Joseph H. Healey Jr., age 53, passed away on February 5, 2021, in Charleston, SC. He was born in Montclair, NJ, the fourth child of Joseph and Lorraine Healey of Kiawah Island, SC. He lived most of his early years in Essex Fells, NJ, and part-time in Fayston, VT.
Born profoundly deaf, his life was a testimony to his successes in overcoming his disability. As a young child in the 1970s, he was seen by numerous audiologists and fitted with powerful bilateral hearing aids and attended auditory-oral preschool programs. He was a student of Helen Beebe who was an internationally-known pioneer in teaching deaf children listening and spoken language.
At age 10, Joe attended Clarke School for the Deaf in Northampton, MA, where he completed his elementary school education. He entered Midland Park High School in Midland Park, NJ, as a sophomore, where he exceled in math and played varsity basketball. Joe enrolled at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf on the RIT campus in Rochester, NY, where he received an associate degree in civil engineering technology before advancing into the Rochester Institute of Technology to complete a bachelor of science in civil engineering.
Joe was employed by Thomas & Hutton Consulting Engineers in Mt. Pleasant, SC, for 10 years. He was a loyal volunteer at Habitat for Humanity and was awarded Volunteer of the Year by his peers. He also worked for Sea Island Rural Missions repairing homes on Johns Island. Joe loved playing sports throughout his life.
In addition to soccer and basketball, he ski-raced competitively in the Mad River Glen racing program in Vermont. He was a member of the Charleston Deaf Association and the South Carolina Deaf Golfers Association where he was a very active golfer competing in tournaments throughout the southeast. He loved his family, his dog Jessie, skiing, golf and fishing on Kiawah. Being a very proud alumnus of Clarke and RIT, Joe truly loved sporting his schools’ caps and apparel.
He is survived by his parents Joseph and Lorraine Healey; his three sisters, Kathleen Healey of Thomaston, GA, Ellen Hauser, of Long Valley, NJ, and Susan Gavitt of Carmel, IN; two brothers-in-law, Doug Hauser and Dan Gavitt; a niece, Charlotte Hauser and three nephews, Nicholas Hauser, Andrew Gavitt and Sean Gavitt. Thank you to all who helped Joe so much throughout his entire life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Joe’s memory to Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech, 45 Round Hill Road, Northampton, MA, 01060 (donate.clarkeshools.org) or Alexander Graham Bell Association for Deaf and Hard of Hearing, 3417 Volta Place, NW, Washington, DC 20007(agbell.org/donate).