Joel Adam Bott
Longtime resident of the South Coast and Illinois native Joel Bott passed away on April 21, 2019, at the age of 55 years surrounded by family and close friends including his partner of several years Justine Pannier, his mother Joanne, and best friend Yossi.
Joel attended local schools in Des Plaines, IL and Elmhurst College, where he was a star tight end on the football team, winning All Conference honors in the mid 1980’s. Joel was an awesome friend, always willing to lend a hand in times of need, for example many hours helping people dig out and get back on their feet after the fire and flood in Montecito last year. He was someone you could always count on, the kind of person who would “give his shirt off his back” when the need arose.
Joel was an avid skater and hockey player. When he was very young, Joel’s parents memorably created an ice rink in the backyard of the family home that they enjoyed every winter. It was here that Joel learned the sport of hockey, playing alongside brothers Jack, Jim Jr., and Jason, neighbors and friends. The Bott brothers spent many days outside in the woods near the family home and worked together with their father in the family’s Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning business.
When he moved to Santa Barbara, Joel quickly began playing roller hockey at local schoolyards and soon was playing ice hockey as well. He played hockey consistently for over 30 years at ice rinks in Thousand Oaks, Simi Valley, and eventually Oxnard and finally at Ice in Paradise in Goleta. It was not unusual for Joel to play in 2, 3, or even 4 hockey leagues simultaneously, participating in games several nights a week. He also coached hockey at the Montecito Y for over 7 years, introducing children and adults to the game, teaching fundamentals and skating.
In the early 1990’s, skated across the country to raise money and awareness about drunk driving in “Blade Across America”. Skating took him to Hollywood, where he had a small part in the movie “Prayer of the Rollerboys”. Joel invented and patented “Bott Mountain Wheels” downhill roller skates, which he regularly rode from the top of Gibraltar Road to the Santa Barbara Mission.
Joel worked for a short time at Zelo nightclub in the late ‘80s, then began a 30 year career in the local Flower industry. He was associated with companies in Carpinteria including H&M Roses. For many years, Joel was a sales manager with The Sun Valley Group in Oxnard, one of America’s largest growers, where he developed close friendships with many co-workers and customers.
Living the beach front lifestyle, Joel spent countless hours aboard his boat and was known to rollerblade along Cabrillo Boulevard almost every day. Several years ago, he was reintroduced to Justine Pannier through their mutual love for skating. They developed a beautiful relationship, supporting one another in everything. Joel and Justine skated together regularly in local Christmas, Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Solstice parades.
Joel’s life changed in an instant on his birthday in May 2018, and he faced his diagnosis with courage and strength. He was thankful for the awesome daily support received from his loving partner Justine, his mom Joanne, friends Yossi, Greg, Brad and Janette, who were at his side almost every day. Thanks to Jen, Julie, Kimber, Gina, and the doctors, nurses and staff at Cottage Hospital and the Ridley-Tree Center who provided wonderful care and support. Joel is survived by Justine, his parents Jim Sr., and Joanne, and brothers Jack and Jim Jr.
Santa Barbara’s hockey family was always close by during Joel’s illness – teammates and opponents alike. Players regularly visited his home over the past year and spent many hours with him. The hockey community organized special tributes and fund raisers including a CAN/AM exhibition game at Ice in Paradise this spring.
Two celebrations of Joel’s life will be held. Saturday May 25 at 5 PM at Ice in Paradise which will include hockey and skating. Sunday May 26 at Ledbetter Beach, beginning with a paddle out at 10 AM, followed by a beach barbeque at 12 Noon, and a beach skate at 2:00 PM. Joel would want his friends and acquaintances to attend both of these events and have a lot of fun skating on the ice and pavement, enjoying a day at the beach, and in the water. As Joel would say, anything else is “unacceptable”.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in memory of Joel Bott can be made to Ice in Paradise, 805-879-1552, www.iceinparadise.org.