Dear friends, Jon had a way of talking about things, and an attitude towards life, that is difficult to convey.
We believe he would approve of the following “farewell note,” which we have paraphrased from many conversations and fun times over the years. This is who he was.
We hope you enjoy and agree.
Jon requested no service, but we intend to hold an informal gathering to celebrate Jon's life at some point in the future, and we'll spread the word when that time comes.
Love, Millie, Michael, Linda and family.
"Well, folks, I guess it's my time. It's going to happen to all of us, so all I can say is, wow have I had a great life. I passed in my sleep a few days ago, so went out as peacefully and contentedly as I could.
"I am so thankful for everything that I had in my life. Firstly, I am thankful for my bride, Millie. She's been as wonderful a companion, a helpmate, a love and a light through my journey, as anyone could be. I love you, dear.
"And I could not be more proud of my kids, Michael and Linda, who have grown into caring adults with great families.
"It has been a joy to watch them grow up, get married, and Millie and I have been able to enjoy our seven amazing grandkids for many fun years.
"There has been nothing more satisfying than the time I had with my family, and knowing that they are healthy, happy, and secure is all a guy could ask for.
"I have also had wonderful, wonderful friends throughout my life. Great people in Fort Frances, Winnipeg (Oh, Canada!), Owatonna, and Arizona. Great people everywhere I have been. And everyone knows I have loved your companionship through countless fun times. I hope those continue for you all, friends. Cheers!
“Always look for ways to have fun, and take joy in simple pleasures. A hamburger. A good golf shot. A cold beer. A fun song (Capital "C” Classic Country, of course!). A great game. A big fish on the line.
"My job at Federated Insurance was so very satisfying to me as well. Beginning in Winnipeg as a young man, I could not have dreamed of the challenges, adventures, friendships, and associations that built over the years as I worked my way up to be VP of Claims (not to mention meeting Millie there on my first day of work after graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College!) I am thankful for those opportunities and humbled by the strength and integrity of the company to the present day.
"Finally, when I look back on my life, I always come back to my hometown of Fort Frances, Ont., and all of the memories and experiences there, that helped to shape my life and outlook.
"From working in the lumber mill, to the friends, family and atmosphere of a small town in the 1940s and 50s, the character of the hardworking people, the beauty of the lakes and woods, and the smell of paper pulp were always special and important to me.
"In that town, I had amazing family all around me. My dad, Eddie, in the important job of saw filer at the lumber mill.
"My mom, Liz, the energetic social whirlwind. My rambunctious younger brother, Art, who would go on to become a legend in sport through USA Hockey.
"My cousins, the Warners, Franklin, Bruce, Peter and their families, who share my love of the town and have remained not just relatives but treasured friends throughout my whole life.
"So I had a good run—a GREAT run. And I wish nothing but many future fun times for you all, and that you have the same loving support of family and friends that I have had when times get rough. They are priceless. To Michael, and wife Paula, and kids Sam, Katy, and Nick. To Linda, and her husband, Joel, and kids, Jordan, Lukas, Jon, and Laura. Please watch over my Millie (and I know you will). To all who read this, continue on your paths, love each other, embrace simple pleasures, have fun, and enjoy LIFE. I sure did.
If you are so moved to make a donation in Jon's honour, donations can be made to the Federated Challenge: Supporting Big Brothers and Big Sisters. at: www.federatedchallenge.org/home
If you want to reach out to Millie, she is keeping the email address firstname.lastname@example.org, and she'd love to hear from you.