In his 24 years of life, John expressed his passion for the outdoors and beauty of Benzie County.
The endowment in his memory was established in 1993, allowing his spirit to live on through grants supporting environmental education in Benzie County communities and preserving his passion for generations to come.
What impression will you make? Let's give it forward, together.
Joe Brisson loved athletics, particularly soccer, which was a passion he held throughout his life. He played on Traverse City's varsity soccer team for three years and later for the Traverse City Trappers. In addition, Joe had a true adventurous spirit and a passion and zest for life. He was an avid swimmer, a mountain and rock climber, a cyclist, a runner, a golfer and an ultimate Frisbee player. In 1990, he climbed Mount Rainier. Joe attended school in Montana to live in the mountains he loved. In 1992, he graduated from the University of Montana in Missoula with a degree in liberal arts with an emphasis in philosophy, geography and Asian studies. He studied Chinese and through studies in Missoula, China and Taiwan, became fluent in Mandarin Chinese. In 1992 and 1993, he studied at Hangzchou University in China. He funded his trip in part through an international scholarship from the Rotary Club of Missoula. Joe later lived in Taipei, Taiwan for a year where he taught English and then in Taichung, Taiwan, on and off for four years, where he also taught English. In 1993, Joe biked across China solo and in 1994, he biked along the east coast of Australia. Joe also took up ultimate Frisbee and played with the University of Montana and Calgary, Alberta, Canada teams. He also played soccer with the university soccer club. Joe made many friends in his lifelong journey and his friends recall him as a charismatic, magnetic, loving, sensitive, fun-loving, and filled with life.