Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 25

w w w.BERKSBAR.org

Finally, Derek agreed to trade t-shirts with Joe. Derek
left the pub with what Mary suspected was a "sweaty,
smelly" run-of-the-mill Penn State T-shirt while Joe was
likely the only American to take home a rare, authentic
Irish souvenir.

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Neither Derek nor Joe would've believed this chance
meeting would end up benefiting three Irish charities
almost five years later.

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Joe and Derek kept in touch on social media. A message
posted on Facebook alerted the Dublin firefighter that
Joe, who had been working as a trauma unit nurse at the
University of Pennsylvania, had died of an accidental
overdose in January 2015 - barely five months after
swapping t-shirts.
Knowing the Favinger family was holding a benefit in
memory of Joe, Derek designed a t-shirt similar to the one
he had been wearing the night he met Joe.
As a special tribute, Derek added Joe's name on the
front of the shirt and the number "31" - which was the
number the Gov. Mifflin graduate wore as a football
standout at Weidner University.

The Favingers sold nearly 300 of the tribute t-shirts.

At the end of June, 40 members of the Favinger family,
including Mary and Joe's father, Rick, returned to Ireland.

They handed Derek an envelope and the original t-shirt
he had given to Joe in 2014 during an emotional ceremony
at a Dublin firehouse.

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Derek didn't realize until the next day that inside the
envelope was a donation of more than $2,000 from the
Favingers, Mary said.

"He met our bus the next morning outside our hotel to
thank us because he didn't open the envelope until after we
left the fire station," Mary said.
The donation was divided among three local charities
in Dublin. One organization provides bereavement
support to families who suddenly lose a child. Another
supports teens battling cancer, while the third charity helps
families repatriate the bodies of loved ones who pass away
unexpectedly while abroad.
"We are so blessed that Joe had an impact on so many
people in his lifetime," Mary said. "We say that he lived 75
years in the 25 years he had."
Mr. Walter is executive director of the Berks County
Bar Association.

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Fall/Winter 2019 | 25


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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019

Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 1
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 2
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 3
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 4
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 5
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 6
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 7
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 8
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 9
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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 11
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 12
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 13
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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 16
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 17
Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 18
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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 20
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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 22
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Berks County Bar Association The Berks Barrister Fall/Winter 2019 - 24
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