unicycles when he began riding on the mountain trails. He was delighted to discover this sport had a name, MUni (Mountain Unicycling), and other riders as passionate and crazy as him. He shared this love of the unicycle with his son, Jared, and the family frequently participated in MUni gatherings.
Joe was deeply loved and respected by his family and will be forever missed. Joe is survived by his wife, Judy Stoltzfus; his son, Jared Stoltzfus; his parents, Joe and Dorothy Stoltzfus; his sisters, Linda Martin and Brenda Proudfoot; and his cousins, Ed Herr and Neven Herr; as well as nearly 100 first cousins.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 28, 2009, at Hop Porter Park in Hailey at 4 p.m.


The Stoltzfus family joined the Thompsons for the first “organized” Moab MUni Fest in the year 2000. In 2001 they hosted the “California” MUni Weekend on their local trails, and at their home in Hailey, Idaho. Wonderful people. Joe will be sadly missed.

Here’s some pictures from the 2001 MUni Weekend. It had a small turnout because it started on 9/14/01, when commercial planes were still grounded. Joe is the guy in the center of that first picture, basically pointing to what we were about to do…

Sorry if this is a delicate question but does any one know the cause of the untimely passing?

I never had the pleasure of meeting or knowing him, and I am saddened by this news. My condolences go out to his family.

I’m sorry to hear about Joe’s passing. He was a good guy, and we’ve missed him and Judy (and son Jared, and also dog Rouff who passed away recently) at Moab the past couple of years. Judy made the cool “1x1 Off Road” caps that you see around the MUni events (I was wearing mine today).

Here’s a shot of Joe at Moab 2006, which was the last time he could make it.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tholub/3564329119/

Joe’s been ill for quite a while; even the day of this photo, he couldn’t do the whole Porcupine Rim trail; he just went up to the overlook and back down. The past two years it hasn’t been feasible for him to ride.

My best wishes to the family.

Our good Friend Joe Stoltzfus

Our family was grieved to hear of Joe’s passing. Give or take a few people, Joe, Judy, and Jared Stoltzfus and the Thompsons were pretty much the only attendees of the first three Moab MUni Fest events. We felt an immediate kinship and love for the whole Stoltzfus family and came to really look forward to spending time with all of them in Moab. We did much more, in the way of fun, than unicycle those first years. The Stoltzfus’ were the reason we kept the Moab MUni Fest going long enough to really take off and become popular.

The first year, I admired the fact that Joe (a carpenter by trade) had made both his and his son’s unicycle frames out of wood and fiberglass. At the time, mountain unicycle frames were uncommon and expensive. We were all trying to figure out how to get our hands on some reasonable equipment without blowing the family savings. Joe’s approach to making his unicycle frames was novel and remains among the most creative I’ve seen. It was inspiring to me. I was also amazed how tough and bold Joe was as a rider. I would often cower at a big drop only to see him whoosh right past and down the drop. Not to be out done I would always follow but we both knew who went first. Joe pushed me and made me a better rider for it. My whole family will miss Joe immensely but we are grateful to count both Judy and Jared among our best away friends. Our sympathies go out to them at this time but our hearts also lighten to think of all the wonderful experiences and friendships that have ensued as a result of their family and 10 years of the Moab MUni Fest made possible–in large part–by their support and friendship.

With gratitude for his friendship and theirs,

Rolf Thompson & Family