Hyacinth Charles, CRC, LMHC, FDC, CASAC , one of my LinkedIn group  connections for Vocational Rehabilitation Association  group  asked me how I was doing. (Here’s a note to everyone. Never ask me how I’m doing. I just might tell you.)

I answered in somewhat of a lengthy fashion, “Not bad.” I wrote. “I just got in from teaching a fitness class and I’m considering washing my car which accrued a huge great blue heron turd across the hood and windshield whilst parked next to the Fraser River in Burnaby. I was there helping Joe Hofmann’s wife Ann illegally scatter his ashes on the river. Say good bye to Joe, everyone. Canadian Vocational Rehab people sporting an RRP after their names  would know him as a member of the executive of the association. He passed away last Tuesday, and I’m trying to figure out a way to mention this in my blog later this evening. Washing the car might do the trick.”

Now I have a clean car, and I think I’ve just mentioned his passing in the post.

I have known Joe since August 2011 where we were both hired on as employment counsellors  at an agency in Vancouver. About four years later we both found ourselves at Neil Squire Society in Burnaby working to meet the employment needs of the physically disabled. We were both laid off from there in January 2012, but we remained friends and references for each other.

This past February he was diagnosed with cancer and given a few weeks to live, which brought me to the bank of the Fraser for the solemn spreading of the ashes which featured two of his wife’s friends, the river,  the heron, a Labrador/Setter dog named Chester who snuck up on me agave me a wet kiss in the ear, and a male and female mallard who circled the area in the river after the ceremony.  (Chester belonged to a jogger that was passing by which is how we got to know his name.

Joe was a great person to work with. He was funny, imaginative, and managed to come up with some pretty creative plans for his clients – plans that I would dash to smithereens when it came time to face the grim realities of the labour market. (My responsibility was to find work for them , and for the most part we were successful.)

Ann and her friends viewed these as good omens, and I don’t disagree. Somewhere in this blog I have a story about a possibly 13,000 year old skeleton that a demolition crew dug up ended up in the trunk of my car. I had the Musqueum Band  re-bury it, and during the ceremony, a couple of bald eagles in the treetops bowed their heads and flew off as the bones were lowered into their new grave

Joe’s ceremony was quiet and serene –   just the way Joe would have liked it, and also conformed to his wishes.

I mentioned that he was funny. That meant that I could piss him off at the drop of a hat by calling him a bureaucrat ( as he would say in his Burnaby dialect, “Burreycrat.” Other Joeisms were “That’s a mute point, so shut up, “ “I don’t get paid enough to listen to your whining,” and, “Don’t you threaten me, in response to my proclamation, “I’ll be back.”

Just because Joe liked things quiet doesn’t mean that we have to be quiet about it. I encourage all who knew him to post something cute in the comment section below, and by all means feel free to have a beer and say good bye.

Mike Broderick , a one- time archaeologist, is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor with the Fraser Health Authority in Port Coquitlam where he helps people with mental health disabilities find and keep full or part time employment .
He WAS the Employment Specialist for the Neil Squire Society in Burnaby where he found employment for people with physical disabilities, A Supported Employment Coordinator at THEO BC (now the Open Door Group), and a case manager at Community Fisheries Development Centre where he helped people move from the fishing industry to something else because there, “Aint no fish.” This means he is VERY familiar with how a modern day resume should look.
He is an active ambassador with the Vancouver Board of Trade and a member of the Labour Task Force of the Burnaby Board of Trade He does some work as a field Archaeologist, is a fitness instructor and frequent contributor of fitness humour articles to Alive Magazine. He is always saying, “If you can’t be fit, you can at least be funny.”
He lives in Port Coquitlam with his spouse Cecelia. You can reach him at home at or at 604-464-4105. If you’re looking for a career change, he is the Spin Doctor and can give you a resume makeover at competitive rates.



3 Responses to “GOOD BYE JOE”

  1. Joey Sano Says:

    May your afterlife be full of herons mallards Labradors and may you sore with the eagles

  2. chadleaman Says:

    Joe was a great mentor to me at Neil Squire. I could pitch various schemes, and his response would always begin: “Think about it for a minute Chad…” regardless if he agreed or not. For a while Joe and I shared a very thin poorly built wall between our two offices… and a lot of jokes and debriefs between various blow ups. After Joe left NSS but learned about my internal promotion he took the time to call the office and congratulate me, and told me to play the game with the beaurucrats but mutter screw off after i hung up.. I wish I had a chance to tell Joe the same: you may have hung up on this callin, but you can still tell the turds to get flushed. I learned a lot from you Joe and I still think of you. Thank you for this space bad Mikey.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: