A tribute to Joe Johnson by his mother

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Please note that the following was written by Joe Johnson’s mother, Becky Johnson.

You all knew him as a writer, podcaster, on the radio and 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 Spider-Man. But Tony Stark was his hero! He cried when Tony died. Not only did he let me watch all the movies, but, in typical Joe fashion, he had to pause it and explain what he thought were the pivotal moments so that 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 any obscure movie.

He liked simple things, was a simple boy. 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 got it all. No judgment, just unconditional love.

But most of all, he loved what he was doing.

It all started with an insult he got from another user on Reddit’s Vikings section. They went back and forth on a topic 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 offended, of course, thought ‘ok, I’m going to get one – and he did.

It all started with PurplePTSD. He always said he called it that because if you’re a true blue Vikes fan, you have PTSD.

He did the web design and graphics (with neither experience). He started writing… just him. As time went on, he built on that. Reach out to everyone to get on board.

He was a one man show. Writing, sales, HR manager, networking. reach each other.

He ended up not only getting a mentor, but also a close friend in Joe Oberle. Joe was there in the beginning. He really taught Joe how to write! At first, Joe was a little offended by the criticism, as he tended to write as if he were speaking! A bit ranting (sometimes a lot), but he had so much respect for Joe O that he followed 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 be sad if one left. Pain, because they were like his family and he really cared about each of them. It’s hard to have a big heart in business! But he always bounced back and gave opportunities to young and inexperienced men and women who had a dream like him to do what they loved.

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

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

I hear that voice again “It’s finally going to happen, mommy”. And it will remain so, my son, I promise.

I love you.

Your mother.

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