We are mourning the loss of first-year student Joia Simpson, who died in Dinkytown early Thursday morning, Nov. 1. A private prayer service was held on campus on Nov. 5. A Celebration of Life was held for Joia Simpson on Friday, Nov. 16 at 3 p.m. at Bayside Grange in Bayside, California. The family and friends respectfully ask for privacy as they remember their loved one; media was not welcomed in the service.

Joia was a native of Bayside, California, and was interested in studying business. Her family most wants people to remember her beautiful smile and her love of life.

Joia Mae Simpson left this world too early, in a tragic accident in the early morning of November 1.  A mischievous spirit as a young being, Joia could bend the world to her will with a smile and giggle. She played on many youth sports teams and made many lasting friends through these experiences. As Joia matured, her interests shifted away from team sports; she danced, cheered and golfed while at Arcata High. Joia took pride in how she presented herself to the world, loved fashion, and was a sharp dresser. She was a charter member of the selfie generation. She was a loyal friend, with a kind and caring heart.

Joia was fiercely independent and confident. She knew what she wanted, and she knew how to get it. She held her people accountable and taught us what it means to be present. Persuasion may have been her greatest skill. She was emphatic that she would follow in her siblings’ footsteps, spread her wings, and go to college far from home. She chose the University of St. Thomas, which was a perfect environment for her—warm, loving, supportive. Joia will be dearly missed by her family, friends, and community. Rest in peace, Joia Bean.

Joia is survived by her parents, Janette Wilson and Gary Simpson, her brother Wylan and sister Autumn, and a large extended family, including a great-grandmother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, who reside in Bayside, Dallas, Philadelphia, a huge contingent in Gridley, IL (maternal homeland), Oceanside, Santa Fe, Orinda, Hilo and Poway.

Losing a friend or loved one is difficult, especially when tragically unexpected. Counseling and Psychological Services  and the  Center for Campus Ministry  are available for students, faculty and staff who desire additional grief support.

Please remember Joia, her family and friends in your prayers.

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