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Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon

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Justin Goe - 3/22/1985 – 5/6/2023

He will be missed in the Brain Injury Community

3-22-1985 – 5-6-2023

Justin Donald Goe died in his sleep on Saturday, May 6. He was 38.

Justin was a beloved son, grandson, brother, uncle, cousin and friend to many. He was a poet, empath, counselor, consoler.

He had a great love and encyclopedic knowledge of popular music, especially from the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. His taste was broad, running from Prince to Garth Brooks, from Deep Purple to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, from Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Buffett. The list could go on and on.

He loved movies. His family has joked the number of movies described by Justin as one of the best he had ever seen ran into four digits. Little about Justin was subtle. He didn’t enter a room. He made an entrance.

He was a fan of all sports, especially of the Denver Broncos, Seattle Mariners and Portland Trail Blazers. Ever the optimist, he predicted success and a possible championship at the beginning of each season.

Justin was born on March 22, 1985 in Portland. He was studious and athletic. During a junior varsity football game in 2000 Justin suffered a traumatic brain injury that put his life in grave danger.

After emergency surgery at Oregon Health Sciences University, his neurosurgeon told the family it would be a miracle if Justin regained functional independence. But miracles happen. After two weeks in a medically-induced coma and six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, Justin left the hospital and returned to Rex Putnam High School while continuing outpatient rehabilitation.

He graduated on time with the class of 2003. He took classes at Mt. Hood Community College and Clackamas Community College. He was enrolled part-time at CCC at the time of his death. In 2018 he proudly became certified as a Peer Wellness Specialist by the Oregon Peer Training & Innovations Center.

Justin worked a variety of jobs, most recently as a food delivery driver. Providing a sympathetic ear to relatives, friends and acquaintances was his avocation. His friends spanned all ages, from preteens to seniors in their 80s. He was their unabashed booster frequently saying, “Yo, you’re a badass.”

He was a hugger. He never made an exit without telling the people he was leaving that he loved them, often adding his love was “massive.” He volunteered at the Oregon Food Bank and Portland Rescue Mission.

He would notice something about a new acquaintance – hair, makeup, tattoos, clothing – and compliment them about it. Justin’s explanation? “Always be kind. It might make the difference in someone’s day.”

On the day of his death Justin was with friends and apparently ingested something he thought was cocaine but laced with something else. He overdosed at the scene. He was revived with Narcan. He returned home because his parents were out of town. He was house sitting and caring for the family pets.

Late that night Justin texted his parents. He told them he loved them. He sent a video of the pets. He closed by telling them “Sweet Dreams.” Narcan can wear off before the effects of a narcotic. He went to bed. He never woke up.

There will be a service for Justin at 2 p.m., Sunday, June 11 at Milwaukie Presbyterian Church, followed by a celebration of life at 3:30 p.m. in the Tumwater Ballroom at the Museum of the Oregon Territory in Oregon City. He was buried in a private ceremony at Sunnyside Little Chapel of the Chimes.

Justin is survived by his parents, Ken and Christy Goe; sisters Heather Mootz and Courtney Goe, brother, Matthew Barnes; grandfather, Donald Goe; his nephews Dallas and Cooper (Ella) Mootz; niece, Charlisse Mootz, and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations in Justin’s name to the Brain Injury Alliance of Oregon or the Oregon Food Bank.

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