Joseph William Cousineau
17 November, 1955 – 17 February, 2019
It is with a heavy heart, I announce the death of my dad, Joseph (Joe) William Cousineau. Born Nov 17, 1955 in Tofino, BC, he died unexpectedly on February 17, 2019 when his home caught fire in Warn Bay, Tofino, BC. I have no doubt he was welcomed into the mysterious unknown by many who passed before him, including his parents Fran & Carmen; brother Brian; grandson Lee, brothers-in-law Harold & Bill, aunts & uncles, as well as many good friends.
He is survived by me, his daughter Anamarija (Kevin); beloved grandchildren Amelia & Lincoln; stepdaughter Cindy; sisters Karen & Nina, nieces Kris & Denise; nephew Charles, along with many wonderful past loves, a large extended family & countless friends.
My dad was one of a kind, a modern day pirate, a West Coast legend; it's no secret he was haunted by voices only he could hear. Yet, despite his schizophrenia, Dad always tried to live life with the wind at his back & the throttle wide open.
He was a man of many hats, a "Joe" of all trades, a master carpenter, a deep sea diver, a small motor mechanic, builder of float homes, a storyteller, a carver, a cultivator of the rare Japanese tomato, a salvager, a bushman, a nudist, a fisherman, a sea captain, a fierce environmentalist, & a true survivalist. His zest for a life of freedom was unmeasurable.
He loved Clayoquot Sound, the ocean, collecting rocks, fossils, nature, fishing, sailing, Drum tobacco, calamari, date squares, hearing himself talk, floatsom & jetsom, beer, photography, gum boots, loud music, seafood, beautiful women, psychedelics, burgers, swimming, Chinese food, exploring, old wooden boats, long hikes in the bush, reading, walking on the beach, chocolate cake, sharing his stories, & of course me.
He disliked the after taste of a banana slug, asshats, western medicine, poachers, spelling, jail, dogs that pooped on his chopping block & chewed up his power cords, frequent baths, the voices in his head, pants with functioning zippers, people who litter, sandbars that come out of nowhere, tourist season, leaky boats, politics, asking for help, paperwork, rules & an empty glass.
My dad taught me so much about life, both with his presence & in his absence. He was an intelligent, kind, generous, adventurous, funny, helpful, fearless, resourceful, hardworking, charismatic, perceptive, loving & creative soul.
He will be missed but, I know " His spirit lives on in the howling winter gales, in the lumbering gaits of bears on the shoreline & in the cackles of ravens in the trees."
A Celebration of Life will take place at a future date. In lieu of flowers, I encourage you to commit a random act of kindness, make a donation to your local food bank, clean up trash off your favorite beach, or buy a buddy a beer in his memory.
Requiescat in pace Dad, until we meet again
- a non-perishable food item to a local food bank
Celebration of Life will take place at a later date
Joseph William Cousineau
have a memory or condolence to add?ADD A MEMORY
5 July 2020
Joey had a lasting influence on my life,we met in Ucluelet in grade one,we where moving in to town and Joe came over and announced him self by speaking through a open window in the basement,the activities began that day,always ready for adventure,we roamed far for small boys,he had a great amount or determination,we became almost constant companions with my brother Shane and a few other boys,never a dull moment,I think of him very often and always can relate a story of those few short years that seemed have so many moments in my memory.Rip Joey,never forgotten.
21 November 2019
I miss my friend Joe, and our conversations.He was a man
of complex personality and an intelligent mind.Rest in peace
18 November 2019
I always picture Joe leaning on the rail of 4th St. dock, smoking and surveilling in the early morning of what turned out to be his 39th birthday; somehow on this day, his warm greeting made me feel brave enough to stop and chat with him, despite the collection of conflicting endearments and warnings impressed upon me, myself a young woman (and mother) fairly new to this rag-tag, dock-rat community. In those days, the sun on my back was: my son on my back, and Joe initially surprised me with his obviously sincere and tender interest in acquainting himself with this 9 month old bundle. He then told me about his profound love for his own daughter; his deep attachment and longing for her, and his great hope for her upcoming return to the sound, his fold in its entirety. His love and pride of her was immense and very moving to witness, perhaps especially as the daughter of a father estranged through schizophrenia myself; at the time I did not have this explanation available for understanding either Joe's, or my own story. The gift he gave me with his honest vulnerability on that morning, was proof of the undying strength of such a bond, and which meant more to me than he could ever know. Not only did all trepidation of him evaporate for me in that moment, but my world became a safer, saner place, thanks to his sharing. As the conversation veered toward parting we accidented upon the fact that it was for us both, our birthday! We laughed in disbelief at the coincidence; to discover this in person, on the day, and that we were exactly 20 years apart. Although initially reluctant to accept my invite, Joe greatly honoured me by showing up for festivities that evening, bringing buckets of fresh seafood, to a party I will never forget. I am so grateful for the tender kindness he showed me ever after, and I am very touched to see his reflection alive in the sentiments shared by his people here. Thank you for this AM, and Big Love to you. I remember him fondly.
