Remembering Josh: A tribute to our friend and colleague - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Remembering Josh: A tribute to our friend and colleague

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(WGEM) -- Few obstacles stood in the way of Josh Houchins.

"Never met a guy whose been dealt so many challenges, and you never saw them, never felt them," WGEM Vice President and General Manager, Carlos Fernandez, said.

"He always made you feel good. He was always positive about everything he was doing. He was an inspiration."

As a teenager Houchins was involved in a car crash that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

The situation afforded him a chance to offer excuse after excuse.

But not Josh.

"Nothing was a crutch for him," long-time friend, and former WGEM co-worker, Tyler Tomlinson said.

"We talked many times about what he had to go through mentally, and what he had to endure when he was 16 (years old), to get him in the right mindset to where he ended up in life.

Houchins recovered and graduated from Highland High School and Culver-Stockton College.

A short time later he coupled his passion for sports, the Tri-State area, and broadcast journalism, into becoming the host of WGEM Sportscenter on WGEM Radio.

"I felt like every time I was around him, I left in a better mood," Quincy High School football coach Rick Little said. "And I know things didn't always go his way in his life."

According to Highland High School athletic director Ben Buening, "He's a great subject for coaches to teach. Know your role, and do the best you can at your role, and you'll be successful."

Houchins used the platform to showcase his zest for life, his favorite professional sports teams, and his alma maters.

"He was such a great guy who cared so much about us at Highland, and all the of the other area athletes and programs," Highland softball coach Paul Scifres indicated.

"He just did a phenomenal job. He had a big passion for what he did. I'm just very sad and we're going to miss him very dearly."

He spent countless hours thinking of innovative ideas for the show.

Houchins was never satisfied with the status quo and he was driven to bring a fresh perspective every day.

"That was my morning routine. Get up, leave the house, drive around Palmyra for 20 minutes, and just listen to WGEM Radio in the morning," Palmyra football coach Kevin Miles explained.

"It made my day and made it fun."

Herald-Whig Senior Sports Writer Matt Schuckman added: "He had a great personality. He made the listeners and the people he was interviewing feel comfortable. But when you knew him away from (WGEM) you really knew how comfortable he was in his own skin."

But his greatest attribute was an unselfish approach to all aspects of life.

Spend five minutes with Josh and the majority of the conversation would inevitably be about you, not him.

"He's the type of guy that if you mention your kids' names (he) got it. You mention your wife's name (he) got it. Four or five years later he would reference that," Little said.

"I was always blown away with his ability to not only remember that stuff, but the way he made you feel."

At 36 years of age, Josh's life on earth was cut short far too early.

Fortunately he left such a lasting impression that we'll remember him forever.

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