Joshua James Grabo, age 37, passed away unexpectedly on June 4, 2018 in Portland, Oregon.
Josh was born on September 5, 1980, the first son of Jim and Kathy Grabo of Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Born 9 weeks premature weighing only 3 pounds 14 ounces, he entered the world with the dramatic flair that would stay with him throughout his life. Josh was transferred to the neonatal unit at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola where he stayed for 15 days while he grew strong enough to come home at just 3 pounds 15 1/2 ounces. Seeing their tiny son's fight to thrive along with other babies in the NICU was an inspiration to Josh's parents. They wanted to make sure that every child had a chance to be born into a loving and secure home. As pastor of Covenant Community Church, Josh's father Jim Grabo founded the Family Life Center, a maternity home for single mothers in the community who needed support and a place to live. For the past 32 years the home inspired by Josh has helped hundreds of women and children transition from crisis to self-sufficiency.
Josh's passion for music started at an early age and always stayed with him. He played in many bands with his brothers and friends from his teen years through to adulthood. He was a gifted songwriter and guitarist, and the best "hype man" his bandmates could ever ask for. Those who knew Josh enough would attest to the fact that he was the best at storytelling, and had an amazing silly laugh. His stories could sometimes seem wildly fanciful but often proved to be true-- like the time he ended up modeling for a Japanese clothing company's calendar while sitting in the park, or how he survived being hit by a car on three separate occasions. He had a huge heart and loved his friends and family intensely, and was always reaching out to his loved ones (usually between 2 and 5 am) to talk or check on them.
Josh is survived by his mother, Kathy Grabo; brother, Owen Grabo; sisters-in-law, Savannah Grabo and Katie McCumber; nephews, Francis, Atticus and River; grandparents, Sue and Irvin Morris; and beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. He is preceded in death by his father, James Grabo; brother, Seth Grabo; grandparents; Frances and Francis Grabo, and his best friend, Kevin Glass.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at Covenant Community Church in Fort Walton Beach (1007 Gospel Road) on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 11 a.m. There will be a viewing before the service at 10:00 a.m.
A fund has been set up to assist Josh's family with the expenses of this immeasurable loss: https://www.gofundme.com/help-for-josh-grabo039s-family