We were devastated by the loss of our dear friend and office manager Joe Getgen to a heart attack on 8/5/97.
Always first to arrive and last to leave, Joe devoted the last five years of this lifetime to a serious love affair with
The Chimney Sweep and our extended family of customers and friends. He will be impossible to replace.
Joe's life journey was an interesting one. In his youth, he performed professionally in rock bands, "had a cup of
coffee in the Big Show" as a highly recruited major league baseball pitcher, and served a tour of duty with the Air
Force in Vietnam. Honorably discharged, Joe went back to school on the GI Bill, earning a degree in Computer
Science at Western Washington University. A succession of computing and accounting jobs followed, culminating
in his five-year tenure as office manager at The Chimney Sweep. Through his independent consulting business,
Fairhaven Computing, Joe has built, written, and been a troubleshooter for a great many of the business
systems in Whatcom County.
Many will remember Joe as a dyed-in-the-wool technophile, happiest with his hands on the keyboard of a troubled
computer and his head deeply into the solution to the problem at hand. Thousands will remember him as the
perennial MC of the festivities following the annual Ski-To-Sea race. Hundreds may remember him as the vocally
talented host who helped people overcome their inhibitions on Karaoke night at the local pub. Fairhaven
waitresses will remember him for the little candies he would leave beside his plate to brighten their day. A lucky
few will recall very infrequent occasions when Joe would pick up a guitar or sit down at a piano and blow
everybody's socks off. Members of the Fairhaven Fantasy Football League will be hard pressed to find a
replacement Commissioner. Those of us who loved him will remember him as a brilliant mind and tender soul
wrapped in a gruff exterior, who finally lost his lifelong battle with the terrible disease known as depression.
It is a tradition in the world of Sports to retire a great player's number, and hang his or her jersey from the rafters
for all to see. We've retired Joe's number: this web page is his jersey.
The page that occupied this spot during his lifetime appears below.
Office Manager: Joe Getgen
With a degree in computer science and a Techie's terse demeanor, Joe Getgen is the perfect guy for
debugging our self-written business programs, administering our customer database, haranguing recalcitrant
suppliers, negotiating the best possible freight rates, tracking down missing orders, and collecting past-due
accounts (all the things Tom hates to do). With his hands on the keyboard, his mind on Business, and his cordless
phone headset in nearly constant use, Joe's contact with the general public is infrequent, but several Valued
Customers who have interacted with Joe when Tom was unavailable have reported that, beneath his gruff
exterior, Joe is actually a pretty nice guy with the best interests of our customers at heart.
If you're a Type A personality with no time for small talk, if you believe in Getting Down To Business, or if you
need to know exactly how many times and on what dates we've cleaned any of the 12,000 chimneys in our
database since 1980, you'll love Joe.
"Mister, you're scaring us." Office Manager Joe
Getgen, captured during one of his lighter moments.
The Chimney Sweep, Inc.
913 Harris Avenue
Bellingham, WA 98225-7032
1(888)-354-6722 toll-free in U.S. & Canada