A well known figure in Hawaii Island endurance sports has passed away.
Wayne Joseph, known across the island as the “Big Dog”, died Tuesday night in his Puna home after battling stage four brain cancer for many months. He was 64.
Wayne Joseph is a retired public school teacher with over 30 years in the department of eduction. He was a popular coach, journalist and long-time road runner.
If you had anything to do with the sport of marathon – or even running in general – than you knew the Big Dog. In fact Big Island Video News first met up with Jospeh in 2008, during the final running of the Volcano Marathon, which he helped organize.
But we soon found out that Jospeh was more than a running enthusiast… the civic-minded athlete also dabbled in politics, and served on the Hawaii County Board of Ethics and most recently, Board of Appeals of the Planning Department. Here he is at a forum, “running” for the Puna council seat in the 2008 election.
As you can tell, Joseph had no problem speaking his mind. This video went viral, statewide… when he challenged Governor Neil Abercrombie on his negotiations with the Hawaii State Teachers Association, when talks weren’t going so well between the two sides. Joseph was president of Hawaii District of the HSTA-Retired, at the time.
But Joseph’s true love – aside from his wife and daughter, who he leaves behind – was running. The one time president of the Big Island Road Runners, was still the Executive Director of the Big Island Marathon. It was on the course where he wore the look of true joy on his face.
Joseph was a member of the Big Island Sports Hall of Fame, and his “Big Dog’s Athlete of the Week” column as well as his blog – were favorites on the island. Jospeh had an affinity for journalism along with everything else… he was the former secretary for the of the Big island Press Club, and therefore he often crossed paths with those of us who work on the Big island video News project, behind the scenes. Aloha, to the Big Dog.