BEHIND THE LENS – Talented writer and photographer, Joey Guest of Martin, had his life cut short Sunday afternoon when he was killed in a motorcycle accident off of Mt. Pelia Road. Guest was a frequent contributor to the Weakley County Press. Photo by Stephanie Sturgis
Joey Guest was a simple man. He had an affection for all things in nature. Many knew him as the person behind the lens at local ballgames. Others knew the side of him that was inspired by adventure.
From the peaceful hikes at scenic destinations to an even deeper level of serenity when Guest grabbed a spot on a pond bank and cast his line hoping for “the big one,” the UT Martin and Westview High School graduate was the type of man that people felt comfortable knowing.
For those that did know him, they knew that warm weather beckoned him to ride free on his bike soaking in the sun and wind on his face. Sunday afternoon’s weather prompted such a ride. Ultimately, his last ride on Earth transformed him into the “Spirit in the Sky.”
Guest’s life was cut short at the age of 41 Sunday afternoon when he was traveling eastbound on Mt. Pelia Road and his 2005 Harley Davidson motorcycle departed the left side of the roadway while he was negotiating a curve. His bike overturned, according to a report issued by the Tennessee Highway Patrol.
Guest was the only person involved in the fatal accident.
While he considered himself to be a “starving” artist, he was indeed an artist.
He served as the Weakley County Press Sports Editor for a number of years before leaving to join the NASCAR® circuit in the field of promotions. It was only a few years ago when he settled back into Weakley County and launched an online sports magazine with Jim Steele.
In addition, he came back to the downtown Martin office of the Weakley County Press and has freelanced in sports writing and photography for the newspaper since his return home.
“Joey Guest was a great colleague and a great mind. His excellent way with words coupled with his talents as a photographer made him one of the finest examples of a sports writer with which I’ve ever had the privilege to work,” Weakley County Press Sports Editor Stephanie Sturgis commented.
Guest has claimed two Tennessee Sports Writer of the Year awards and several Tennessee Press Association honors during his tenure at The Press.
“Joey’s love of sports was both far reaching and very close to home. Whether it be the Martin Panthers and the Westview Chargers, the Tennessee Volunteers or one of his favorite pro teams, he was a proud fan,” Sturgis added.
Guest impacted many people in the community throughout the years. He was an active member of the Sons of the American Legion for the Martin Post #55 and helped campaign for numerous charity events held in the region.
“His writing and photography touched many lives, preserved memories and created a legacy that will forever be with us but will only partially fill the hole his tragic and untimely death has created,” Sturgis added.
Guest is survived by his wife Carol Scott Guest of Martin and his son, Bo C. Guest of Martin.
A visitation is set for Wednesday evening from 5 until 8 p.m. at Murphy Funeral Home in Martin.
Funeral services are planned for 11 a.m. at the Martin Church of Christ on Thursday.
For more details, see Page 6 of today’s edition.