In Memoriam: Joshua Ian Witkin

Joshua Ian Witkin died peacefully on April 25 in the presence of his sister, Shana, and his Dad, Stanley and Stepmom, Frannie with him on FaceTime all telling him how much he was loved while his beloved “Three Tenors” played in the background.

Joshua was born in Ithaca New York on August 3 1977. Soon after he moved with his family to Tallahassee Florida where he lived for ten years with an interim three years in Eugene, Oregon. In 1991 he moved to Vermont where he lived for the rest of his life. His last residence was in Fairfax Vermont in the loving home of Terri Dunn and Jake Delang.

He worked part-time for many years as a mailroom assistant at the University of Vermont delivering mail to various offices and to the Departments of English and Political Science. For many, Josh’s enthusiastic “Hi!” as he entered their office was a highlight of their day.

Josh loved music. He would spend long periods playing his keyboard and composing music that, like Josh, was not typical. He also loved nature and being outside where he could feel the wind or see water. Most of all he loved people and found ways of connecting even if it meant getting them to make silly faces. Despite his many challenges, Josh’s authenticity, warm demeanor, and winning smile led many to value knowing him. He was a beautiful, kind soul who touched the hearts of many people. He will be sorely missed.

Joshua is survived by his father, Stanley Witkin and stepmother, Frannie Joseph of Charlottesville Virginia, his mother, Karen Steen Witkin of Sandpoint, Idaho, his sister, Shana Witkin Frishman, her spouse Jason and their two children – Micah and Isaiah – of Richmond Vermont, and his brother, Justin Witkin, his spouse Bonnie and their four children – Chloe, Sophia, Mia and Laila – of Gulf Breeze Florida.

At this time, plans for a remembrance/celebration of Joshua’s life have not been finalized. However, donations in honor of Josh’s memory can be made to TASH, a national association devoted to advocacy for people with significant disabilities. If you wish to donate, please use the following link.