In Memoriam: Joel Joregenson

The Department of Mechanical Engineering extends its condolences to the family of Joel Patrick Jorgenson of Annapolis, Maryland. Jorgenson, age 31, died suddenly on June 5, 2004 from a heart illness. Joel graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in the spring of 2004, and was active with the human powered submarine competition projects.

Joel was born April 3, 1973, in Eau Claire, WI, the son of Tom and Arlet (Gutknecht) Jorgenson. He had a wonderful childhood growing up in Princeton Valley on the north side of town. In 1984, the family moved to North Carolina where he graduated from West Henderson High in 1991. He then attended Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, where he graduated with a degree in industrial design in 1996. He spent several years in Charlotte, NC where he built his own home. In the winter of 1999, Joel's adventurous spirit then led him to Washington, DC. There he met Lisa Roche at Fourth Presbyterian Church, and they were wed August 23, 2003.

Joel graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in mechanical engineering in the spring of 2003. While at the university, he led his team in the designing and building of a human-powered submarine. His team won first place in the International Submarine Competition. In June 2004 Joel was employed as an engineer at Performance Cruising in Annapolis, MD, developing the Telstar Trimaran with his business partner Neil Smith.

Through grade school and high school, Joel was involved in football, baseball, tennis, radio-controlled airplanes and model making. Thereafter he enjoyed hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, fly fishing, scuba diving, salt-water aquariums, water and snow skiing, rollerblading, playing the guitar, and his latest passion, sailing. Throughout his life he helped his father and family build many houses and was an accomplished carpenter.

Joel is survived by his wife, Lisa, his parents, Thomas and Arlet Jorgenson of Menomonie, WI; a brother, Matthew of Madison, WI; and a sister, Teresa, of Eau Claire, WI. Joel is also survived by his beloved orange cat, Badger.

Published June 15, 2004