Joel Moss (he always answered the phone with his full name) was one of those personalities that was larger than life. He teased everyone - wait staff in restaurants, check-out clerks, telemarketers, his employees, essentially everyone. When dining out, he held his cup up in the air when he needed more coffee and pointed to it with a cheesy smile until someone noticed. In the drive through lane he almost always said "That's to go." He literally seemed to live to make people laugh. His sense of humor was dry, very intellectual, and sometimes people didn't know how to take him. But that didn't stop him from trying to get a smile. He could turn on a dime and get serious, too. The day before he passed away, he told a friend when they were discussing the death of a famous musician, "Well, you know what the Bible says..." and proceeded to remind him every person has a time to go and that the timing is God's. We will always remember that he left us a legacy of laughter.
Joel was the eldest of three adopted sons of a Methodist minister. Born on November 5, 1957 in Iowa City, Iowa, he was the son of Reverend Robert and Charolet (Jaeger) Moss. He could not have chosen a better father for himself and they were very close. He has great memories of fatherly talks and advice as well as time spent golfing with him. He remembered in grade school reaching his full height early and being almost a foot taller than the other kids. One newspaper article referred to him as the "husky kid" because his build was so much larger and stronger. One of the kids once asked him, "Were you ever in a fight." Without a pause and completely dead-pan he replied, "Well, I hit people and they fell down." We absolutely roared with laughter because we knew he didn't hit people, but it was so Joel to say it and would be so true if it really happened.
The family moved several times and finally settled in Fort Wayne where Joel remembered running along Coldwater Road from his home, just north of Northrop High School, when there was nothing but fields around. He was always interested in sports and guitar and started both early in his life.
His teen years saw him picking up the electric guitar and becoming absolutely gifted at playin it. He became so good at it, we often joked he was the best guitar player the world never knew. The jokester side of him came out early, too, and when his mischievous side prevailed, he said he would get others in trouble because he could run away faster. He was always frugal with money and his parents told the story of the time they left on a trip and gave Joel money for food. He instead spent the money on tires for his car and ate every last bit of food he could find in the house.
Even though Joel's father was a minister, he didn't commit his life fully to Christ until his late mid to late 20's. He kept "running into" Christians who shared their stories with him and he came to believe that God was "chasing him around." He always said that when he played his guitar, even in places his wife wasn't sure she wanted him to play, it gave him the opportunity to tell people what God had done for him. And he did whenever he could.
Joel majored in Political Science in college, but as many do, he found a different path for a career. He began working in sales for an electrical company and eventually found a great business partner and started his own company. Technology Contracting Services, Inc. was formed with Mike Parks and two other friends and they built a team that installs and services all kinds of systems - nurse call, alarms, communications and sound. The company has grown to employ 12 people in its almost 20 year history and has also grown into a great family. He was immensely proud of what they had all accomplished together and valued the friendship of the TCSI family as well.
Though not in the military himself, his father was a retired colonel that served in World War II and received two purple hearts. Joel was immensely proud of the fact that his father is buried in Arlington Cemetery. He had three children with his first wife, Janet, and they both continued to follow their accomplishments with pride. Jordan and Janelle were avid basketball players through high school and into college, and Justin was into swimming and art. He loved attending games and embarrassing them by teasing the refs with his deep, booming voice. He went through the ups and downs of sports life with them, teaching, disciplining and encouraging them with late night talks in the hot tub. While they have had a normal family life of fights and tears, he grew prouder of them every day, watching as Justin illustrated his first book and started dating a wonderful girl. His "favorite daughter," Janelle, worked hard to build a life for herself in Chicago and met an amazing man. Jordan was a college basketball, Division III All-American, married his wonderful college sweetheart and they brought his first grandchild into the world in October.
Joel married his current wife, Michelle, after being single for many years. They were friends for much of that time and dated off and on. He proposed by sitting her down to "talk" about their relationship and the things that they (she- mostly!) needed to work on and change. In frustration Michelle eventually walked out of the room into the kitchen announcing that he was just never going to get married and she needed to just realize it and move on. He came up behind her and simply laid the engagement ring box on the counter behind her, causing her to burst into tears when she saw it. He succeeded in surprising her. That was his way.
Joel and his family have memories of trips together, both great and terrible, as trips can be! Camping together, whitewater rafting in which Justin ended up head-first in the water, and hiking in Colorado when a storm blew up on the mountain and they were literally running down the hill to try to escape lightning. His kids were everything to him and he was always there for them. He was so proud the day his first son was born. When Jordan was born so big, the doctor joked saying something like "Look, it's a baby moose!" And Joel quickly responded with pride, "No, it's a baby Moss!"
