"Take care of yourselves and each other, and always remember my motto:
Itís ok to work hard, as long as you play harder."
in an email to his parents 7/02
Rob & Heidi Vantulden
January 12, 2003
Our most vivid memory of Joe is of a young teenager in New Symrna Beach, covered with man-o-ray stings and smiling happily, as he ran toward the ocean with a surf board tucked under his arm.
We had not seen Joe in years but as we read these website postings, we were were struck by how our initial impressions of Joe resonated throughout his life, as evidenced by the many people he touched. He was an exceptional young man infused with his family's sense of adventure.
Katie's posting brought tears to our eyes, as much from sorrow as laughter. Joe seems to have imparted a precious sense of himself to his sister. You have beautiful sister/brother memories Katie. Our thoughts are with you.
To Julie, we extend our heartfelt sympathies. You raised a remarkable son (and daughter) and shared him with the world. Your mother's poem was very poignant. We have taken your advise, Julie, and have told our kids how much we love them.
To George, as we learned more about Joe, we commented often on how much he reminded us of you. His love of life and the outdoors...his academic direction (always tempered by a great sense of fun!). George, offering to do something feels hollow but we both wish we could.
Rob and Heidi Vantulden
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