Joshua Vancil passed away April 11, 2021, in Honolulu, Hawaii, due to a sudden, as yet undetermined illness. A Producer of Feature Film, Episodic Television and Commercial Line Producer, he had been in Hawaii the past year working on a film project. A former ten-year resident of Studio City, California, who worked for Paramount Studios, as well as independent film companies, Josh treasured his longtime friends and colleagues around the world. He was a connector of people, who enjoyed keeping his family and good friends in his life. He regularly visited Bainbridge. The Pandemic interrupted those visits for a year. He was looking forward to coming home for his 50th birthday, May 12.
The very beloved son of Deborah and Richard Vancil, Bainbridge Island, Joshua Paul Vancil was born in Newport Beach, California. His early childhood in Mt. Baldy, California, was a joyful, magical time, exploring nature with his brother Ryan; hiking, climbing, skiing, and camping in their own tree fort. His love and appreciation for our natural world became the center of their life together, often hiking and fishing on his trips home. He continued to surf, sail, or hike, wherever in the world his work life took him.
He moved to Bainbridge Island in 1980 with his family, and attended Blakely School, Wilkes School, Commodore Middle School, and graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1989. He played Lacrosse, joined the Parks Ski Bus, the Port Madison Junior Sailing Club, and participated in the Bainbridge-Ometepe Sister Island Organization in Lago de Nicaragua. He was an original member of Susi Glass-Burdick’s Bainbridge Performing Arts, “Greasepaint,” an audition program of professional theatre arts training for High School students. Joshua also appeared in various productions through “Greasepaint,” BHS, and BPA. Life was about having fun and sharing it with friends.
“Josh was a great friend and had a huge heart. He was sensitive, kind, caring, even sweet.” -Scott Crane.
His love and knowledge of theatre and professional film production became special avenues for his lifelong interest in cultural anthropology. He attended and completed course programs at Greer Garson Studios Film School, New Mexico, Universidad de las Ciencias y el Arte de Costa Rica, Instituto Allende-de San Miguel de Allende, and Washington State University in Pullman. His close relationships with native peoples were artistic inspiration for better understanding that he wove into his work.
Joshua was a longtime member of the Surfrider Foundation, an environmental coastal preservation organization. Many weekends, he paddled the coast with fellow members collecting scientific survey information. He was a teaching volunteer for TreePeople, a nonprofit organization working for a greener, climate resilient Los Angeles. Fluent in Spanish, he worked to bring youths from urban neighborhoods into the local mountains to learn transformative solutions with tree canopy, healthy soil, and clean water for their communities.
Funny and good natured, Josh approached the world with humor; he encouraged others to do the same. “Nothing is serious to be sad about he seemed to share; but his sudden flight to the next realm has us trailing behind in wonder. Prayers and acts of service in his memory are welcomed these days ahead; keep his spirit present with you.” -Sol Morey.
His family is wrought with grief over his unexpected passing. A quiet family gathering is planned for now. Post Pandemic, we look forward to gathering with his many friends to fully celebrate Josh’s life. Locally he is survived by his parents, his brother, Ryan Vancil (Debbi Lester), nephew Corbin Hart (Georgie Hart), niece Madeline Pratt (James), grandnephews Cayden Wilson, Alder Pratt; with expanded family on both coasts.
Memorials are appreciated in his name to:
SurfriderFoundation (www.surfrider.org) and/or KEXP (www.kexp.org) his favorite source of music from around the world.