Joel James Hergert, 40, of Medford, Ore. passed away at his home on Tuesday, February 18, 2014, of natural causes. Joel was born on April 15, 1973. He was adopted within a couple of days of birth, which by incredible blessings offered him a lively, nurturing, and normal childhood.

Joel was a child who loved riding bikes, swimming, sports and taunting a certain younger sibling. As he grew older, Joel showed great talent for the martial arts and business. He was immersed in DECA, FBLA, and martial arts where he received many regional, national, even international awards for his talent. Upon high school graduation Joel went on to study Marketing & Business Arts at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island.

Most of Joel's adult life was spent here in Medford where he was well-known and loved in the community for being a simple man with a big heart, always fighting for the good in the world. He had a keen sense of right and wrong. He loved movies, video games, and family get togethers. Joel strived to be a model citizen and was a stellar example to others for being involved and active in our community. He took great pride in the local mental health community and received a lot of good help from them.

Joel is survived by his mother, Carol Lininger-Hergert; father, Jim Hergert; sister, Leah Rozett; nieces, Malia and Lindsay; as well as a multitude of extended family and friends. He is loved and will be missed greatly. A "Celebration of Life" service will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations can be made in memory of Joel to Compass House Inc., 1032 W. Main St., Medford, OR 97501, 541-973-5139; or N.A.M.I. of Southern Oregon, PO Box 8018, Medford, OR 97501-0018, 541-774-7872.