Joseph “Joe” Borst, 76, died peacefully at his home in Valley, WA on the morning of Monday, May 23, 2016 after a battle with cancer. He was surrounded by family and friends.
Joe was born to parents Fred and Florence Jean (Wallace) Borst on April 28, 1940 at the home of his grandparents in Northgate, ND. As family members recall it, Joe was born on the kitchen table at the Borst family homestead. He was raised at the family home with older brother, Jim, and younger siblings Jack and Gaye (and his dog “Pal”) until 1952. Life in North Dakota was not easy. Joe recalled 20 ft. snow drifts and winter temperatures of 40 degrees below zero.
From North Dakota, Joe moved with his family to Los Angeles, CA, where he eventually attended Glendale High School. In 1957, Joe joined the U.S. Navy. He completed boot camp in San Diego, then was stationed at Whitby Island and assigned to the Anti-Submarine Warfare Squadron Fifty, the Blue Dragons. He enjoyed his time in the Navy, especially the time he spent in Iwakuni, Japan. Joe met some of his very best friends in the service, like his friend Ike. On leave from the Navy in 1958, Joe returned home to find a new family member, baby sister Carol Jean.
After completing his time in the service, Joe returned to California and began driving semi truck for Systems 99 and other companies. He met Carolyn L. Lowman in 1966. They were married in Las Vegas in April, 1967, and together they raised Carole’s son, Gary. In 1970, they packed up their belongings and moved to Valley, WA. They lived in several places around the area before settling in their home on Waitts Lake Rd. Most notably, a small farmhouse they nicknamed the “skunk farm.” Together, Joe and Carole started C & J Trucking. Though they eventually split up, they continued to run the business together until Carole’s death in 2002.
Joe loved to fish for Walleye on the Columbia River. He was not a fan of trout, and if you knew him well you probably heard him mention he was not interested in catching any “stinkin” trout. With a special fishing pass granted from the state, Joe was able to spend a couple of his final days with a few close friends and family members fishing before opening day of the season. Joe caught fish, and everyone else caught a glimpse of that famous smile.
Joe loved travel and adventure. He visited Australia and New Zealand, and jumped out of an airplane. He went on cruise vacations with his longtime companion, Cheryl Simpkins. He visited his younger brother Jack in Georgia and frequently visited his sisters in California. He is survived by his girlfriend Cheryl Simpkins; brother Jack Borst; two sisters, Gaye Thompson and Carol Jean (husband John) Barnick; sister-in-Law Arlene Westman (husband Dick); grandchildren Joey, Tawnya and Tabitha; and several nieces and nephews.
All friends are invited to join Joe’s family for a memorial potluck luncheon at the American Legion Hall on Saturday, June 25 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Hospice, Dominicare or The American Legion.