Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Joe Hewitt

Yes, two posts in one day, again.

A few hours ago I found out that Joe Hewitt died this morning. He's someone you probably haven't heard of, but he's well known in the piping community. In fact, when he was in hospice the employees there were shocked at how much attention he was getting from pipers and drummers all over the world.

He was a drummer, and an excellent teacher. I'm told that he has, at one time or another, coached all the excellent drummers (who are in the piping community, anyways) here in the Northwest. People knew that he could help them become better drummers, and he was happy to teach.

And to give you an idea of exactly what kind of person he was...

About a year ago the Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band was formed, and Joe was in charge of the drum section. There was a slight financial problem, which resulted in everyone running around trying to figure out how to come up with the money to buy drums. What did Joe do? He bought the drums himself, and told the band to pay him back whenever they could get the funds together.

I don't remember exactly when, but he was diagnosed with a brain tumor in the past year or so. After a while he stopped doing much in the piping community so that he could spend time with his family. His condition worsened, and he wound up in hospice.

I don't know if I ever met him (which sounds weird, but I'm bad with names so it took me a while to learn and recognize his) but my mom and brother did. In fact, Tall One's piping instructor was one of Joe's friends.

Everyone knew that Joe was dying. There had already been talk about how to do his memorial service, and who would be piping at it. Someone has already written a pipe song dedicated to him, which usually only happens after someone is dead. Regardless, it was a bit surprising to hear that he'd died.

At least he's no longer suffering, and I hope he's happy, wherever he is. And, he will definitely be remembered.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

He sounds like a great guy. I'm sure he'll receive many piping tributes.

Sarita said...

Probably. I do know that Portland Metro Pipe Band and Portland Metro Youth Pipe Band will be playing together at his memorial. Or anyways, the members of the youth band who feel up to it will be playing -- for most of them this is the first time they've lost someone important to them.