donhamde June 19th, 2014

I first met John when I was a masters level student at Southern Illinois University in the program where he was a doctoral level student, in 1968. I have known him and kept regular contact with him ever since as, with John, friends were forever. John accepted me graciously and without discrimination back then, and I came to learn that he had not only open arms but a very open mind. He was well qualified for a career with young adults, and well tempered to mentor them. He was patient, forgiving, objective, empathic, and he had a wonderful sense of humor. He also worked very hard, and in that sense was a terrific role model for anyone that knew him. Nothing could cause him go give up on someone as John always expected someone with faults to change for the better, and he was available if anyone wanted or needed help to improve along those lines. No doubt, many will say that most of all he was a good family man. I discovered that early. John and Julie were living in married student housing, cramped as it was, when I first met him, and their son David was a toddler and doing all the things toddlers did. John was the proudest father as he read picture books to young David, "raccoon," I remember David shouting with John beaming approval. Nothing ever changed. Whenever I would hear from John, I would ask how David was doing, and he would tell me wonderful stories, he would wait for me to ask, of course. He would do the same about Julie, who kept busy at his side all the many years of their marriage, his best friend. He knew every little thing that made her happy or sad. At the end he is happy because she knows he is not in pain any more, and he is sad because he had to leave his best friend behind. John, we are all happy and sad because we all loved you, too. Dennis E. Donham Wexford, PA