11 April 2019
I have a lot of interesting memories of Joe and am often reminded of him by the beautiful pieces of wood that have his trademark all over them, from my dinner table that he cut from salvaged wood to the beautiful bench at Atleo that he built, he made good use of that bench and I was mostly happy to have him inhabit it except when he was having a wobbly pop and telling the tourists that he was a pilot, but even then I got a laugh.
He was very generous and would often bring us fresh fish or crab for dinner.
The sound feels different without Joe, a true unique human he was.
He is and will be missed.
10 April 2019
Annamarija you wrote a beautiful piece that captured your dad's essence so well. I have wonderful memories of the two years spent sharing a salvaged dock for our float houses, when you were just a kid. I met Joe when he and Dan brought the tugboat, flying the jolly roger, up to Sulphur Pass. I was trying to put together who this character was - the rough hewn, sensitive soul with a pirate flag on his salvage tug, shouting up into the verdant mountains "This place is sacred", then telling me a fantastic tale of something a rock had told him and laughing about it. He built the skeleton of my float house and decided to tow it down from northern Flores in such a terrific wind I thought it was going to fall apart. But it was built like him - strong as a bull. If there was one thing I had to choose that characterized him it would be his imperative to feed people. He'd show up with a fish (which he seemed to have an internal radar for sensing under the water) or with berries or with any of the many foods he knew how to find. He loved it when others ate well. That's a generous spirit.
9 April 2019
When Dick closed up the Loft, Olivia bought all the appliances, furniture, and fixtures and myself, my truck, and Joe were hired to haul all the pieces out of there. Lo and behold! In the basement we discovered four big cardboard cartons of wine, still hooked up to the hoses supplying the bar upstairs. Joe was delighted. Me, not so much. As I recall, there wasn't a whole lot more work done that afternoon, but the gang on Doug Mousseau's boat, tied up at the 4th St. dock, Joe included, had a wonderful day of it. I believe we got the rest of the stuff moved the next day. As for Joe, the thing I remember most was his incredible physical strength. If Joe couldn't move it, then it probably couldn't be moved.
9 April 2019
Picture this, The Alley Way Cafe' 1992, in the height of TOURIST SEASON and the place is packed with out of towners, hipsters mostly. Joe is sitting with me at a table, smack dab in the middle of the joint. He's kinda sprawled out in a GREAT BIG way, with a voice to match. While leisurely cleaning his really dirty, west coast, bush guy finger nails, with a pocket knife, we talk CRABS. We were so relaxed...the strangers in town, not so much! HA!
I feel for you.
9 April 2019
Joe was often at the dock when I was coming or going, and often offering his help even just to tie up. When my glove fell off the ramp and started drifting away it was Joe who somehow got it back for me. You might not remember me, but I remember you and Eady with love.
9 April 2019
I met Joe, Eadie and you, Anamarija, when I caught a boat ride up to the Bulson blockade. We stopped somewhere near Rolling Stone creek to pick berries. I remember him as a kind-hearted berry lover.
Much love to you, Anamarija
9 April 2019
A big, gentle giant of a man who loved this coast. It is hard to think of this place without him as he was so much a part of it...a very big part of it. He would cut the most beautiful slabs of old growth wood and bring them to town to sell along with fresh crab he would offer you. He knew how to live on the coast in a good way, a real survivalist. He loved the wildlife, always looking out for the bears and forests. He knew instinctively the destructive forces at work. The voices he heard were often interesting...a touch of the visionary world that surrounds us which he would tap into and one would often wonder about. He loved to sit and chat when he was in town...he probably would not see many people often living alone up the inlet. He was generally a friendly giant and was a friend to many. So long Joe, sorry to see you go. Susanne
8 April 2019
Hi, I grew up w Joe even though I haven't seen him since I was a teenager I remember Joe fondly. On the worst days in the middle of winter pouring rain and look for a bright spot in the sky. Then jump in his car to find it the sun laughing away. Your Dad was a kind soul always a nice person to everyone. RIP My friend Joe