"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
November 26, 2002
I was going to tell this story at my son's service and realized I might not be able to - the story is prompted by reading of Joe's many nicknames on this message board.
It was a tradition, certainly a stronger one in the first half of the 1900's, to name a son as a namesake and so I became George Hamilton Milligan III and Joe (not without protracted discussion with my wife) became the IV (the same tradition prevailed in my wife's family with the names Joseph, Thomas and Cecil, and in my mother's family with Joseph). We did not want him growing up called junior, georgie, or porgie so we struggled to come up with a nickname. At one point Julie suggested Graham (the gr from George, ham from Hamilton but I thought it too prissy - apologies to any Grahams out there; ironically Joe nicknamed his cabbage patch doll Graham)
We finally settled on the first 3 letters - Geo - which his grandmother had embroidered into his first Christmas stocking and which we pronounced "Joe" (thereby also honoring all the Joes on both family sides). Since he was such an ingenuous and fearlessly happy kid, he immediately
became Joey for the first half of his life. He announced about the age of 12 that Joey was too childish and henceforth Joe was it (or Joester, which was my nickname for him).
When Joe went to Australia, the Australians, as he put it, shorten and/or put vowels on everything. Thus, Christmas is Chrissie, Australians are Aussies, his close friend and roommate Jordan is Jordo. Naturally, Joe became Joey, which is also Aussie slang for a baby kangaroo. When Joe died in Bali, he was known to all there and in Australia as Joey. So, you see, like his nickname, my son has come full circle.
Rest In Peace, Joester.
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