I still am, and I still do. John was so many things to innumerable people. His positive and upbeat disposition
was absolutely contagious. If you ever came into contact with John,
you remembered him, and you probably had a great story to tell about
your encounter. That's just the kind of guy he was.
To me, John was my coach when I was younger and a colleague when I
came back to Lincoln to begin my career. As I became involved in
local boards and local organizations, John was always there. He was
not involved because he wanted the notoriety, or the power, or the
prestige. He certainly was not in it for the pay, because there was
not any to be had. John was involved with the community because he
loved it. By volunteering, he reciprocated the love everyone in the
community had for him. He contributed his time to our community
willingly and unselfishly.
His incredible impact on the community, and beyond, has been readily
apparent over the course of the past year. A golf tournament that
was held in his honor to raise money for veterans boasted a
spectacular turnout, with golfers traveling great distances to
participate. A local basketball tournament which he spearheaded the
creation of was renamed in his honor. People turned out in droves to
attend his visitation and memorial service. The list goes on.
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He wore many hats during his lifetime, but the most important hat he
ever wore in my presence was "friend." From the impromptu "bachelor
party" he threw for me in Chicago, to having a candid discussion about
an issue facing a local organization, John was always a friend. He
valued input, and even if we disagreed, he always showed me an
incredible amount of respect. Mostly, he always cared. For that, I
will be forever grateful.
As I learned many years ago, death cannot kill that which never
dies. I still wish he was physically with us, but his friendship and
spirit are immortal. Until we meet again, cheers, my friend.
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