Joseph Earl Plant
Joe Plant was a healthy, vibrant 24 year old, a marathon runner simply passionate about life. He had just achieved his dream of becoming a St. Paul Police Officer when he passed away suddenly in January of 2008. Joe’s death was caused by the bursting of an aortic aneurysm, an undiagnosed heart condition. His father passed away at the young age of 33, also from an undiagnosed heart condition, and never had the opportunity to meet his unborn son. Joe’s sister was also afflicted by a heart defect, which she underwent surgery to correct at the age of 16. Given his family history, Joe should have received significant screening that could have prevented his death.
In March of that same year, Joe's friends and family came together for the 1st Annual "Living the Dream" Joe Plant Memorial 5K Run/Walk. The event was held at Lake Phalen in St. Paul, in the neighborhood that Joe grew up in. He spent countless hours running around Lake Phalen, often with his dear friend Joel Dickey, whose efforts were instrumental in founding this event.
Joe was the youngest child of Joe and Vicki Plant, with two older sisters Nicole Plant and Adrienne (Plant) Todd. Joe inherited his love of running from his mother, Vicki. Tragically, Joe never had the opportunity to meet his father, as he passed away at the age of 33, before Joey was born, also from a heart related condition.
Joe grew up on the east side of St. Paul, attending Presentation School in Maplewood for K-8, and graduated from North St. Paul High School in 2002. He received his BS in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University.
A portion of the proceeds of the run the first year were used to dedicate a memorial bench and plaque at Lake Phalen on the west side of the lake between Hoyt Ave and Brighton Place.