Remembering Joseph “Joe” Bose


Phillip Jackson | Web Editor

When first befriending Joseph “Joe” Bose freshman year in James Hall, it was as if he instantly left a lasting impression. 

He was a journalism major, he loved music, he was humble, and he knew how to debate. “I always thought Joe was like 99 percent angelic and one percent human. He’s half-man half-amazing,” said close friend of Joseph Bose, Norman Wilkerson, who was with Bose when he was gunned down Saturday morning of October 31 in Norfolk, Virginia after visiting friends at Old Dominion University. “He used to encourage somebody every day,” Wilkerson remarked. 

Joe Bose came to Hampton University in the summer of 2013 during pre-college as a freshman from Alexandria, Virginia and a 3rd-generation Hampton student. Throughout high school, he was well-liked by the majority of his peers simply because of his wit and charm, and that same personality transitioned over to his three years at Hampton. “Joe was my homeboy, that was my joking partner,” said his sister Sharea Brooks (Bose). 

In his younger age, Joe was an athlete. He played “basketball, lacrosse and soccer when he was little,” and after learning a few fashion tips from his big sister Sharea, he always had to be well-dressed before he left out the house. “He liked having nice clothes on and shoes. We would text about new shoe releases all the time,” Brooks (Bose) said. 

In addition to Joe’s magnetic personality, it seemed that he had an innate ability to voice his intellect. 

Joe had a love for music and an even stronger love to debate about it. “He loved music so much,” Hiro Morris said, Joe’s cousin and a senior strategic communications major from Philadelphia here at Hampton. “He enjoyed making beats in his spare time, he was working to learn it more while here at Hampton.” 

Talking about hip hop with Joe was almost as if it was a never ending arm wrestling match. As much music as Joe would listen to, it seemed that it was almost impossible to figure out who his favorite rapper was. “Joe loved the greats,” according to Morris, which included “Jay-Z, Tupac, and Biggie,” and he was always up to date on new album releases in all areas of rap. 

He had a diverse ear for music. One second Joe could be found listening to Jay-Z’s “Reasonable Doubt” and asking his friends about J. Dilla beats, and the next he could be caught listening to Future’s “Monster” mixtape blasting different songs at a high volume from whatever source it was coming from. 

His ability to argue his point during a discussion showed potential into possibly becoming a very prominent music critic in the industry. 

“I think certain songs will just remind me of him,” Tremaine Lynch Jr. said, a marketing major at Thomas Nelson Community College from Hampton, Virginia and a close friend of Joe. “There is nothing but good stuff I can say about him. He didn’t have any enemies.” The fact that so many good things could be said about Joe is what made it so difficult to understand the complexity of why he died so violently. 

On Wednesday, Hampton University held a memorial for Joe in Ogden Hall which was not open to media. The room was filled with Joe’s family and friends, faculty, administrators and students. The somber event almost contradicted Joe’s bright personality. While the celebration of Joe’s life seemed to have an overwhelmingly gloomy feeling for faculty, administrators and students, Joe’s life and personality was far from that.

He was an electrifying individual. “He was altruistic,” Caleb Rouse said, a close friend of Joe and a history major from DeSoto, Texas. “That defines who he is because it could be used for so many things.” 

Although Joe’s homicide surprised so many close to him and those who saw him on campus in passing, he is not remembered in vain. 

“His whole 20 years, he was blessed to be alive. Now we have to realize that we are blessed to still be living,” Rouse replied.

Meeting Joseph “Joe” Bose was a privilege. His presence in Scripps Howard will be missed, and his companionship as a friend will not be forgotten.

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