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Joseph Goy '90 June 22, 2023 10:29 AM updated: June 22, 2023 10:39 AM

Joseph "Joe" W. Goy 

March 30, 1950 - June 14, 2023 

Dr. Joseph “Joe” W. Goy, 73, of Potsdam, New York (formerly of Searcy, Arkansas) passed away Wednesday, June 14th, with his beloved wife and partner of thirty-nine years at his side.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Jo Goy, daughter Dr. Sarah Goy Sirsat and son-in-law Dr. Tushar Sirsat and their children, Anjali and Ruvan Sirsat, his son, Alex Goy, and daughter-in-law, Sarah Williams Goy and mother-in-law, Patricia Boykin Crooks. He is also survived by his younger brothers, Kevin (Marsha) and Ronnie (Joann) Goy. He is predeceased by his father, Joseph R. Goy and mother, Anna Goy (née Panik).

Joe was born on March 30th, 1950 in Linden, New Jersey. He excelled in his academic and athletic pursuits, showing an ardent interest in science from a young age.

He graduated from Kean College with a B.A in Biology, then completed his Master of Science degree in Marine Biology and Oceanography from Old Dominion University. He conducted research at the Duke University Marine Lab for many years before relocating to the University of Southwestern Louisiana (now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette) to work on a Doctoral degree. He met his to-be wife, Jo, while in Louisiana. They were married in 1983 and moved to College Station, Texas where Joe completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Zoology from Texas A&M University and established his enduring devotion to the Aggie football team. Following completion of his PhD, Joe taught in the Texas A&M Biology department until 1995, when he and his wife moved their family to Searcy, Arkansas to accept teaching positions in the Harding University Biology Department where they would eventually come to be known as “He Joe” and “She Jo”. Over the course of his twenty-year career at Harding, Joe taught numerous classes, including Marine Biology, Zoology, Comparative Animal Physiology, and Invertebrate Zoology. Following She-Jo’s retirement in 2018, the couple joined their daughter’s family in northern New York to embark an “adventure near the Adirondacks”.

At the time of his death, Joe had more than forty publications in the field of crustacean biology and taxonomy. He served as an editor for the scientific journal, Zootaxa. His peers and colleagues have honored his immense contribution to his field of study by naming numerous species after him. Most recently, a new genus of deep-water shrimp, Jogoya, was named in his honor. Joe continued his research and editorial activities after his retirement in 2015, reviewing specimens and literature from colleagues around the world.

In addition to his ardent passion for Texas A&M Football, Joe nurtured a love for the community-based augmented reality game, Pokémon GO. Known by his screenname, PrawnMaster, Joe was an active and valuable member of Potsdam’s local Pokémon GO community. His daily “Blue Tide” would turn every community gym to his team’s color, but he was always ready to help whenever another player needed a trade or an extra battle buddy.

Although quiet and slow to speak his mind, Joe was a man of deep wisdom and unending kindness. His passion for his favorite sports team was eclipsed only by the love he possessed for his family. He lived a full and happy life and will be forever missed by those who knew and loved him.

A virtual celebration of Joe’s life is planned for Saturday, July 8th, 11:00am EST. Family, friends, and colleagues from around the world are encouraged to join the collaborative event for a period of reminiscing and sharing about Joe’s life and passions. Please use the following link to join the celebration or contact Sarah Sirsat (501-230-0677) with any questions. 


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