Sidonio has shown commitment to community, willingness to take on a challenge

Posted 30 May 2023 at 11:42 am


I met Joe Sidonio in Law Class over 40 years ago and we became best friends. It was the first day of class and Professor Barnhill came in and loudly dropped a bunch of books on the table. A hush came over the room. Mr. Barnhill said something stern to weed out the class. It worked. Half left. Not us. It was a great class and the beginning of a life long journey with a dear friend.

Our appreciation of education, the Rocky Mountains and the High Sierra cemented our relationship. It has endured despite the thousands of miles separating us. I miss him and you are fortunate to have him.

Assimilating back into society from his Marine Corps service, Joe found solace in Yellowstone, walking alone in the land of the Grizzly, long before the advent of bear spray. He mentions that as a lesson in humility.

Joe’s vision is molded by his life’s experiences. His view of the world was shaped, in part, by his life above the tree line, where what is important in life comes into sharp focus, sometimes very quickly.

It was on Vennacher Col, a high and windswept cross-country Sierra pass where Joe’s mettle was tested. I managed to rip up the tendons of my right ankle in an accident brought on by, (how do I put this gently?) stupidity and overconfidence. It was the worst backcountry injury I have ever suffered. Joe stuck by my side helping me as I hobbled out of the wilderness. You can’t buy friendship like that…..

We have explored the windswept heights of the Tetons, the Gallatin Range and the “Range of Light.” We have climbed Electric Peak, roamed on the Froze to Death Plateau, scaled Granite Peak in Montana and wandered on many peaks and passes in my corner of the world, the High Sierra.

I attended Joe’s wedding in Holley decades ago. It is a nice, sleepy place. Not much going on and that’s OK. Joe has shared his thoughts and dreams of what could be. His willingness to contribute is noteworthy to me. Joe has sacrificed much to help his community. When asked why he simply says: “someone has to do it.”

Joe has great spirit when faced with a challenge. He doesn’t give up, learns from his mistakes, and always keeps climbing upward.

Joe is a good man, has raised a wonderful family, cares for his community and is someone that you can trust to keep his word. Isn’t that what is important in life?

Sid Cronin

Donner Summit, CA