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A Life Lived in Pursuit of Peace

Date of Birth September 03, 1964

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Date of Passing May 27, 2020

Joel Bradley McNenny

from Canoga Park, California, United States

Joel Bradley McNenny was a man who spent his life with the dream of helping those in need. He dedicated his life to the practice of mindfulness and the Buddhist teachings, as he believed it was a path to easing the suffering that he witnessed throughout the world. The way in which he touched the lives of everyone he encountered is proof of his devotion to the betterment of society and humanity as a whole. Through all the injustice he witnessed in his life, he never stopped believing that the world could find peace. 

Born September 3rd, 1964 Joel McNenny was the third child of Vivian and James McNenny and their first born son. He entered the world with two older sisters, Kerry and Colleen, sisters that he would admire through the entirety of his life. Shortly after his birth, Joel met his best friend in the form of his younger brother, Jay, who would always remain his closest companion. He fell in love in college with his wife of twelve years, Minh McNenny, with whom he had two children with. His daughter, Jasmine McNenny, and his son, Joshua McNenny, both loved him with the entirety of their hearts. He was a father who never wasted a second in expressing his love every single day and his devotion to creating the best lives possible for his children.  

Joel's love not only extended to his family and relatives, but also to the lives of his clients and the children he taught. For twenty years he spent his days resolving the issues at schools as a counselor. While in his position, Joel looked around at what could be improved and implemented multiple programs that involved mindfulness to help the children. In that period, one of his programs found great success and was acknowledged by Congressman Tim Ryan for all the benefits it gave the kids. Shortly after, his workplace moved to Total Health and Wellness and he was introduced to his desire to share his experience of mindfulness with people on a personal level. 

In 2015, Joel moved out to California in order to help his son chase his dreams. In that time, he found a life that gave him exactly what he was searching for. At "Perfectly Here" the center for mindfulness, Joel found friends that cared about him so deeply that their connection is difficult to express in mere words. He worked for 4 years as an instructor, helping dozens of people benefit from his knowledge of mindfulness. The owner of the center, Manijeh Motaghy, would become one of Joel's biggest inspirations and greatest friends. In his time working there, he was also introduced to his friend, neighbor, and disc golf partner Randy Shultz. These two people would give him the peace of life and environment to write the many stories he had spent years cultivating in his mind, as well as publish his own novel. It was this life that allowed him the freedom to finally allow his creativity to flourish.

Joel McNenny passed away from a heart attack on May 27th, 2020. He lived a modest life in line with the teachings he so cherished, filled with the beauty of the natural world. It was a life that gave him peace and made him truly happy in the end. He will be forever missed by his family and friends, who know that every moment that time passes in his absence, the world lacks a light that once burned brightest in a room. In lieu of flowers, any contributions you wish to make in his name, please send to the center "Perfectly Here", which he loved so dearly. https://perfectlyhere.org/donate-here/

On behalf of the family, I would like to thank everyone for helping us honor the memory of my father. May he find peace once again. 

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    Reply Brad Snyder / Jun 15, 2020

    This is still so hard to grasp and accept. I have no words...….other than...…...we were distant cousins two months apart and generally only saw each other at annual family reunions, however, we connected and were on a similar plane. His was a presence full of peace and love so you were always comfortable, regardless. I can tell from these comments he had the same effect on many others. To Jasmine, Josh, Vivian, Jim, Colleen, Kerry, and Jay along with all other McNenny's, much love from the Snyder's and your extended family. Rest easy, Joel.

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      Colleen Shere / Jun 16, 2020

      Thank you, Brad. Not such distant cousins. :) Yes, Joel made people feel comfortable around him.

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    Reply Colleen Shere / Jun 16, 2020
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    Reply Brad Snyder / Jun 15, 2020

    Brad Snyder sends their condolences.

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    Reply Keith Stults / Jun 10, 2020

    Joel was genuine. Joel lived his life following his heart. Joel cared for others more than he cared for himself. He was a wonderful friend, an exemplary father and a big-hearted citizen of this world. We had great times together at concerts, camping, disc golfing and just being. Joel was there for me at the rough patches of my life and I loved him like a brother. I am so glad he was in my life. He'll live in my heart always.

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    Reply Roz Fetzer / Jun 09, 2020

    You made my heart sing and soul dance. So thankful for our time together. May you rest in peace Angel, Love, Buffy

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    Reply Roz Fetzer / Jun 09, 2020
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    Reply Bryant Belarmino / Jun 07, 2020

    Thank you Joel for providing a safe space for the Refuge Recovery Sangha every Saturday all those years. So many people found a way to freedom and peace with your help. Your energy and passion will be missed. Good vibes and love to your family, to Manijeh, and to Perfectly Here.

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    Reply Richard Weiner / Jun 07, 2020

    Joel was a great, inspirational person who had a profound effect on the mindfulness community here in Ohio. This is a real shock and we are very sad, but at the same time I'm pretty sure he'll do just fine on the next phase of his journey. Love you, man. I'll be doing a Buddhist ceremony for him in the next couple of days.

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    Reply Lori Bello / Jun 05, 2020

    Lori Bello sends their condolences.

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    Reply Hannah / Jun 05, 2020

    Rest In Peace. He molded so many young minds to be full of love and light,including mine. I will never forget morning meditation at school and how comforting his words and energy was. Always radiated light. Had a heart full of gold and only wanted the best for the earth and his fellow earthlings. Such beautiful soul.

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    Reply Priscilla Fry / Jun 05, 2020

    What a loss!!! Joel was part of my life and of my children always. Actually, a cousin but certainly more like a beloved nephew. I am so thankful we kept in touch and treasure many fun memories. Priscilla Fry

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    Reply Gina Lorenz / Jun 05, 2020

    Gina Lorenz sends their condolences.

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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 05, 2020
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    Reply Cathy Sherman / Jun 05, 2020

    Cathy Sherman sends their condolences.

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    Reply Anthony Razzante / Jun 05, 2020

    Kerry & Jeff, So very sorry to learn of the passing of Joel. No words we can offer will ease the pain at this time, however hold onto the may good memories of Joel as it will help as time passes. Our deepest thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. Tony & Sandy Razzante

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    Reply Jill Reid (Dunbar) / Jun 05, 2020

    Jill Reid (Dunbar) sends their condolences.

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    Reply Theresa / Jun 05, 2020

    I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Joel. My daughters lost their father when they were young and he was the school counselor where my oldest child attended school. He took her under his wing and when my other daughter started there he did the same. We followed him to Total Health and Wellness and were sad when he moved to California. He was so proud of his children and happy to be going to help his son. Joel will forever be a light in this world for us. May he Rest In Peace.

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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020

    This picture was taken after a time of remembrance at Lake Erie out in nature just the way Joel would have wanted it.

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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Kerry Allenby / Jun 01, 2020
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    Reply Jay McNenny / May 31, 2020

    Jay McNenny sends their condolences.

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