TRAGIC DAY: Joe Tones passed away two days before his 18th birthday.
TRAGIC DAY: Joe Tones passed away two days before his 18th birthday. Contributed

Taken too soon: Tributes flow for teen after sudden death

THREE days before his 18th birthday, Joe Tones collapsed and never woke up.

Tributes are flowing for the Jandowae teenager after he suddenly passed away on the afternoon of January 21.

Joe was known for his involvement in the cattle and agricultural community.

In a sign of the promising life he had ahead of him, Joe won the Young Judges Competition at the Ekka in 2017 and went on to become the runner-up at the Australian national finals at the Royal Adelaide Show in 2018.

Joe's mother Judy spoke to the Dalby Herald about how excited Joe was to celebrate his 18th birthday with his friends and family.

"We don't know - all we know is that Joe collapsed," Mrs Tones said.

"He just collapsed at home and passed away."

Described by his loved ones as a "loving larrikin", his personality naturally drew people towards him.


"He filled a room when he walked in," Mrs Tones said.

"He embraced people, he took people for who they were, he never judged people, he worked hard, he believed in his friendships, he supported his family, and we just adored him."

He excelled in the Cattle Show Program at Dalby State High School, helping the team secure wins and placings at numerous shows.

As well as being hard working, he was also compassionate.

"He was always happy to help a younger person coming up through the ranks," Mrs Tones said.

Friends and family took to social media to share their memories of Joe, along with photos from better times at Shows, using the hashtag #ShowForJoe.

Sue Burrowes, senior student support worker at Dalby State High School and one of Joe's leaders in the cattle program, said he was well known throughout the cattle industry and had been making quite a name for himself.

"Joe was a lovely young man, well-mannered - It's a credit to his parents for the person that he was," she said.

While he first became involved in cattle showing during his time at school, Joe was born with the land at his feet.

"He was always passionate about the land because he was born and raised on the land," his mother said.

"It's in his blood. It's something he was born with."