A Tribute to Joe Johnson by His Mother

Joe Johnson and Mother

Please note: The following was authored by Joe Johnson’s mother, Becky Johnson.

You all knew him as a writer, podcaster, on the radio, and as the owner of PurplePTSD and Vikings Territory.

To me, he was just my son, my baby.

He loved all things Marvel, the Avengers, and Ironman! Especially Spiderman. But Tony Stark was his hero! He cried when Tony died. He not only made me watch all the movies but, in typical Joe fashion, he had to pause it and explain what he felt were the pivotal moments so I would understand how important that moment was (I just wanted to see Chris Hemsworth with his shirt off).

He loved my tacos and we would plan special movie nights! Of course, I wanted to watch movies like Terms of Endearment or The Notebook. Joe would pick any zombie movie or some obscure one.

He loved simple things, was a simple kinda guy. Was loving and kind and giving.

He was my best friend. We are so much alike, quick to anger, quick to forgive, both emotional beings who could pour our hearts out and we each got it. No judgment, just unconditional love.

But above all else, he loved what he did. 

It all started on an insult he got from another user on the Vikings section of Reddit. They were going back and forth on some subject and the other person said, “If you think you’re such an expert on the Vikings, why don’t you have your own site?” Joe insulted, of course, thought ‘ok I’m going to get one — and he did.

It all started with PurplePTSD. He always said he named it that because if you are a true blue Vikes fan you have PTSD.

He did the web design and the graphics (having no experience with either). He started writing…only him. As time went on, he built from that. Reaching out to any and all to come on board.

He was a one-man show. Writing, sales, HR manager, networking. Reaching out to any and all.

He finally got not only a mentor but a great friend in Joe Oberle. Joe was there at the very beginning. He really taught Joe to write! At first, Joe was a little offended at the critique as he tended to write like he talked! Ranting a little (ok a lot sometimes) but he respected Joe O so much that he took his advice and wisdom. Thank you, Joe.

Dustin Baker was Joe’s top writer! He admired him so much. And he was an anchor and friend to Joe. He loved his articles and would share them with us. Dustin has been a blessing to our family this past week. Thank you, Dustin.

He loved his writers! Would get sad when one left. Hurt, because they were like his family and he truly cared about each and every one of them. It is hard to have a big heart in business! But he always bounced back, giving opportunities to young and inexperienced men and women who had a dream like himself to do what they loved.

He was so excited about this next chapter in his life and business. He called me to share all the new things that were happening saying “It’s finally happening, Mama. I want to make you and Dad proud.” I can still hear his voice and his passion for his work. And yes, my son, I am proud of you. Always have been, always will be.

We will continue to honor our son’s memory by keeping his sites and dream alive with the help of his trusted friends and colleagues. He would love that.

That voice again I hear “It’s finally happening, Mama”. And it will continue to, my son, I promise.

I love you.

Your mom.