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Joel Magner

August 15, 1950 - March 23, 2020
Traverse City, MI

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Life Story / Obituary


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Joel Gary Magner (Hebrew name Yaakov), age 69, transcended this life and began his next great adventure on March 23, 2020, surrounded by his family. Joel was an Early Onset Alzheimer’s patient and resident at Cherry Hill Haven in Traverse City. He was born in Detroit on August 15, 1950 to Leonard Magner and Jeanette (Fisher) Magner. Joel grew up in Oak Park, Michigan where he attended Oak Park Elementary School, was a Boy Scout, attended Hebrew school, and graduated from Ferndale High School. After graduation, Joel attended Wayne State University and studied Anthropology. In September of 1971 he married Margaret Lynn Kellogg and together they managed a redevelopment project in the city of Detroit while attending Wayne State University. Joel drew much inspiration from the works of R. Buckminster Fuller (whom he referred to as Bucky) and Albert Einstein early in his life.

Joel’s love of the outdoors and camping drew them to Northern Michigan often while they lived in the city. Eventually they moved north, first to Petoskey and later to Traverse City where they made their home; their two daughters, Anna Kellogg Magner and Emily Kellogg Magner were born here. Joel entered the life insurance business and opened a financial planning firm, The Matrix Group in 1977. One of Joel’s gifts was his creativity and his ability to help others through his work. Joel continued to enjoy outdoor sports and activities including camping and boating with his family, cross country skiing, biking, kayaking, listening to his favorite music, touring Northern Michigan in his little red convertible, and watching falling stars, especially on his birthday! Joel was also a meditation and yoga practitioner. Joel will be remembered dearly for his sense of humor, his sometimes playful perspective on life, and as a beloved and fun loving father.

Joel is survived by his children, Anna Kellogg Magner, Emily Kellogg Magner, and his son in law Loren Ferrer.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that contributions be directed to support the Goodwill Inn of Traverse City or the TART Trails fund in Traverse City.

The family will be forever grateful for the patient and loving care Joel received from the staff at Cherry Hill Haven and Heartland Hospice. Their kindness will always be remembered and held with much gratitude.

Arrangements for a Memorial Gathering will be announced at a later date. Please visit www.lifestorytc.com to share your thoughts with the family and more.

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better”. Albert Einstein

“There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it’s going to be a butterfly. Ninety-nine percent of who you are is invisible and untouchable”.

R. Buckminster Fuller