They were so fortunate to spend a family vacation in a cabin last May in Hocking Hills, OH, the first time as a family of adults. The weather was not cooperative, but it was a great time of just being together - having fun around a campfire, hiking, hot-tubbing, golfing and zip-lining. A memory that is more deeply cherished now one for which they will forever thank God they decided to do.
Joel 's favorite things in life were playing guitar, working around the house and lawn, golfing and being with his family. He played guitar in church worship bands and the last few years was steadily playing around the area with his friends Scott Page and Sam Moffett. He loved playing with these two guys so much! He preferred the classic rock style and anything that could feature a guitar solo. He didn't want to be overly self-indulgent, he simply loved playing. He used to joke that he didn't care about the words to a song because they were just wasted space between guitar solos. He loved playing with Coupe Deluxe (formerly the Acme Blues Band) and had a full schedule already planned for this year.
When he wasn't playing guitar, he was working on his yard and landscaping projects - nearly a full-time job. That was his fun. And when he needed a break from that form of fun, he golfed. He especially reveled in trying to keep his son Jordan from overtaking him in skill! Joel brought life and energy to everything he did - he was a BIG presence and leaves a HUGE hole in our lives!
He loved Star Trek , especially the original series, The Wild, Wild West, Nova and all twenty seasons of Law and Order, SVU. He said the best movie ever made was...and then filled in the blank with whatever it happened to be at the moment - Galaxy Quest, The Outlaw Josey Wales , etc... He was a true musician loving all sorts of music, but loved instrumental blues with guitar or piano the best. Occasionally he would get lost in a book and it was almost always a biography - that was how he handled plane rides.
Joel was known for his quotes. When we were out at any store where a clerk or salesperson was helping us, when they would ask us, "Do you have any questions?" without missing a beat Joel would say, "What is the atomic weight of depleted uranium?" It would either get a laugh or a complete stare - either one was ok with him. He was fond of saying he majored in Biblical composition and the rule he just made up could be found in the second book of Joel.
His family meant the world to him and they will miss him deeply until they reunited in the presence of Christ. Joel G. Moss, age 62, of Columbia City, IN passed away at 11:45 AM on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at his residence. He is survived by his wife Donna Michelle Moss of Columbia City; children Jordan (Kylee) Moss of Columbia City, Janelle Moss of Chicago, and Justin Moss of Fort Wayne; grand-daughter and his "Special K," Karrington Moss, mother Charolet Moss of Fort Wayne; brothers John and Jeff Moss, both of Fort Wayne; his children's mother, Janet Moss of Columbia City; and niece Jessica Moss of Fort Wayne.
He was preceded in death by his father Reverend Robert Moss.
Friends may call on Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 2-5 and 6-8 pm at DeMoney-Grimes, a Life Story Funeral Home, 600 Countryside Drive, Columbia City.
A Celebration of Life for Joel will be held at 10:30 am on Friday, January 17, 2020 at Sonrise Church 10125 Illinois Road, Fort Wayne, with calling one hour prior to service.
Burial will follow in South Park Cemetery, Columbia City, IN.
Memorial contributions in memory of Joel may be made to Whitley County Humane Society.
Visit www.demoneygrimes.com to send the family an online condolence.
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We just finished viewing the video and are still smiling! Jill and I have fond memories of getting together with Joel and Janet when our kids were young. Visits to the Columbia City Pizza Hut . . . a summer's cruise on the Tri-Lakes . . . a night out on the town listening to Joel's band play. Our condolences to his family, friends, and band mates. We know he will be dearly missed.
For Joel's family: Prayers, love, hugs, thots and peace in your hearts.
Our deepest sympathys to joels family and friends also great tribute watching him perform with the band will be deeply missed from your band friends dave and lorri
e band He will be deeply missed from band friends david and lotri
I'm so sorry for your loss! Joel was one hilarious character and will be missed.
Dear Michelle and all the family.so sorry to hear of Joel's sudden passing.
I never met him, but have been a friend of Charolet and Jeff for many years, we met at Covenant united Methodist church, Fort Wayne.God bless everyone.
Helen and Jack Cochrane.
Praying for peace upon the whole family! Michelle you are so loved and remember we are here for you. Not easy at all losing the love of your life. Take each day slowly and comfort yourself with knowing how much you were loved! Love you, Melody
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