Remembering Joe – updated 25 February 2008

Saturday February 23rd 2008 – Sunset at Alfresco’s on the beach

We had hoped for a glorious sunset ……….  but we  did get the starlings swooping over West Pier.

The gathering on Saturday was beautiful.  All you people with a connection to Joe’s life in Brighton were a testament to how he built up and lived his life there.

He found such joy in his time at Sussex University as a student and researcher and as a Developer at what was then called the Runtime Collective, which we have come to believe was set up, with its unusual philosophy, especially to provide a perfect niche for Joe!

Our memories of Joe in Brighton glow.  Through hearing anecdotes in conversation with you on Saturday we shall think about, talk about and store more memories in our hearts.

We wish to thank Daniel Duquenoy, Graham Forbes, Giles Palmer, Dave Wood and Giles Duffy for their memories shared publicly, Guisseppe and his staff at Alfrescos and Tom Sharp for performing three of Joe’s songs.  More of Joe’s songs, probably recorded in his bedroom, can be accessed on

Joe’s last musical venture, recorded in Paris with Vanessa is Krauschanl’s E-waste.  We have a few spare copies of this EP so, if you didn’t get one, please e-mail your postal address to us at and we shall send you a copy.

Thank you for joining us

Sheila, Geoff, Pat and Emilie.


25 responses to “Remembering Joe – updated 25 February 2008

  1. I will deffinately be there… will be really good to have the opportunity to celebrate Joes life and remmeber a good friend with all the people who loved him.

  2. It will be good to celebrate his life in the best way I can think of – by meeting up with old friends who’ve not seen each other for a while. Looking forward to it, in a funny kind of way.

  3. Thanks for organising this, Geoff, Sheila & Pat. I look forward to seeing you there.

    Much love, Amy

  4. Geoff, Sheila and Pat Holmberg, unfortunately I didnt have the opportunity to meet you. I was planning to go back to europe last year, and unfortunately for a few reasons I couldnt do it. I just wanted to let you know that if I was there, for sure I would go to Paris to say goodbye to Joe. Joe was such a heroe for me, as I told a few times to him, he has taught so many life lessons to all of us during this very difficult time, as I could read, always keeping himself positive, even knowing and being aware of how hard would be to him to get recovered. Anyway, during the time I was able to stay with him (he always invited me for meetings at his place in Brighton) I learned how a admirable person is, and this person is just the way Joe was. He was/is such a special person and will be remembered for ever.

    Kind regards,

    Antônio Pereira de Souza Neto
    Uberlândia/Minas Gerais/Brazil

  5. I would love to come along to raise a glass to Joe.

  6. My best wishes for a day of fond memories tomorrow – hope to see you sometime this year with my parents, perhaps? Will be thinking of you – and of course, Joe.

  7. Dear Geoff, Sheila, Pat and Emilie

    I wanted to say ‘thank you’ for organising such a lovely celebration for Joe in Brighton last night. It was very uplifting to see the number of amazing people that Joe had in his life – more than many people would have in a long long lifetime. I’m very grateful to have been able to witness it.

    I hope that the love that was so clearly present for Joe provides some comfort at this time

    Hilary x

  8. It was really so lovely to have been there on saturday. I hadn’t really had the chance to talk to people about joe so it was good to exchange memories.

    Just great to see every one there. It’s a clear testiment to how much people loved joe and how we all miss him dearly.

  9. I’d like to echo Ben’s comments and say that was indeed a testament to Joe that there were so many people there on Saturday.
    I found it strangely sad and happy at the same time. It was sad to find out the little things about Joe I never knew that came up in some of the speeches, and how I cant tell him how funny I found the Runtime mission statements. Proprietry through obscurity.
    A shining example of Joe’s genius.

    We have been robbed.

    I miss you, Joe.

  10. Geoff, Sheila, Pat and Emilie

    Thank you so much for Saturday.

    It was wonderful to be with so many people who had been lucky enough to know Joe – and who all so obviously knew it.

    Like Hilary, I can only hope that seeing how much he was loved will bring some comfort.

    Tom x

  11. Hi all,

    Tom sent this out before christmas, and is now not online so I said I would post it to this blog on his behalf.



  12. and of course WordPress does strange things with chevrons! here is the quoted text

    Dear all,

    Sorry to have left it so late but a couple of us were thinking of meeting up again on the 28th of December to remember Joe.

    If anyone would like to join us, we’ll be at The Open House on Springfield Road from 7:30 pm – surrounded by all those happy memories of him and Emily leaving for Paris.

    Please forward this to Emily as I don’t have her email – and anyone I may have missed or that you think would like to come.

