Joshua Hoenke

28 years ago today, Joshua Hoenke was born in Pittsburgh, PA to William and Mary Ann Hoenke.  After living for three days, Joshua passed away in October 1983.

I never got to meet my brother Joshua, but his brief life has forever changed the way that I look at things and how I got about my life.  He’s always in the back of my mind, constantly reminding me that life doesn’t always end up like how we plan it.  However, it also taught me that in those moments of extreme sadness that there’s always a bright light.

In 1985, my family adopted Kyeong Suk Lee from Seoul, South Korea.  Born March 2, 1985, Kyeong went on to be known as Brandon Robert Hoenke, my brother.  Without Joshua, I don’t know if I’d have ever met Brandon and shared all the wonderful moments we’ve shared together.

Today, I take a moment to thank Joshua.  I may never have met you, but I still love you brother.

I chose Brian Eno’s “2/2” as my song for Joshua today.  I think he’d enjoy it.


  1. Justin, a year less five weeks before I was born my sister Stella Teresa died at the age of three weeks. Her memory has been especially poignant all my life. In many ways her brief life and death has had a more profound impact on my life than any of my older living siblings. Thank you for sharing you similar story,

  2. Justin,

    This is a beautiful tribute to your brother. As a brother to two, it simply brought a tear to my eye. I am sure that you make both of your brothers very proud, and thankful for you.

  3. That is beautiful Justin – THANK YOU! God works in funny ways – he knew that our Joshua was very sick and he took him to his special place cause he knew that if would be tough for him. But he did give us another special gift – Brandon. Wow – what a special gift that was! Our Joshua will be forever in our hearts and someday we will meet him again.
    Dad & I are so proud of you & Brandon. We love you guys with all our heart!

  4. Thank you all for reading and sharing your comments. It was always hard for me to talk about Joshua to the public until this morning. I thought that something needed to be said and that Joshua needed to be “brought to life” so to speak. That’s the wonderful thing about the internet. It can give life, meaning, and all sorts of other wonderful things if it is done in the right way.

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