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Rest In Peace Joe Deegan: Reader writer and friend

Joe Deegan
Joe Deegan

Writer and friend

(Reader) writer Joe Deegan was a friend. I really enjoyed our conversations over a beer at The Ould Sod. I loved his articles. I was interviewed by him once and part of that interview was printed in the Feb. 28, 2018 issue.

Joe recently passed away. He will be GREATLY missed! Especially in Normal Heights. Rest In Peace Joe.......

Joseph Perry

Normal Heights

Editor responds:

Joe Deegan died on Saturday, September 24. Deegan wrote for the San Diego Reader from 1998 – when he was introduced to the Reader by editor Judith Moore – until 2020.

Sponsored
Sponsored

In 2019, Deegan picked his favorite stories he had written for us.

These included:

San Diego State's growing contempt for undergrads (March 27, 2013)

Sunrise Powerlink — a chess game for the big guys (May 28, 2008)

Einstein, That Clown: Special Relativity Refuted at Bull's Smokin' BBQ

(Nov. 10, 2010)

Funeral shopping: Greenwood, Cypress View, Rosecrans (Nov. 4, 2004)

The Apocalypse keeps Tim LaHaye busy (July 8, 2004)

Homeless and going to San Diego State (May 5, 2010)

Donna Frye muses on San Diego strong mayor and district elections (Jan.

25, 2012)

The problem with San Diego's historic neighborhoods (Nov. 14, 2018)

Airport noise — from La Mesa to La Jolla (Aug. 1, 2018)

Why San Diegans like Ron Paul (Apr. 4, 2012)

Linda Vista Landmark Skateworld Faces the Wrecking Ball of Redevelopment

(Sept. 1, 2010)

City Heights' freeway-friendly bus stop (May 2, 2018)

The shame that San Diego smokers feel (March 16, 2011)

Want to out your gun-toting neighbors? There's an app for that. (Nov. 13, 2013)

Remembered joy

Greetings, I’d like to say a few words about my old friend Joe Deegan. On Sat. September 24th, the revellers were gathering in Normal Heights to celebrate the Adams Avenue Street Fair, a rite of passage when we bid adios to summer and bienvenido to Fall. On that beautiful morning, many of us present and former residents of that iconic neighborhood were learning of the passing of our old friend Joe Deegan. While the news was expected as his health was declining for some time, on learning of his passing we paused to reminisce of times we spent in his company. Joe was known to two circles of people. There were acquaintances and there were friends. I was privileged to be considered a friend. For several years, he and I lived in a quaint apartment complex in Normal Heights, and often when my door was open, as was often the case, Joe would stop to say hi. If time allowed, I would invite him in and put on the coffee pot. His visits would range from 5 minutes to 2 hours. Time spent with Joe was both entertaining and educational. You soon learned that Joe was a Renaissance man; very intelligent and very well read. His father was a highly respected judge in southern California and he was proud of his Jesuit education in high school and college. As Joe was growing up his father had fervently hoped for Joe to entrust his education to the Jesuits but Joe had his heart set on attending the University of Notre Dame. While not a man given to the display of many emotions, all you had to do was ask him how a kid from Southern California could possibly have enjoyed the bane of those Indiana winters. He’d laugh and groan and cringe as he described those midwest winters as long and brutally cold and no, he never did get used to them.

He graduated with a degree and two traits which he carried for the rest of his life. He had a passion for Notre Dame football and a deep admiration for Fr. Ted Hesburgh, who was President of Notre Dame while Joe was a student. He met the great man only once, but to be in his presence was Joe boasted, to be in the presence of a truly remarkable man. Joe’s concept of social justice was very closely aligned with Fr. Hesburgh’s and he would discuss at great and detailed length, various writings and speeches which the rather unconventional priest gave. Joe was a teacher of Logic in local colleges, an avid reader of all and many genres. For many years he has been known as a very accomplished writer. Meeting Joe for coffee at Lestat’s or a brew at his favorite bar, The Ould Sod, ensured you that your day was going to get better and you’d be wiser afterwards. I hadn’t seen him in recent years, as I had moved away from NH but I was lucky enough to get an occasional email from him which kept me up to date on the old neighborhood, City Hall or Notre Dame football. I’ll miss those emails, I’ll miss our chats and I’ll miss the visits of somebody who always left me in better form than I might have been before.

I could not stay another day To love, to laugh, to work or play, Tasks left undone must stay that way And if my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy. Joe, thanks for the memories.

