Joe died May 28, 2020, at the age of 67 from cancer complications.
Joe came to Princeton from Fort Lee, N.J., where he was a high school teammate of another Princeton basketball star, Ted Manakas ’73. A member of Tiger Inn, Joe played varsity basketball for three years, the last two as a starter, where his corner jumper was his signature shot. He led Princeton to a key win over Columbia with a 16-point performance in the first half. He would occasionally take his roommates to Dillon Gym and gently demonstrate the vast gap in athletic talent that exists between high school jocks and D-1 college basketball players.
After Princeton Joe played pro ball in Spain and then worked as a gracious organizer at Club Med before settling into a career with IBM. His wife, Jane, was the first girl he ever kissed in seventh grade at a spin-the-bottle game. They never dated but at a 1999 high school reunion, Joe asked if she was still married. She wasn’t, and six months later Joe and Jane were married.
He is survived by Jane, his two stepsons, several grandchildren, and his mother.
For the Record
The class year of Joseph G. Vavricka ’74 was incorrect in the memorials section of the January issue.