This world lost a great man

Posted: December 19, 2014 in Uncategorized

      In less than 24 hours, I will be attending the funeral of one of the greatest men I ever knew.  I met John when I was about nine years old and he was my coach.  I believe it started with basketball, then football, then in many ways, life itself.  He was never a flashy coach and stuck to mostly the fundamentals.   It was through John that I learned the importance of a team and working together.  He didn’t just tell me about good sportsmanship,  he would always extend it to me.  A lot of years I was blessed to be on one of his teams, but when I wasn’t, John would always make a point to come over to me before the game, shake my hand and say, “Go easy on us today Tommy.”  It always made me laugh because John’s team didn’t lose.  Period.
     In high school, I became best friends with one of John’s sons.  It was during that time that I got to know John more as the family man that he was.  He loved his wife and kids very much.  He would take his kids fishing and if there was room, I’d often get invited too.  In a loving way he would chide me, “Tommy, you might have better luck if you tried dropping your line in the water” as I tried to get untangled from whatever tree I snagged.
      I mean no disrespect to my own Dad, but John attended more of my football or basketball games than my dad ever did.  He took me fishing and would hang out way more than my own dad.  It wasn’t just me either, half of our friends would go watch sports at Jim’s (John’s son) house, where we would just relax with his folks and laugh at all the dumb jokes that we knew would be told.
      He was also an incredible man of faith.  Instead of being condemning and judging all the time though, John was the rare person that just lived his faith.
      I know at John’s funeral tomorrow I will probably be a blubbering mess.  But I also look forward to celebrating the life of a man that really made a  difference in the lives of so many people.  After I pass away, if someone can say that about me, I’ll know that I did good.  In the meanwhile, Mary, Jim, Meagan, and Mark, thank you for sharing John with me.  I love you guys.

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