A new job. First wedding anniversary coming up. Talk of kids. All gone in an instant

Remembering Modesto bar manager killed in crash

Friends recall Josh Timby of The Fox Pub, who was killed in a traffic collision in Manteca on Friday, July 12, 2019.
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Friends recall Josh Timby of The Fox Pub, who was killed in a traffic collision in Manteca on Friday, July 12, 2019.

New York City called to Joshua Timby and his wife, though they ultimately decided Modesto was the place to stay and raise a family. Now, because of a traffic collision Friday afternoon, neither city has the young man’s winning smile and love of life and people, friends say.

Timby, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene of a two-vehicle crash at the intersection of Spreckels Avenue and Dupont Court in Manteca. The other driver, a 16-year-old boy who lives in Manteca, was taken to a local hospital as a precautionary measure, evaluated and released.

The cause of the crash is under investigation by the Manteca Police Department’s Major Accident Investigation Team and detectives. A news release Friday night said only that drugs and alcohol do not appear to be factors in the crash.

Timby for the past six years worked for The Fox Pub at I and 11th streets in downtown Modesto. He’d also just been hired by Delta Pacific Beverage in Manteca, and he was heading home from that job when the crash occurred, said his wife, Monique Timby.

In an exchange of messages with The Bee on Monday, the newlywed — the couple were to celebrate their first wedding anniversary Aug. 18 — recalled her husband as always laughing and smiling, even when times were tough.

“We had plans to move to NYC when he traded in his Subaru WRX (his favorite car) for a 2019 Toyota Tacoma,” Monique said. “We have two dogs, so driving across the country would have been crazy in a sedan. So truck it is.

“He did that for me. I had gotten a job in NYC and he was willing to move his whole life for me. (But) when we visited for the second time and were apartment hunting, we realized, as good as everything sounds, it wasn’t a great fit after all.”

When Josh landed the Delta Pacific job, the couple knew they were meant to stay put, Monique said. “We had plans to start a family now that he would finally have weekends and nights off.”

More accurately, he’d have weekends and most nights off. He stayed on at The Fox two days a week, Monique said. “Usually Wednesday and Friday after he would get off his other job, he would head home, change, eat dinner, chug a Red Bull and head downtown to the Fox to work for the rest of the evening.”

In fact, some of Josh’s family members were at The Fox on Friday when they got word of his death, said Tim Ross, who used to be a cook at the pub. He himself heard about his friend’s death a bit later, and thought it was a bad joke.

“He brought life to anybody that stepped foot in this bar,” Ross said while stopping by The Fox late Monday morning. To many people, he was the face of The Fox, the friendly guy people first met when they walked in, said his friend and former co-worker. “He loved his job, he loved Monique,” Ross said. “He loved his people, he loved us, the people that used to work here, that work here now.”

Josh was the first person William Atwood met when he went to The Fox to apply for work. “The dude would make everybody in here laugh and smile,” said Atwood, who knew Josh about two and a half years.

“He was the life of the party, he was the funniest, nicest guy you’ll ever meet.”

It’s painful to be at the pub right now, Atwood said. “This was his bar, you know, everybody knew him here.” As bar manager, Timby would swing by even on his days off, to make sure the employees were OK and patrons were having a good time. “It’s been tough,” Atwood said.

A memorial was held Saturday night, Atwood said, and all proceeds went to Josh’s family. A sheet of paper hanging behind the bar says donations still are being accepted “for the family of our friend and brother.”

There’s also a chalkboard sign hanging in tribute to Josh. It reads, “My heart is as full as my glass, when I drink to you, old friend. Rest easy.”

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Deke has been an editor and reporter with The Modesto Bee since 1995. He currently does breaking-news, education and human-interest reporting. A Beyer High grad, he studied geology and journalism at UC Davis and CSU Sacramento.