Joshua Taylor Woodcock
November 12, 2002 – June 5, 2019
Joshua’s Life Story For the past sixteen years and seven months, Joshua has brought incredible joy, laughter, fun and endless excitement to his Momma, Dad, Sister, and many countless family members and friends. Joshua is our “miracle baby” because the doctors were surprised that he was conceived when he was. God was quickly given the honor and praise as we gave testimony to the fact that this child had been prayed for by many and that God is the Author of life and nothing is impossible with Him. To God be all the glory for the amazing life that Joshua has lived and for the countless lives that he touched in life and even through his transition into Heaven with his Lord and Savior. Joshua will be indescribably missed by all of those who love him but we have the blessed hope that one day, we will all be together again in Heaven where there will be no more tears and all of the “whys” will be known and we will spend eternity together worshiping the Lord and giving honor for all of the great things He has done. In February of 2002, after years of trying, much prayer, and through the help of Jacksonville Center of Reproductive Medicine, God blessed us with a little heartbeat that stole our hearts from its first moments. I clearly remember hearing the staff outside the room talking about the bloodwork and how it didn’t seem as though Joshua should have been conceived. These moments quickly led into an opportunity to give praise to the Lord and remind that HE alone is the Author of life. Throughout his life in the womb, Joshua was kind to his momma. He didn’t make her have morning sickness even once but he surely made her very hot. On November 11th, 2002 we tried to get him here but he said, “no thank you, I like it in here just fine.” He thought it was best to wait and come on his own terms the next day on the 12th. Even from his birth, he was stubborn, and didn’t appreciate authority telling him what to do. As a little boy, he was so fun and full of life. Joshua loves every super hero and was sure to dress up like them. Probably his favorites were Spiderman, Batman, and Superman. He had two capes that he often wore alone with only cowboy boots on his feet. I can see him now running around the yard playing. When he was little, he also always said that he was “part coyote.” He wasn’t playing either, he really meant it. He showed his teeth and made his hands look like paws. When he was little, we had the blessing of momma being able to stay home with him and we quickly became bonded together in all things. He loved to work in the yard, create masterpieces in the kitchen, take strolls in the zoo…..all kinds of things. When he entered into preschool, he had so much fun. He was always so smart and learned quickly how to read. One of his “gifts” was reading at a very young age. I remember that when he was four years old, he read “The Hungry Caterpillar” to his class. I also remember his sweet teacher telling me that Joshua was the boy who everyone wanted to be friends with. His smile and personality has been contagious from the beginning of his life. His laugh will be missed more than imaginable. During his elementary years, Joshua continued to excel academically and was typically always on the honor roll. During one of the years (I believe 4th grade) at Grace Lutheran, he learned about Monarch Butterflies and how they have the potential of becoming endangered. From that year all the way to this year, he has actively raised Monarchs and Milkweed plants. He has grown the plants from seeds and lovingly cared for these butterflies. He said that he didn’t want to one day tell his children and grandchildren that he knew they were in trouble and didn’t help to save them. Yes, he may have been “all boy” but he certainly had a tender side to him. This is one of the ways that he showed it. We just spoke of his plants days before his accident. In elementary school at Grace, he began his love for sports which would include Basketball, Soccer, Flag Football, and then Track. He did pretty well in all of them but as we all know, he found his gift in running. And oh how that boy could run and loved it! He ran the 100, 200, 400, and 400 relay and Long Jump at Grace. Moving on to Middle School, Let’s just say so much transition came with these years. They were hard in many ways but Joshua is the most amazing teenager I have ever or will ever know. He went through some ups and downs academically and even jumped into some rebellion, quickly driving his momma nuts. The beginning of 6th grade was trying and landed him a trip right back to Grace Lutheran. At the end of the year he promised that he would be okay and would do his best at Mandarin Middle if allowed to go back. After signing a contract, yes a contract with Momma, he made his way back to Mandarin Middle where he made it through successfully both academically and in his sports. He played Football for one season. In his middle school years, Joshua quickly developed a true love for running and this is where he began developing his skills. Joshua did very well and was second in the city for one of his races. He also created deep relationships with his coaches which allowed him to return to the middle school to help out and encourage middle school runners after he was gone and in High School. Once he moved on to Mandarin High, he continued running and striving to beat his personal records. His love for running never left him, even to the very day of his accident. Joshua not only ran for his school but also recently joined the Jacksonville Athletic Club track team. He was so upset because he couldn’t seem to get where he wanted by running school track only. His hope was to improve with more direct coaching and year around conditioning. Just recently, he added the long jump back and was doing well. In the first meet after adding it back, he came in third place, jumping about 18 feet off of the wrong foot! He and his coach laughed so hard because only they knew what had just happened. Joshua did not only excel in track but upon entering into high school, he immediately joined NJROTC and was more than dedicated to it. His plans were to have a military career in the future. Joshua’s love for our country stems all the way back to his early childhood where he was even awarded the “Patriotism” award in K-5. His teacher said “He is respectful of and grateful for the sacrifices the people in the military make for him. He loves his country!” That love has only grown immensely. He quickly jumped in full force with participation with NJROTC. He was decorated with many ribbons and medals which made him and his family proud. Some of the teams that he participated in were athletics, orienteering, armed exhibition, and color guard. His Captain and Chiefs wrote: “He joined JROTC because he wanted to be a leader. He was the first to volunteer for any task. The only time he wouldn’t volunteer with JROTC was when he had a church service or event that conflicted. He wanted to be the best at whatever he did and there was no room for second place.” There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to this amazing organization who consistently strived to instill discipline, leadership, patriotism, and dedication to excellence in all things. As you will see at his Celebration, it all meant so much to him. He had recently just earned the honor, through his hard work and dedication, the recognition of becoming a Chief Petty Officer. This recognition will take place at his graveside on Friday. Joshua’s family would like to say thank you to all of his leaders. In an effort to give back to them, we are asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in his honor to the Mandarin High NJROTC Booster Club.
