Few people believed in the potential of San Jose like Joe Noonan. He was a booster in the truest sense, helping to lift up community projects and events to bring people together. How committed was he? Well, he dressed up like a banana to promote the Downtown Farmers Market and like a gingerbread man to publicize Christmas in the Park.
It was his genuine, heartfelt love for his adopted city that left his friends, family and colleagues in grief when they learned he had died early Tuesday morning at age 48. While his charm and smile were with him until the end, they were just no match for neuroendocrine tumors — a rare cancer that can occur anywhere in the body, which he had been battling for more than a year.
Social media tributes multiplied as word of his death spread among current and former downtown San Jose denizens. There was sadness for sure, but also gratitude and consistent mentions of Noonan’s kindness and enthusiasm. Local Color founder Erin Salazar called him “a source of light and optimism in our community,” and Terra Wood-Taylor, a longtime downtown resident and frequent event volunteer, said, “You couldn’t go a block with him, without him running into someone he knew (who he then would introduce to you). He was the most enthusiastic and friendly ambassador of everything San Jose.”
Joe Noonan, left, rides in a pedicab with his father, Joe Noonan, Sr., during a Viva CalleSJ event in downtown San Jose in November 2021. (Photo courtesy Ron Bennett)
Noonan — whose family moved to San Jose from Illinois when he was in middle school — cut his teeth at a string of tech companies for 17 years before finding his calling connecting people in downtown San Jose. He had stints with Broadway San Jose, San Jose Downtown …read more
Source:: East Bay – Entertainment