1959 - 2008


Joe Greenwood, 49, AIDS Warrior, Sci-Fi Fan

By Kirsten Tagami
Like a superhero from one of his beloved comic books, Joe Greenwood battled an insidious enemy, using every weapon he could get his hands on.

He had lived with AIDS probably since 1982, the year the mysterious new syndrome was given a name.

"We never thought he'd ever get to be 40," said his mother, Jane Greenwood of Duluth, Georgia. "We said we'd be happy if he lived long enough to see the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. But he almost made it to 50."

Mr. Greenwood, 49, who had fought AIDS for 26 years with every treatment and drug cocktail offered to him, died Oct. 2, 2008, of a heart attack at Piedmont Hospital in Atlanta. The body was cremated. A memorial service is planned for March 2009 in Atlanta.

Mr. Greenwood was born in Michigan and reared in Gainesville, Florida. He was the oldest of three brothers and a serious student who set high standards for himself, his mother said.

"He put pressure on himself at school. He always tried so hard and always gave his best," she said.
As an adult, Mr. Greenwood battled his disease - always willing to try the latest treatments, even if the side effects were brutal, his mother said.

"When drug companies called, he always said yes. He was never afraid to try anything if it could help someone else," Ms. Greenwood said.

Mr. Greenwood graduated from the University of Florida and worked as a computer programmer for Rollins Inc. in Atlanta until he became ill.

He began working as a volunteer at the AIDS Survival Project, where he devoted much of the rest of his working life. He became a part-time staffer in 2004. He edited the Survival Newsletter and served as counselor to people who were being tested for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

He was very detail-oriented in his work and very personable, often telling jokes and laughing with his colleagues, said his supervisor, Kevin English, acting director of prevention services.

Mr. Greenwood, who had recently moved from Midtown to East Point, also loved science fiction and had a huge comic book collection, Mr. English said.

Mr. Greenwood took part in DragonCon, the pop culture convention held in Atlanta that embraces sci-fi, comics, fantasy, gaming and other subjects, Mr. English said.

The interest in comic books went back to his childhood, his mother said.

"On Sunday rides, he and his dad, Gordon E. Greenwood, and brothers, Richard and Donald, would play comic book trivia," she said. "They knew everything about D.C. comics, Marvel comics. I think his favorite probably was the Justice League because it had so many of the superheroes in it."

Other survivors include his father and stepmother, Dr. Gordon and Rev. Priscilla Greenwood of Gainesville, Florida; two brothers, Richard Greenwood of Duluth, Georgia, and Donald Greenwood of Norcross, Georgia; two stepsisters, Kimberli Carter Webb of Walker, Minn., and Priscilla Wilson Wise of Gainesville; Florida, and two stepbrothers, Randall Wilson of Gainesville, Florida, and Darrell Wilson of Eugene, Oregon.


Joe's Obituary as Printed in the Greene County Daily World



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