- Visitation Thursday, June 13, 2019
- Visitation Friday, June 14, 2019
- Celebration of Life Friday, June 14, 2019
Joshua Taylor Woodcock
June 14, 2019
I was Josh's track coach at Mandarin Middle School. When Josh first joined the team he wanted to be a 100 meter runner (everyone thinks they are a 100 meter runner due to it being a short race). I saw that he was a hard worker at practice, and might be better at the 400 meter race. He continued to work hard at practice, and at track meets, and eventually placed 2nd at the Duval City Championship in the 400 meter race. In that race Josh was a fighter, where he would give it his all until the very end of the race where he would catch everyone. It takes stamina, and guts, to run that race and Josh had both. I want to say, THANK YOU, to his parents for raising such a exceptional son who I will never forget.
Alex De Almeida
June 13, 2019
Josh and I with all our friends went to winter retreat for a weekend. On the first night we were there no one in the room went to sleep until very late. At one point of the night everyone moved to one corner of the room telling jokes and stories to one another and just enjoying the company of our close knit group. It was one of my favorite moments with Josh as I grew closer to him. He wasn’t just a friend but he was my brother. In the photo you can see Caleb and I jumping into Josh’s bed for we loved Josh so much that we didn’t mind getting in bed with him! Retreats won’t be the same without you.. love you bro
June 13, 2019
I will always miss you Josh ,I remember the first time I saw you run and I said man this boy is good. You were my motivation on that track, your presence made everyone feel better every time you'd just come around, I'll never forget you.
June 13, 2019
Josh Josh Josh....Josh was an amazing wonderful yet sometimes stubborn but I found it so unbelievable due to us knowing each other since 6th grade and always hanging out especially every Friday at skate station and I will always cherish those sweet memories. My last time seeing Josh was on a Friday before we had to get out of School, he was heading to his car and of course I spoke and like always I told him to stay safe and he tells me to "Stay safe and stay out of trouble"..Gosh im going to miss him and Josh I promise you I will always remember our amazing funniest moments together I will never forget. I love you Joshua so much.
June 12, 2019
I really miss Josh and it seems really different without him here. I can really say his pride and bravery that he has in everything really inspired me to do better in what I do day to day
June 11, 2019
June 11, 2019
The first time i met josh was at camp for church, he would always be jumping over things and climbing up trees, he would always wear tank tops,bandannas,and sunglasses. He was such a funny and happy go kid that could put a smile on anyone’s face. He was definitely the highlight to my life at one time for sure. He was an amazing kid with such and amazing spirit about things he was passionate about. He would never let anyone tell him he couldn’t, because he would and he did. He taught me so many things; to be patient, to work hard, and to never give up on anything. I love u josh thank u for being the highlight of many lives❤️
June 11, 2019
Josh was a good friend during my middle school track years and my first high school year as well he always made sure my times were dropping and that I was always the fastest “9th grader” he always worked hard for what he wanted to accomplish and even tho he had a lot of ups and downs he still did his thing. I give my heart out to his family and that everything is going well and we all kn he is in a better place 💪🏾❤️ LLJ3
June 10, 2019
I knew Joshua through his mama, Mistie.
Mistie, is one of the sweetest, strongest, most beautiful people inside and out that you will ever meet. She is an inspiration to all of us.
I love you Mistie, and I know Joshua was your heart and soul and a God has a plan. Stay strong sweetie.
