Thursday, May 27, 2010

In Memoriam

Over the past few months my daughter-in-law and I discussed what to put on Jon's gravestone. It's not an easy decision or conversation. Going through the photos reminded us of so many good times, things Jon loved to do, and how much he loved spending time with his daughters.

After a lot of thought, his wife selected these images, which will be cast into a bronze plaque for his gravestone:

Top left, Jon holds his granddaughter;clockwise is Jon in the army in Korea as a radioman; then with his diploma for his Masters in Business Administration; then "sled dad" as he and he three youngest played in the snow; and then his favorite photo of him playing golf. Center is that beautiful smile we miss so much. In the background is our homeplace, which grounded Jon and was the place he came to relax and recharge. West Virginia was always in his heart, and he was proud to wear the WV logo on his clothes. His favorite suit and tie outfit was a dark suit with a blue shirt and deep gold tie--a mountaineer through and through.

These are some other photos we considered but in the end did not use. They show some of the range of his passions:

Skiing; a highlight for him was skiing in the Pyrenees with his friend Todd several years ago;

Water skiing in Kentucky, a sport he first tried on the Ohio River as a teenager;

Playing guitar was a short-lived interest--he loved it but soon found he didn't have what it took to be good, so he gave his Martin guitar to is daughter, who plays beautifully.

Scuba diving in the Caribbean on vacation--he was thrilled with it and wanted to learn all about it, even talking about becoming an instructor one day;

And of course, his racing motorcycle, which scared the wits out of me but which he loved and still owned. His love for bikes started in his teens and never waned, much to my dismay!

He was a man of many hobbies and interests, but his deepest passion was his love for his family. Other things came and went, but this one was the driving force of his life.

Missed every day, but loved even more.


Janet, said...

I love the pictures, Susanna. You picked out good ones for the plaque. He looks like you in the one with the WV ball cap. My son Andrew also likes to ride the motorcycle, and it scares the wits out of me, too. I'm kinda glad he doesn't have much spare time to do it any more.

Susan at Stony River said...

Wow, what an amazingly full life!

Those photos are perfect; the plaque's going to be gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

What a very loving tribute!

Holly Hall said...

He seems to have lived life to the fullest, and that is all any of us can hope to achieve. The plaque is a beautiful memorial.

TheresaandJay said...

Definitely Jonathan! You and Jennifer did an awesome job. It is beautiful. tm

Angela said...

I love the pictures and how they are arranaged. I too think he has your smile. I was looking for your picture on your sidebar and it isn't there anymore but I do think that your son looked like you.

Country Whispers said...

Those pictures are great and will look wonderful on his stone. I think that thoose pictures will bring comfort to you as you go to visit him.

Nance said...

Another bittersweet moment in your life. Too too much; too hard! But the end result is beautiful. The stone is a fine tribute -- and what a handsome, athletic, competitive man.

Rowan said...

This bronze plaque will make a wonderful memorial for Jon. It will give all those who pause to look at it a real glimpse of the splendid man who lies beneath the stone.

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