Joseph Mills Proffitt, 36, of Eureka California died after a short illness on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Many friends and his parents surrounded him as he left this world to enter into the full presence of God.
Joseph was born on July 14, 1980, the son of the Rev. Dr. Darrel Dwayne Proffitt and Julie Mills Proffitt, in Lawrence Kansas. He graduated from Sterling High School in Sterling Illinois and received a BA in English Literature from the University of Kansas. Joseph was a free spirit who loved travel, music, literature, and martial arts, and who had a heart of compassion and generosity that touched the lives of countless people throughout the nation and the world. His love of music came early in his life as he learned to play the violin as a four-year old. He was also an early advocate of ballet, having participated in the Topeka Ballet production of “The Nutcracker” for two years. After his family’s moved to Illinois he was a standout athlete in both baseball and basketball. Joseph was selected by the Wilmette, Illinois New Trier school district as the “outstanding musician” of his Junior High. He was part of the internationally known Men and Boy’s Choir of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston Illinois, and soloed on an album, was hired to sing background on a Commonwealth Edison television ad, traveled to England twice to sing in the great Cathedrals, and was in the St. Luke’s choir as they were selected to be the Choir-in-Residence at Windsor Castle.
Fans of the many bands he played in through the years, especially Poor Miner’s Union and Lethe, also remember Joseph. Joseph discovered his love of Ki Aikido at the University of Kansas, drawn to its unique approach to harmony with creation and others. Joseph earned his black belt, participated in the Ki Society DSSojo in Lawrence, and taught classes at the University of Kansas. Joseph had a great love for several Senseis under whom he studied, and continued to train and grow his love of Ki Aikido after his move to California.
Joseph loved traveling and was never satisfied with the status quo. His many friends were drawn to his loving, compassionate and generous heart. These friends stretch across the world, into Canada, Mexico, Central America, Puerto Rico and Spain. He was a bright light in an increasingly dark world, and all who knew and loved him were made better people through their connection to him. He was bearer of Christ’s image in this world.
Joseph is survived by his parents of Katy Texas. He is also survived by his loving sister and brother-in-law, Emily Mills Proffitt Holtzclaw and Timothy John Holtzclaw of Lawrence Kansas and by his loving brother, John Mills Proffitt of Lawrence Kansas. He also is survived by the great loves of his life, his two nephews and niece of Lawrence Kansas: Jude Proffitt Holtzclaw, Scarlett Mills Holtzclaw and Otis Fox Holtzclaw. Other survivors include his grandmother, Darline Huguenin of Neodesha Kansas and aunts, uncles and many cousins. Joseph’s many friends are also survivors who will miss his humor and love that lit up their world.
A celebration of Joseph’s life will be held this Wednesday, March 29th at 2:00pm at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1011 Vermont St. in Lawrence. There will be a visitation at the Church on Tuesday, March 28th from 7:00 to 9:00pm.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name at the Kansas Ki Society, P.O. Box 236, Lawrence KS 66044 or through PayPal at:email@example.com
Rest easy, Joseph, within a harmony that this world cannot easily understand.