Former ASU Track & Field Athlete Joe Uff Loses Fight With Cancer
April 17, 2008
TEMPE, Ariz. - Joe Uff, a three-year member of the Arizona State University track and field/cross country program (1998-2000) and graduate of ASU, lost a four-year battle with cancer on Saturday, April 12, the day of his 31st birthday. Despite being diagnosed with colon cancer in June 2004, the Aston, Pa., native put his degree to good use by starting his own business as the thriving entrepreneur started his own event licensed-product and ticket sales company that he ran in Philadelphia up to the time of his passing.
'Joe was always a great person and teammate to be around,' said Jeremy Rasmussen, Uff's former teammate and a member of the ASU coaching staff last year. 'His spontaneity and fun-loving personality made him a friend to all. The Arizona State family will certainly miss Joe and will always remember him for his love for life.'
A 1995 graduate of Sun Valley High School in Aston, Uff attended Cabrini College in Randor, Pa., before transferring to ASU in 1998. There, he competed in two cross country seasons and two track and field seasons under former distance coach Walt Drenth. Away from the track during his time in Tempe, Uff displayed his school spirit as Sparky during special events and other sporting events. Upon receiving his degree from ASU in 2000, Uff returned to the Keystone State to pursue his business goals.
Following his diagnosis, Uff began treatment, but within one month of completing his treatment, a cancerous mass was found in his abdomen. Two years ago, his family organized the Uff is Tough 5k run in his hometown, attracting over 700 competitors in the inaugural running in 2007 before welcoming over 500 on March 9, 2008. In Tempe, many alumnus of the ASU program returned to campus for the ASU Cross Country Invitational in 2006 and competed as a team under the name of 'Uff is Tough'. This year, at the Pac-10 Track & Field Championships being hosted by ASU, the Sun Devil family will hold a moment of silence in his honor.
Uff is survived by his parents, Joseph V. Uff and Deborah Saunders King; siblings Debbie Moluf, Valerie Dougherty, Jackie Carroll, Shannon King, Brendan King, Caitlin Uff, Colleen Uff and Nora Uff; nieces and nephews Camryn, Annie, Jeffrey, Danny and Isaac; and many other family, friends and former teammates.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his life celebration on Thursday, April 17, from 6-9 p.m. and Friday, April 18, from 8:30-10 a.m. at D'Anjolell-Stigale Memorial Home (3260 Concord Road, Aston, Pa.), which will be followed by a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, April 18, at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Church of Aston.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to:
The Joe Uff Cancer Foundation
2360 Overlook Dr.
Aston, PA 19014