Writing Clerical 02

Joshua Paul Fenton

August 28, 1975 ~ December 4, 2023 (age 48) 48 Years Old

Joshua Fenton Obituary

Joshua Paul Fenton passed away on Monday, December 4, 2023, in La Jolla, California, at 1:24 p.m. at only 48 years of age. He was born in Greensburg, Indiana, on August 28, 1975, to Diana Cain and Paul Fenton.

After graduating from high school in Shelbyville, Indiana, in 1994, Joshua began his university studies at Alfred University in New York before finishing his bachelor’s degree at Ball State University. He next moved to Toledo, Ohio, where he earned his master’s degree at the University of Toledo. In 2000, he moved to Riverside, California, his last hometown. After working toward his doctorate degree at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), Joshua became a continuing lecturer in the University Writing Program at UCR, where he was beloved by students and colleagues. Creative in his work, he will be remembered as a vital, trusted, respected leader and educator in the University Writing Program.

Always one to prefer the end of the work-week to the beginning of it, Joshua likely chose a Monday as his cast-off day purposefully. However, it should be made very clear that he did “not go gentle into that good night.” After suffering from two major heart attacks, he fought for six weeks what would have killed most people in six seconds. He fought for life because he loved, loved, loved life.

He loved opera; he loved fine dining, especially at Mario’s; he loved cheap dining, especially when he could share his specialty, a wonderful marinated tri-tip, with friends; he loved going to movies, preferably with reclining seats; he loved work, though he could do without stacks of essays to grade. He adored his cats, spoiling them with treats, pets, and play. He loved a good cup of tea (with honey, of course); he loved having a tending to a fire; he loved a good countdown calendar on his phone/computer (he was already counting down to his retirement); he loved car camping; he loved Star Trek. He loved spreadsheets that only he could decipher; he loved legal pads full of lists, budgets, plans, dreams, schemes, and doodles. He adored good gossip; even in the hospital, during his final weeks, his ears were attuned to the gossip among the nurses, and he craved any news from work. He smiled with delicious delight when told that HE had become the major source of gossip in the University Writing Program—only regretting that it was tragic in nature, rather than salacious. He loved playing video games—and board games; he adored sitcoms, insisting upon marathoning his favorites again and again (and again and again). When quarantining in 2020, he honed his love of a good afternoon cocktail (or two), and he loved becoming a fledgling painter. He loved bowties, but he’d begun insisting on shoes that didn’t tie. He loved the moon and was excited by the prospect of seeing people go there again. Heck! He wanted to go there!  He loved to smile; he loved to smirk.

He loved. He loved. He loved.

More than anything, he loved the people who couldn’t help but to orbit him. And, more than anyone, he loved Devon. He was finally able to marry his beloved in 2013 in Riverside, California. However, Joshua and Devon marked their “true” wedding date as June 19, 1999. Together, they built a beautiful decades-long love story.

Joshua loved his mom, Diana, tremendously, once saying that he didn’t even want to fathom how hard it would be to lose her one day; now, he gets to be the one waiting for her—ready with one of his one-of-a-kind hugs—with his grandparents and Jakob. In fact, he’s leaving behind a large family—full of people who found him admirable and amazing. Included in this family are his Aunt Cindy and Uncle Ron, two brothers (Joel and Kevin), and a huge passel of sisters (Stacy, Christina, MariBeth, Hope, Dawn, Chasity, Miranda, Teresa, Mariah, Makayla, and Audrie), all of whom he adored. Moreover, wherever he went, he had the talent of turning friends into family with his spirit, his charm, and his mischief. In his wake, he leaves many, many grateful people who loved—who loved—him.

He is loved. He is loved. He is loved.

One of his favorite quotes was from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby: “So we beat on, boats against the current, born back ceaselessly into the past.” Those who love Joshua will “beat on,” albeit reluctantly without him, remembering a happier pass where he was with us.

And the love will go on.

Joshua’s favorite charities were Feeding America and the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center (Riverside, CA). Remembrances are being planned in both California and Indiana.

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