1:59 PM: From LifeCenter Northwest, word of a special tribute to Joel Eggert, the West Seattle man killed in a Highland Park motorcycle crash in December 2016:
Joel Eggert had a lust for life. He was wildly creative, intelligent, and inquisitive. He could usually be found perched atop a Harley Davidson and was passionate about art and music playing multiple instruments including guitar, piano, and drums. Two years ago, Joel took his last ride. After sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident, he passed away at Harborview Medical Center just before his 47th birthday. His legacy of generosity lives on in the recipients of his organs, corneas, and tissue. Joel will be honored with a floral portrait, called a floragraph, which will adorn The Donate Life Rose Parade® float on January 1, 2019.
LifeCenter Northwest is sponsoring Joel as an honoree on the float. His floragraph – made of seeds and natural materials – will be completed by his family and friends on Tuesday, November 27, 2-3 pm at Harborview Medical Center in the Research and Training Building Auditorium. The floragraph will then travel to Pasadena, CA where it will be placed on the Donate Life float in preparation for the Rose Parade. Joel’s family is also traveling to Pasadena, where they will have the opportunity to meet others touched by organ, eye, and tissue donation and attend the parade in Joel’s honor.
Outgoing from a young age, Joel made friends easily and connected with people at an intimate level that built many lifelong relationships. A sharp dressed man, he could usually be found donning his characteristic bandanna and sunglasses, perched atop a Harley Davidson-his preferred mode of transportation. Art and creativity also played a continuous role throughout his life. Drawing and metal sculpting were among his favorite hobbies.
Joel was an extremely dedicated employee, and for the last 10 years he used his artistic ability to create beautiful metal work for a luxury yacht builder in Seattle. But in his free time, he wouldn’t turn down an invitation to rock n’ roll all night. He was deeply entrenched in the local music scene, frequently attending concerts and rubbing elbows with famous musicians.
“Music – mostly rock, coursed through his veins. Wherever he was, he was surrounded by music,” said his sister Stacey.
In addition to being an artist, musician, and loyal friend, Joel was a family man. He was a loving father to his son Zak, daughter Rhiannon, and granddaughter Hayley. He was also very close to his extended family in Minnesota and Washington.
On a rainy December night in 2016, Joel took his last ride. After sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident, he passed away five days before his 47th birthday. The breadth of his life was felt immensely as his community filled his hospital room to say goodbye and share a few final songs. His legacy of generosity lives on in the recipients of his organs, corneas, and tissue.
“Giving his organs and life to others is just a continuation of the man he was, often giving to others, even if it left him with nothing,” said Stacey. “His final gift provides comfort to me and our family and friends.”
Just three months after his death, Joel’s family met Jennie, his heart recipient, who underwent transplant surgery at UW Medical Center. Through her, they are reminded that the warmth and love he gave to so many continues on, and he is still out there keeping the beat.
About The Donate Life Rose Parade® Float
Celebrating its 16th year, The Donate Life Rose Parade® float continues its mission to save and heal lives by sharing the gift of life and delivering the message of organ, eye, and tissue donation to the world. Living donors walk alongside while recipients ride atop the float and “floragraphs” or floral portraits of deceased donor honorees are incorporated into the float decoration. This year’s float is theme is The Gift of Time. For more information, go to www.donatelifefloat.org.
You can sign up to be an organ donor by going here.
ADDED LATE MONDAY NIGHT: We’ve since learned of a December 6th event in Mr. Eggert’s memory, a concert raising money for LifeCenter NW, hosted by the motorcycle club West Seattle Wrecking Crew that formed in his honor: Thursday, December 6th, at the Highway 99 Blues Club; doors at 6 pm, show at 7, featuring Bruiser Brody, Sirens Sister, Wyatt Olney and The Wreckage, Johndus Beckman, and Intisaar, tickets available online.