June 9, 2019
5 years I've known Josh, and I personally believe that I am who I am because of the impact he had on my life. He was the most stubborn yet wonderful friend a guy could ask for, and I pray that he is in heaven right now telling God jokes, cooking him a nice meal, and challenging him to a race. One of my favorite memories will always be when he told me to hurry up and get my license so he could challenge me to a race of our own. His life and personality has made everyone who knew and loved him who they are today, and has changed all of our lives forever. Rest easy Josh and may God cherish you as we all do 🙏🏻
June 9, 2019
I met Josh in 7th grade. Ever since I met that boy we have been so close. Throughout the years we had shared many wonderful memories together. But one of my most favorite memories is how every time I would see him in the halls he always hugged me. No matter what was going on and how difficult it might have been at the time, he did everything he could to give me a hug and would tell each other we loved each other when we left. He always knew how to make me smile no matter what. And when anything happened to either one of us we had each other’s back 100% of the time. Josh was like a brother to me. And I’m so extremely happy he is a part of my life. I will forever remember him and keep him in my heart💚
June 9, 2019
I was Josh’s gym teacher over the past few years and this is truly heartbreaking. Josh was a great student & always had his buddy Richard by his side playing volleyball. My heart & prayers go out to his family & friends.
June 9, 2019
Josh was one of the most stubborn people I’ve ever met. He was also one of the most dedicated people. He came into our ROTC unit fired up, ready to go. I have many memories of drill meets, competitions and events with him. Josh was always ready to compete, and he never gave less than his absolute best. I will always admire his determination and pride.
June 9, 2019
Joshy was the most stubborn, joyful , happy, lovable the most precious human being on this earth 💗.Not a day went by without him acting weird with me comforting me when I needed it , making sure I was ok if I was stressed or mad without him being there . I remember I came into class with an attitude cuz I was mad and I popped off on him and instead of getting mad he just hugged me he stood there and just hugged me making sure I was fine and I talked to him and and gave me advice about everything. I will truly miss you with all my heart and I would do anything to see you one last time smiling talking about how excited u are to win the drill meet or track meet with so much enthusiasm ❤️ I love you Josh your gone but not from my heart ,your family’s heart and ur ROTC family 💗Rest up 💕
June 9, 2019
He enjoyed orienteering. I think it's safe to say orienteering became one of his favorite hobbies when he first joined the unit. And he was good at it.
It saddens me to realize he will not be able to orienteer with us anymore. I was looking forward to achieving great things with him on the team this year. But I also know that he would want us to keep going.
When we begin to orienteer this year, it will be done in his memory.
The photo was taken at the Florida Agricultural Museum in May. We placed top 3 in just about everything; but we couldn't have done it without him.
June 9, 2019
Joshua was stubborn. And hated to lose. But that was because he had a burning passion in his core that lit up so intensely. Everyone could see and feel within miles of him. He believed in himself and our unit so profoundly that he refused to accept anything less than success. ROTC class with him was always the best. He made everyone smile cracking joke as per usual. I felt close to him, because I could tell him anything and he wouldn’t just tell me sweet things. He told the hard truth that needed to be heard. Even on PT days when I felt he pushed our class too hard I know see that it was because he believed we could do more than what we had set ourselves to do.
My favorite memory is our meet at Nease. We were all anxious to go to championships. If not drill then athletics had to take lead. And there he was in front of it all. Motivating us, pushing us, supporting us. It was no shock to him that we would go to championships. He always knew we could do it.
I’ve never seen a fire like his before. A fire that will never finish because to this day he has so many people who loved him so much. And I believe we will carry his fire with us for the rest of our life.
June 9, 2019
We were at Championships for NJROTC and we were waiting to receive our awards. Josh was anxious, he was shaking has leg, and he was holding me hand. When we got called up for 3rd place for athletics his face automatically drops. He comes back and I can tell that he was about to cry, tears were forming into his eyes. And I don’t like seeing people cry, so I went in for a hug to comfort him, but when I did he automatically just comes into my arms and starts balling. That was the first time I’ve ever seen him cry. And I’m glad I did, It showed me a sensitive side that I’ve never known he was capable of, because he only showed three emotions which was happy, angry, and excitement. Josh always gave the best hugs, especially when he would see a friend upset, he wouldn’t let go. And I’m gonna miss those hugs. The picture below, was the picture I took of him at champs when receiving our trophy, and like I said, he looked pretty upset.
June 9, 2019
The last time I saw Joshua he was 6 years old. He was a smart, happy and kind kid. Words can’t never be enough to ease the sadness or emptiness his absence will leave but he will always be close in our hearts. Just like I remember him playing and messing around with his sister Kate. There’s indeed another star shining on us. God bless you all and give you the strength needed to pass this difficult time. Sending lots of love!