Malcolm Earl Joy III, 53, died March 19, 2010. He fought a brief and courageous battle against lung cancer. He died surrounded by his family at Togus Veterans Hospital in Augusta. Earl made his peace with the Lord near the end of his life and asked Jesus to lead him for his remaining time. We take comfort knowing we will see him again.

Earl was born March 9, 1957, to Malcolm E. Joy Jr. and Jean Carolyn (Smith) Joy in Fayetteville, N.C. His early years were spent traveling the U.S. with his parents and siblings as an Air Force brat. He lived in many places, including Fayetteville, N.C., Cape Charles, Va., Topsham, Maine, Sunnyvale, Calif., and one of his favorite places, Edwards AFB in the Mojave Desert.

He developed a lifelong interest in snakes and other creepy-crawly things by this early interaction with the desert. He also greatly enjoyed fishing from shore, pier and, in more recent years, while kayaking. He enjoyed hunting and had an interest in different types of guns as well as reloading ammo.

He was a huge fan of Neil Young, attending many concerts, and was an active Rust Club member. He was a lifelong self-learner with a great appetite for studying and learning about things. He chose to remain single throughout his life yet managed to be surrounded by large amounts of family and friends and truly enjoyed doing things for and with his family. The kids could always count on Uncle Earl if they needed a hand or needed to borrow a few bucks.

He was a hard worker who was liked and respected by coworkers and his employers. As a young man at the age of 18, he joined the Navy, spending time in Guam and Japan as well as San Diego. He later drove trucks in North Carolina before moving to Maine to be with the rest of the family in 1986 and for the past 20 years has worked at Sprowl Building Components in Searsmont.

He is survived by a large family who love and miss him so much: his parents, Malcolm E. Joy Jr. and Jean C. Smith-Joy of Searsmont; his siblings and their spouses, Charles and Cynthia Joy of Lincolnville, Sandra and Timothy Byrd of Morrill, Scott Joy of Perham, Laurie and Ron Roy of Morrill; his nieces and nephews and their spouses: Jennifer and Justin LaRochelle of Belfast, Allison Byrd and her significant other, Josh Gross, of Belfast, Ashley, Angela, Abby Byrd of Morrill, Joshua and Elizabeth Joy of Waldo, Toni Joy and her significant other, Derek Greeley, of Swanville, Stephen Joy of Searsmont, Amanda and Travis Huff of Waldo, Christie and Sarai Roy of Morrill; his great-nieces and -nephews, Nicholas LaRochelle of Belfast, Porsche and Darby Gross of Belfast, Koal and Evie Joy of Waldo, Rhys Greeley of Swanville, James, Ananias, Cyrus Huff of Waldo; and also many other aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends in Maine and several other states.

He was predeceased by his paternal grandparents, Malcolm Sr. and Lena Joy, formerly of Camden and Liberty, and his maternal grandparents, Henry Charles and Agnes Smith of Eastover, N.C.

There will be an open memorial visitation Tuesday, March 23, from 6-8 p.m. at Crabiel-Riposta Funeral Home, 182 Waldo Ave., Belfast. Earl had a goal while fighting his cancer to make it to a kayak fishing tournament in August in Massachusetts at which he was planning to sell custom designed bandannas in support of cancer research. The family is planning to finish this project and attend the tournament in his honor bringing his ashes to scatter in the water as a way to help him attain his goal. We love and miss you, Earl.

Online condolences may be offered to the family at ripostafh.com.