    Have a good Christmas

    Love to all


  13. Hi – just wanted to say I’m thinking about Joe especially much today (I do often) and thought I’d say Hi wherever you are.

    Sorry I cannot make the meet up tonight (bit of a drive from Devon). Please raise a pint to Joe on my behalf Tom – I’ll be there in spirit

    lots of love


  14. Thought alot about Joe today. Really sorry I can’t make it tonight. Raising a glass to Joe.

  15. Just wanted to say – to Geoff, Sheila and Pat, that it was lovely to see you towards the end of last year, in the Autumn, I think?

    Pat – I saw you in an music mag this month – I really must go see Smilex – please invite me dammit!

    Would love to join all you in Charlbury some day this summer. Or over in Ledbury, I’d love that!

    I was just thinking of Joe and had just read his tremendous and fearless blog. Of course I cried. I really admire him so much – and his family for all their love and care. His sense of humour comes through very strongly – I often think of him. He described a friend who had just died as a “big indestructible goon”, just days before he himself passed away. Tragic for Lawrence – and what a tribute from Joe. I never knew Joe beyond adolescence – but I’d not say goon. That’s to suggest Lawrence was?! OK, moving on….

    I didn’t remember Joe as big, because Joe, Pat and I were all really kids when we were very close. It was over 25 years ago. I don’t feel sorry that we didn’t stay friends, because then we were merely occasional brothers – that is my memory, of what we did, when our parents were busy talking! And, when we hit puberty, we just scattered away.

    No acrimony unlike with rock bands. Pat?! OK, your dad doesn’t count. To tell the truth I am just hazarding a guess!

    I certainly have strong memories of Joe – and vividly remember his freckly red-cropped face – like I wasn’t also a child then? That’s the shock – and my my strongest memory.

    I will always remember him that way. I’ve no doubt he would loathe that – but that’s how it is!

    Much love to all.

  16. geoff and Sheila Holmberg

    It’s now exactly five years to the day and the date since Joe was diagnosed with cancer. Wednesday 19th September 2007. We miss him every day and think of him constantly. Geoff and Sheila.

  17. Revisiting the blog and thinking of everyone who was affected by his sad demise (and enlightened by his bravery and humour) – it’s still hard to comprehend, but clear that he was inspiring in life as in death. Best wishes to all. Dan x

  18. Thanks for your lovely comments dan. It’s 5 years to the day since Lawrence died and “tomorrow” Joe checked himself into hospital – and left the flat for the last time. It’s unbelievable that it’s five years. We miss him every day. Geoff and Sheila

  19. I hope you had a lovely time in Australia – it was a good time for me too, to spend some time with you both – and remembering Joe. Much love, and hope to visit you one weekend! x

  20. With my Aunt doing all she can to further cancer research, I’m thinking of his family and friends, and of course, of Joe. Fond memories! x

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  22. Hilary Tunley

    just checking this blog as I do when remembering Joe. I still think of him often (we shared an office and a job at Sussex Uni). Joe is one of those people that are never forgotten by anyone who knew him. ‘Hello Joe – wherever you are’.

    Hilary x

    • Geoff and Sheila Holmberg

      Dear Hilary What a suprise to have a new comment on Joe`s blog but we do understand you posting it, and appreciate it. We think, talk about and miss Joe every day and know that friends also hold Joe in their minds.
      We know that the nine years Joe was in Brighton were immensely important to him. His time as a student, his first job at Runtime, gigging with the bands, and his return to Sussex University as a researcher were good times for him. It is therefore wonderful that, three years ago, Giles Palmer(Runtime, now Brandwatch) set up a MSc scholarship in Computer Science, at the University, in Joe`s name. Last year two students were awarded scholarships. Joe is also remembered in a brick pathway leading to the library on the campus This year we answered an appeal to sponsor a Syrian refugee to study at Sussex for a year. We feel these things help to celebrate Joe`s life.
      Our family life changed after Joe died and this is where we are now. Patrick and Olivia were married in 2012 in Oxford where they were living. Two years later we sold Evenlode House, and downsized, staying in Charlbury, whilst Patrick and Olivia bought a 20 acre small holding in Perigord Verd, France In April we too bought a house near Thivier and intend splitting the year between France and England
      Still in France. Joe`s partner Emilie returned to Lyon and eventually settled with a new partner and they have two little boys.
      And so our lives go on We wish you well Hilary and any other friends reading this You were all so important to Joe and he was amazed and moved by your support when he was so ill in Paris.
      Thank you, Sheila and Geoff

      • So lovely to see Joe is remembered in this way – not only so fondly but so helpfully!

        That helped me remember him too. x

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