Martin J Brennan

Mission Hills

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Joe Deegan
Joe Deegan

Writer and friend

(Reader) writer Joe Deegan was a friend. I really enjoyed our conversations over a beer at The Ould Sod. I loved his articles. I was interviewed by him once and part of that interview was printed in the Feb. 28, 2018 issue.

Joe recently passed away. He will be GREATLY missed! Especially in Normal Heights. Rest In Peace Joe.......

Joseph Perry

Normal Heights

Editor responds:

Joe Deegan died on Saturday, September 24. Deegan wrote for the San Diego Reader from 1998 – when he was introduced to the Reader by editor Judith Moore – until 2020.

Sponsored
Sponsored

In 2019, Deegan picked his favorite stories he had written for us.

These included:

San Diego State's growing contempt for undergrads (March 27, 2013)

Sunrise Powerlink — a chess game for the big guys (May 28, 2008)

Einstein, That Clown: Special Relativity Refuted at Bull's Smokin' BBQ

(Nov. 10, 2010)

Funeral shopping: Greenwood, Cypress View, Rosecrans (Nov. 4, 2004)

The Apocalypse keeps Tim LaHaye busy (July 8, 2004)

Homeless and going to San Diego State (May 5, 2010)

Donna Frye muses on San Diego strong mayor and district elections (Jan.

25, 2012)

The problem with San Diego's historic neighborhoods (Nov. 14, 2018)

Airport noise — from La Mesa to La Jolla (Aug. 1, 2018)

Why San Diegans like Ron Paul (Apr. 4, 2012)

Linda Vista Landmark Skateworld Faces the Wrecking Ball of Redevelopment

(Sept. 1, 2010)

City Heights' freeway-friendly bus stop (May 2, 2018)

The shame that San Diego smokers feel (March 16, 2011)

Want to out your gun-toting neighbors? There's an app for that. (Nov. 13, 2013)

Remembered joy

Greetings, I’d like to say a few words about my old friend Joe Deegan. On Sat. September 24th, the revellers were gathering in Normal Heights to celebrate the Adams Avenue Street Fair, a rite of passage when we bid adios to summer and bienvenido to Fall. On that beautiful morning, many of us present and former residents of that iconic neighborhood were learning of the passing of our old friend Joe Deegan. While the news was expected as his health was declining for some time, on learning of his passing we paused to reminisce of times we spent in his company. Joe was known to two circles of people. There were acquaintances and there were friends. I was privileged to be considered a friend. For several years, he and I lived in a quaint apartment complex in Normal Heights, and often when my door was open, as was often the case, Joe would stop to say hi. If time allowed, I would invite him in and put on the coffee pot. His visits would range from 5 minutes to 2 hours. Time spent with Joe was both entertaining and educational. You soon learned that Joe was a Renaissance man; very intelligent and very well read. His father was a highly respected judge in southern California and he was proud of his Jesuit education in high school and college. As Joe was growing up his father had fervently hoped for Joe to entrust his education to the Jesuits but Joe had his heart set on attending the University of Notre Dame. While not a man given to the display of many emotions, all you had to do was ask him how a kid from Southern California could possibly have enjoyed the bane of those Indiana winters. He’d laugh and groan and cringe as he described those midwest winters as long and brutally cold and no, he never did get used to them.

He graduated with a degree and two traits which he carried for the rest of his life. He had a passion for Notre Dame football and a deep admiration for Fr. Ted Hesburgh, who was President of Notre Dame while Joe was a student. He met the great man only once, but to be in his presence was Joe boasted, to be in the presence of a truly remarkable man. Joe’s concept of social justice was very closely aligned with Fr. Hesburgh’s and he would discuss at great and detailed length, various writings and speeches which the rather unconventional priest gave. Joe was a teacher of Logic in local colleges, an avid reader of all and many genres. For many years he has been known as a very accomplished writer. Meeting Joe for coffee at Lestat’s or a brew at his favorite bar, The Ould Sod, ensured you that your day was going to get better and you’d be wiser afterwards. I hadn’t seen him in recent years, as I had moved away from NH but I was lucky enough to get an occasional email from him which kept me up to date on the old neighborhood, City Hall or Notre Dame football. I’ll miss those emails, I’ll miss our chats and I’ll miss the visits of somebody who always left me in better form than I might have been before.

I could not stay another day To love, to laugh, to work or play, Tasks left undone must stay that way And if my parting has left a void, Then fill it with remembered joy. Joe, thanks for the memories.

Martin J Brennan

Mission Hills

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