Joe Obeng, Computer Wiz and Old Friend, Is Gone

  • Sumo

Joe Obeng died yesterday.  Joe was someone who I’d call a brother–we’d been through 13 years of intertwined lives.  He was with us on every Christmas and Thanksgiving, he babysat my grandkids, he came with me when I broke away to start GoNOMAD, and I was with him as his days turned into nightmares of hospitals and a downward spiral.

Joe Obeng, our friend and webmaster at

Joe Obeng, our friend and webmaster at

Our friend from Ghana, our computer mentor, our go to guy who saved us every time, Joe…ask Joe!

He loved many people, he easily gave love, and he had an endearing ernestness….so ‘how are you doing?’ he would ask. Taking longer to make his way through the world because he usually had another inquiry…he wasn’t ever in a rush.  He was the man who we all went to to answer questions about the website, or about our computers, or about a thousand other topics that he seemed to understand that few of us could ever understand.

I have to say that just about everything I learned about how to publish on the web came from Joe.  He constantly taught me new things and he was a big part of what made GoNOMAD a success.

I think about the lists of challenges I’d put before him, one by one, he figured the questions out.  People would bring their computers to him and he’d fix them, sometimes taking way longer because he didn’t to wipe and re-install the system–he wanted to one by one save their valuable files…that was how he was.  He often wouldn’t remember to send someone a bill, or he’d charge very little for doing something that saved someone.  His whole life he never was able to get a handle on money…it flowed the other way. He never had a car, he never had much, but he had an innate understanding of how things work that was admirable.

He had a wonderful colonial throwback formality at times. He’d say ‘I”ll meet you this evening.”  He was also a scoundrel who succumbed to drink and had a big battle with it. But he won, and quit drinking, and managed to avoid the temptation for years.

All over the Valley there are people who remember Joe Obeng, people who knew him and cared about him . We will remember Joe on April 27 with a potluck memorial where we will share stories about his life and how we knew him.  Good luck, Joe, wherever you are now, we will miss you.

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Max Hartshorne
Max Hartshorne has been the editor of the travel website since 2002. Over the past decade, he has had the privilege of working with writers and publishing travel articles about nearly every country in the world. He has also been a consistent world traveler, writing hundreds of his own travel stories and posting daily blogs from the 10 or more yearly international trips he takes around the world.

1 thought on “Joe Obeng, Computer Wiz and Old Friend, Is Gone”

  1. This is really sad and shocking! Joe was such a nice guy. When he was working for my father at Transitons Abroad while living in New York, I got to know him briefly, and he had a heart of gold. What a loss!

    Only the good die young…

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